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,
"FOFF" = Felonious Old Fat Fuck,
"COFF" = Convicted Old Felonious Fool,
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, A/K/A Felon^34,
A/K/A Dolt-45, A/K/A Don Snoreleone

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"I Am an Incurable Romantic." -- Leonard Nimoy

This is what he had to say at the end of his talk to Phoenix ComicCon in 2011.

You can rewind it to the beginning and you should. It's well worth your time.


Jake indulges in one of his favorite pastimes:

If You Want to Buy a Drone

Don't buy one from DJI, makers of the Phantom series. They've adopted "geofencing", so anywhere that DJI thinks you shouldn't be flying your drone, it simply won't fly.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Torture Nation, Chicago Edition

More allegations about the Chicago P.D.'s black-site prison.

Don't expect ol' Rahm to do anything about it anytime soon. He's too busy fighting for his political life.

Round Up the Usual Suspects, Москва Издание

Prominent Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has been shot dead in Moscow. Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and a sharp critic of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was reportedly shot four times in the chest by a killer in a passing car. ... Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the president would take the investigation into Nemtsov’s death under “personal control”...
A good place to start looking for the killer would be here:

Either this case will disappear into the unsolved file faster than you can say Anna Politkovskaya, or they'll pin it on some thug who will conveniently die whilst resisting arrest.

Mr. Spock Has Gone West

Leonard Nimoy has died.

Because It's Friday

"Steam train a-comin'!"

True Fact About Class

From here.

Or Cops.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More O'Reilly Lies

Having concrete rain down on him during the Rodney King riots-- lie.

Being present when a man linked to Lee Harvey Oswald killed himself-- lie.

Seeing nuns get shot in the back of their heads in El Salvador-- lie

Disturbing Giuseppe Zangara's aim, well, as far as I know, O'Reilly hasn't claimed that. Yet.

But don't worry. Fox News is standing by their man because they are a propaganda organ, not a news outlet.

NSA Hates the Term "Backdoors;" Still Searching For Nicer Ephemism

That's what I took away from this little exchange.

As BadTux has noted, we've been here two decades ago. The fact that a backdoor exists is going to be catnip to hackers and you can bet your goddamned house that the Chinese and the Russians will be throwing large amounts of cash at cracking the key for the codes.

And then what happens when a foreign government passes a law saying that they get the keys to the backdoors of any encryption products sold there? Because they'll know that the keys exist. It was an open secret for a long time that if a foreign business executive sent or received a fax at a Japanese hotel, the Japanese government would route a copy of the fax to whatever Japanese company with which the foreigner had business. The same thing will happen with any encrypted communications, if the NSA and the FBI have their way.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen

William Shatner does "RocketMan" (begins about 0:50 into this clip, if you don't want to watch the setup):

Torture, Chicago Style

The Chicago cops run their own black-site prison, where they hold people without booking them, deny them access to attorneys, and torture them.

Chicago has much to answer for. Fat chance that the city ever is compelled to do so.

The mayors for the time that the Chicago cops have been operating that site, including Mayors Richard Daley, Jr. and Rahm Emanuel, should be prosecuted under the doctrine of command responsibility. Slim chance of that ever happening.

Save the Date: May 8th, 2015

If you can get to the vicinity of downtown D.C., you might want to make the trip.

For there is going to be one hell of a flyover of American WW2 aircraft.

Helpful Hint for Criminals

Doughnut shops are not the best places to hide out after pulling a heist.
Police arrested a man suspected of robbing a bank in New Jersey ... an officer spotted a man matching the description of the suspect near the entrance of a Dunkin Donuts drinking coffee.

The Difference Between Bill O'Reilly and Brian Williams

Both have had creative recollections of war.

Brian Williams, as you know, about which helicopter he was riding in.

Bill O'Reilly first claimed to have been in the Falklands during that war, but now he seems to think that watching a loud protest march in Buenos Aires is the same as being in a combat zone.

NBC suspended Williams without pay for six months and, at this point, it's doubtful that he'll return to work.

Fox News has not only not suspended O'Reilly, they've given him lots of airtime to explain away (or double down) on his dubious claims.

The difference, of course, is that NBC News is a news organization that strives to maintain its credibility. Fox News is a propaganda outlet for the GOP and they don't give a fuck about credibility.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Declaration of Human Rights

Adopted December 10th, 1948 by the United Nations. We've fallen short, especially when you look at Article 5, which prohibits torture. Torture was an institutionalized practice by the United States for several years of the so-called "Great War on Terror".


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Oscar Bitch-Slapped the NSA!

Citizenfour, the documentary about Edward Snowden, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

The NSA is probably hard at work determining who voted to give the Oscar to Citizenfour and, failing that, will watch the members of the Motion Picture Academy as though they were terrorists. I have no doubt that, to the NSA, anybody who dares question what they do is either a terrorist or a fellow-traveler.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Newspapers are Run by Idiots

I didn't get my newspaper yesterday. But this is not about delivery issues.

So yesterday afternoon, I went online to read stories on the paper's website. The paper that I subscribe to gives a free digital subscription to print subscribers. I read a number of stories.

The papers came this morning, both yesterday's and the Sunday paper. To my surprise, every story that I had read yesterday, Saturday afternoon, was from the Sunday print edition.

This is madness. As I explained over four years ago, the real customers of a newspaper are its advertisers. Newspapers make their money by distributing advertising copy to the public. To get people to pick up the newspapers and read them, newspapers have to deliver content to their readership that makes it worth the readers' time to open the papers and be exposed to the ads. By offering the same content on the Internet a day earlier, newspapers decrease the amount of time a subscriber might spend on the print edition.

If the goal is to deliver raw material to subscribers to use as bird-cage liners or absorbent matting for messy jobs, then mission accomplished. But if the goal is to get people to pick up the paper, read the stories, and deliver "eyeballs" to the advertisers, then putting print edition material up online a day early is insanity.

A number of newspapers are falling into the fallacy of the Internet. There are papers out there which are spending 10-20% of their newsroom budgets generating online-only content. But those same papers may be making only 5% of their revenue from their online editions, be it specific ad revenue or readership fees. That's fine, if you don't give a shit about making any money from the print edition, or if you bought the paper just to have a megaphone.

But if your idea is to make a profit, then, as I said before, putting your shit online is insane.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Russian jets that were sold to Iraq.

They look like Su-25s, both the single-seat and trainer variants.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

GOP Presidential Musings

Here is a fun fact:

In the last eighty years, the GOP has not won a single presidential election without either Richard Nixon or a member of the Bush family on the Republican ticket.

All Along the Watchtower:
Jehovah's Witnesses' Turn at It; Pedophile Edition

The Jehovah's Witnesses have (allegedly) been busily sweeping child abuse under the carpet, using the First Amendment as a shield against being held accountable. They have arrogated to themselves the decision as to whether or not somebody who has raped a child is a problem:
“Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a ‘predator.’ The (Watchtower), not the local body of elders, determines whether an individual who has sexually abused children in the past will be considered a ‘predator.’ ”
The Witnesses won't take action against a kiddie-fucker unless there was somebody else who saw the abuse. So if a kid tells his or her parents that Elder Buttmunch molested the kid, nothing will ever happen to Buttmunch so long as Buttmunch ensures that nobody else ever sees him raping kids.

There would seem to be much evil hiding behind the guise of organized religion. Keep that in mind when they come to your door.


Jake noir.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Spy in Your Pocket

The NSA and the GCHQ (British NSA) have hacked into the database of the maker of SIM cards, the little gizmos that tell a mobile phone what number it is and what networks to use.

Which pretty much means that those two nests of vipers can listen into almost every cell phone on the planet, including all of the phones on the networks of the major wireless companies in the US.

Yes, those bastards can definitely hear you now.

Because It's Friday

A steam-powered portable sawmill:

OSHA would have had a cow.


Gracie, from a roll of film that was in a friend's pocket camera that had been forgotten and then recently found.

We had no idea what was on the roll. So we rewound it and had the film developed. Which takes a couple of weeks, now, as all of the one-hour machines have been taken out of the drug stores.

Breakfast Joke

So there was a woman cooking breakfast for herself and her husband. She's wearing the oversized t-shirt that she wore to bed. Her husband came into the kitchen, still in his PJs. He poured himself a cup of coffee.

Suddenly, the wife pulled off her t-shirt and said: "I want you to make love to me right here, right now!"

The husband was delighted and they had sex right on the edge of the counter. When they finished, the wife pulled her t-shirt back on and went to the stove.

The husband said: "That was wonderful, dear, but what brought that on?"

The wife shrugged and replied: "My egg timer's broken."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When They Feel the Heat, They See the Light; Wal-Mart Ed.

Walmart is set to give half a million workers a pay raise in the next six months, the company announced on Thursday. The US’s largest private employer is increasing the pay of about 40% of its employees as it fights to stave off criticism of its low wages. ... Workers will make at least $9 an hour, $1.75 above the federal minimum wage. By February of next year, the company says it will pay its workers at least $10 an hour.
Walmart has been a social parasite, in that they have paid people so poorly that their workers have been on government assistance. In effect, the taxpayers have been subsidizing Walmart's pay scale. Full-time workers will be paid slightly more, but it still will be low enough that we'll continue to subsidize Walmart's labor costs.

Ice Iced, Baby

"Vanilla Ice" was charged with two counts of burglary for taking stuff from a home in foreclosure.

"Just a misunderstanding," he sez.

When the Torturers Come Marching Home Again, Hurrah! Hurrah!

They bring their techniques with them. For one of the more sadistic torturers at Gitmo plied his trade as a Chiago police detective.
While }Chicago detective Richard} Zuley’s brutal interrogation techniques – prolonged shackling, family threats, demands on suspects to implicate themselves and others – would get supercharged at Guantánamo for the war on terrorism, a Guardian investigation has uncovered that Zuley used similar tactics for years, behind closed police-station doors, on Chicago’s poor and non-white citizens. Multiple people in prison in Illinois insist they have been wrongly convicted on the basis of coerced confessions extracted by Zuley and his colleagues.
Apparently Zuley learned his torturing skills in the Chicago P.D., which has a long and storied history of torturing people.

Note that Zully is now assigned to the aviation unit, which the Chicago P.D. likely uses as a rubber gun squad.

Convictions will be overturned. Convicted men and women will be exonerated. The real guilty parties have walked free for decades. The taxpayers of Chicago will be dinged for millions and millions of dollars in restitution. All because the cops are lazy and brutal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Boozy Humor

A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, "Shay Father, what causes arthuritish?"

The priest replies, "My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath."

The drunk muttered in response, "Well, I'll be damned!" and returned to his paper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. "I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"

The drunk answered, "I don't have it, Father. The paper says the Pope does."

I'm Going to Bid on the Hemlock/Antifreeze Concession at Starbucks in Cleveland

Could We See a Walker-Bush Ticket?

Why Cleveland, you ask? This is why.

The point that the GOP hasn't been able to win a presidential election without a Bush on the ticket since 1976, well, that's a topic for another time.

Your Wednesday Wednesday

The Boston Cheaters

Yet another allegation of the New England Patriots trying to cheat.

I can't see a locker room attendant trying this on his (or her) own. It's about time for the NFL to consider sitting Coach Belicheat down for a spell, say until 2065.

Interesting; Gun Maintenance Edition.

AR-15 armorer's class- 3 days.

AK-47 armorer's class- 1 day.

Glock armorer's class (basic & advanced)- 3 days.

1911 armorer's class (basic, intermediate & advanced): Five days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Heard in the LGS

Customer #1: "Wow, it sure seems like Taurus has really cut the prices on their new guns!"

Customer #2: "Makes sense. Since they've got a reputation for making pieces of shit, they're now pricing their guns as though they are pieces of shit."

Not much to add to that!

And a .30-06

A poem.

Monday, February 16, 2015

True, Dat

Shorter StL Cops: "Turn Off the Cameras Before Beating Suspects."

That's the unspoken message given by one cop during an arrest:
Officer Kelli Swinton approaches Burkemper’s patrol car. There is the sound of an opening car door, and she loudly declares: “Hold up. Hold up, y’all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up. We’re red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait.”
"Red" is cop-slang for "a camera is running." In short, the cops were alleged to have turned off all of the cameras and then beat for a few minutes on the arrestee, before they they turned the cameras back on.

Two Days Early

I should have posted this for the 18th, but nah.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

TR- Just Over 100 Years Ago

There are audio recordings that were made of Theodore Roosevelt.

From his declaration of what government was like in 1912, when he ran under the flag of the Bull Moose party, things haven't changed very much.

This is another one.

Viral Stories and Lies

There's a study out there about how the media, especially the online component, is too quick to jump on viral content rather than do a little bit of fact-checking. As the editor to Gawker put it:
“The internet next year is going to be unbelievably stupid and condescending, confusing and deafeningly loud, red-hot with misplaced outrage, unable to calibrate its reactions. ... Already ankle-deep in smarmy bullshit and fake ‘viral’garbage, we are now standing at the edge of a gurgling swamp of it.”
Of all of the places, Facebook is among the worst for this sort of crap. Somebody will post a story about some guy who's supposedly abducting dogs or some kid who's missing; but if you care to research it, you'll find out that the guy is in jail or was innocent and that the kid was found and returned home three years ago.

The thing I've found is that people get really annoyed when you tell them that they are forwarding bullshit. After a few call-outs, people who would forward chain e-mails stop, especially if you use "reply all" to let everyone know that the sender is, by implication, a gullible imbecile who swallows outrageous stories without a hit of critical thought, people will stop including you on the email chain. Which is a win, as far as I'm concerned.

"Bzzt! XCT-45T Reports All Secure! Bzzt!"

Robotic sailors are being developed for the Navy.

At least they won't be found sleeping in fanrooms. But I don't see how the robot's going to send a signal out if things are not good, or if it runs into a problem. Ships are of all-metal construction, which plays hob with radio signals. So would those ships have to install networks of repeaters throughout the spaces that the robots worked?

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

USAF PR film from the 1965 William Tell competition.

Later in the 1960s, the William Tell shoot was covered on ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Jake "helps" me to make up the bed:

Friday, February 13, 2015

No, That Wasn't "Stand Yer Ground" in Montana

It was murder.
Markus Kaarma was sentenced to 70 years in prison Thursday morning for the murder of Diren Dede, a 17-year-old German exchange student who Kaarma shot in his Grant Creek garage last spring.
In case you've forgotten, Kaarma basically set a burglar trap.*

Tam had the right term: It was "hunting over a baited field."

Yes, saying "I was in fear for my life" might work in a self-defense situation. But not if the facts of the investigation prove otherwise.
* Is it wrong to say "Bad Kaarma"?

Because It's Friday

Industrial steam in China:

People forget, sometimes, that there were working American steam locomotives (not heritage or tourist roads) for decades after steam locomotives began to disappear from the main lines.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How Had I Not Ever Heard of Ivan Chesnokov?

He is/was a plain-speaking Russian purist.

That, and more, here.

He would have hated Gecko45. Assuming they are/were real people.


I picked up a brochure the other day for a "tactical handgun" match. There was some stuff about needing an IDPA-permissible holster (whatever the hell that means), but the only description of the gun was a "tactical handgun", 9mm or better.

What the hell is a "tactical handgun"? Is it this thing?

Or this?

Do we need to track down Gecko45 and ask him?

Pros and Amateurs; Gunnie Edition

There is an old military saying that "amateurs discuss tactics, professionals discuss logistics".

Another item that professionals consider is maintainability. A lot of people, myself included, have noted that Glock aggressively prices the guns it sells to departments. Cops can buy Glocks at discounts and it's dead-nuts certain that when Glock sells a few thousand to a large department, the pricing is really sweet.

But there is another reason why Glocks are ruling the LEO roost: Maintainability. As Hilton Yam points out, rebuilding a Glock with all new parts takes all of fifteen minutes for someone who has attended the 1-day Glock armorer's class. And Yam isn't the only one holding that opinion.

When you own one or two of something, maintenance might not be a major concern. Most people get along fine with just cleaning their guns and maybe wiping them down from time to time. But when you're running an organization that has a lot of things, keeping the gear running is a serious concern. Being able to quickly fix things is a plus. For when you're paying people to do the maintenance and repairs, time indeed is money.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pass the Black Crepe; TV Edition

Well, foo!
Jon Stewart, the comedian who turned Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” into a sharp-edged nightly commentary on the news, the people behind it and the media reporting (and sometimes misreporting) it, said on Tuesday that he would step down from the program after more than 16 years as its anchor.
It'll be interesting to see if they put someone in who can do the same sort of work as Jon Stewart (and John Oliver) does. I suspect they'll find someone who can do the job.

Thug Nation

"Rule of law"? Not hardly.

Who's to blame? If the old adage "the fish rots from the head" is true, then blame this guy:

Barack W. Bush

Bush, at least, had some excuse. He was a bit of a goofball who passed through life on the merits of his family connections and a bit of a "aw-shucks-good-ole-boy" persona. Bush was led about by the nose, at least for the first several years, by his vice-president, a ruthless bureaucrat who was well-seasoned in both institutional violence and covering it up. Neither man evinced the slightest shred of concern for either the Constitution or the rule of law. Cheney, in particular, viewed anything that he could get away with as being legal. For a time, he held himself out as a fourth branch of government, accountable to nobody.

Obama had the promise to be different. Both he and his vice-president graduated from law school (though Biden may have only handled four traffic cases before going into politics). Obama taught constitutional law.[1] So he should have had some idea what the rules were.

But what he proclaimed would be the most transparent administration in history has turned out to be anything but. They have gone after whistleblowers and reporters with a ferocity that would have had Richard Nixon saying: "Guys, really?" The Obama Administration has stonewalled, repeatedly, any attempts to reform the domestic spying of the Federal government. When any reform has appeared to be inevitable, they have tried to water it down or neuter it with a zeal that they have formerly only reserved for protecting the banksters and Wall Street.

I don't see things changing. Regardless of who wins the contest for four years of free government mansion-living in 2016, the powers of the presidency will transform them. Nobody gets into politics at that high a level without developing a thirst for power and influence. And nobody who puts on the "precious" of the presidency will willingly surrender any of its powers.
[1] First year constitutional law classes don't get into the 4th-6th amendments, though. The criminal law classes do, but those are generally electives.

Sharia Law in Alabama

On Sunday, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore told the state’s probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, an order defying a ruling last month by a federal judge that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. ... Judge Moore is often known as the “Ten Commandments Judge.” When Moore, a devout Christian who often relies on Biblical scripture in his rulings, began his judicial career as an Alabama circuit court judge in the 1990s, he placed a Ten Commandments tablet he had carved himself behind his courtroom bench and began instituting prayer before jury selection.
Fox News and the rest of the Wingnut Noise Machine scream blue bloody murder over their insane fantasies that Sharia law will be imposed on America. But they have no problem with judges who would follow their personal interpretation of Biblical law, rather than follow secular law.

And when some batshit Christian preacher or state legislator calls for laws to recriminalize being gay or engaging in adultery, only they want to impose the death penalty, the silence on the Right is almost deafening.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Remington is Doomed

No, I'm not talking about their killing off the Para USA brand. I'm talking about them using buzzwords such as this:
In 2014, [Remington] announced its new, world-class firearms center of excellence in Huntsville, Alabama.
That's a lot of MBA-speak buzzwords packed into a single sentence.

But that's what happens when the MBAs and the beancounters take over. The MBAs put out bullshit press releases. The beancounters try to squeeze every nickel out of the process.

There was a time when companies just made good shit. Because they were run by engineers, not MBAs.[1] A true engineer-run company would make a product that was good, then they'd say, "hey, we make some good shit, here!"

But no, not an MBA. An MBA starts babbling about a "world-class center of excellence" before the cement trucks have poured the fucking floor to the factory, years before the first widget has made it to the end of the production line.

It is my humble opinion, Gentle Reader, that this country began its long slog to mediocrity when the first Ivy-league MBA school[2] opened its doors. Because that's when people began to think that management was something that can be learned in a classroom, not on a production floor. That's when people began to think that you didn't have to know anything about how your product was made to run the company.

We'd have been better off if, in 1908, TR had sent some heavy artillery to Cambridge and reduced Harvard's new business school to rubble.[3]
[1] Or accountants.
[2] Notable graduates include Willard M. Romney and George W. Bush.
[3] "Better late than never."

True, Dat; Iraq War Edition, Part Duh

Sunday, February 8, 2015

True, Dat; Iraq Edition

Merci, America

In 1949, France sent 49 boxcars, all laden with gifts of appreciation, to the U.S. to thank the American people for American participation in both World Wars, as well as the aid to France following the end of the Second World War.

It was known as the Merci Train and it was in response to the Friendship Train.

Most of the boxcars survive to this day and are on public exhibit. A few disappeared or were lost in fires. Nebraska and Illinois abandoned and scrapped theirs.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise


VC10s were reported to have good short-field performance (for a 4-engined jet) and wee rather fast. As far as I know, all have been retired, with some still existing in museums.

(Contributed by Peter.)

Saudi Involvement in al-Qaeda, or
"New York Times Reports 'Ocean is Salty'!"

Another article out about it.
In highly unusual testimony inside the federal supermax prison, a former operative for Al Qaeda has described prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s and claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

The Qaeda member, Zacarias Moussaoui, wrote last year to Judge George B. Daniels of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, who is presiding over a lawsuit filed against Saudi Arabia by relatives of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He said he wanted to testify in the case, and after lengthy negotiations with Justice Department officials and the federal Bureau of Prisons, a team of lawyers was permitted to enter the prison and question him for two days last October.

In a statement Monday night, the Saudi Embassy said that the national Sept. 11 commission had rejected allegations that the Saudi government or Saudi officials had funded Al Qaeda.
This, as even a casual observer of things should know by now that the Saudis have been serious funders of insurgent/guerrilla/terrorist groups for many, many years. They've been funding a school of Islamic thought that pretty much wants to throw the world back to the Dark Ages. None of this is even remotely secret.

And neither is high-level support in this country for the Saudi government.

But as for news, sure, why the hell not cover it? Fat chance ever getting anyone in our government to confirm it, though.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Range Report; 6906 Edition

Which I bought a couple of weeks back.

It shoots decently enough.

In checking with the S&W gurus, it seemed that a couple of parts were both parts that sometimes needed to be replaced and which were drifting towards unobtainium status-- particularly a gizzie called a "trigger play spring" and its associated rivet. Got a couple of them.

I also ordered a couple of recoil springs. When I field-stripped the gun to take the old one out, it was significantly shorter. Somebody had clipped several coils from it. That's OK if you're firing low-power target rounds, but I'm not. So, of course, I had to go to the range to ensure that the standard recoil spring functioned. It did, nary a bobble.

About half of those shots were double-action. The DA trigger pull on a 3rd generation SA/DA
Smith is pretty damn long. But it's smooth and it shoots OK.

It'll do.

Who Gives a Shit About Mr. Rip-and-Read?

Seriously. The guy's job is to look pretty on network TV and read from a teleprompter.

So he was telling a few tall tales about his own experiences. How does that pass the "So, What" test?

The guy's a news-reader. It's not as if he was exactly Tim Hetherington or Dickey Chappelle.

But yeah, this'll leave a mark:

Caturday; Furniture Edition

Jake sleeps on his chair.

Many years ago and a few residences back, I replaced my bedroom furniture. I bought this chair so that my bedroom could also be a quiet space. The chair was immediately appropriated by my two cats, George and Gracie. More Gracie, because she was the queen cat. When Jake came along, he liked to sleep in it, too, but often, Gracie would kick him off it. I soon put a throw over the chair, instead of constantly cleaning the cat hair from the chair's fabric.

Now Jake's an only cat and that chair is a preferred sleeping spot. When it's cold, he'll go warm his bones on one of the heated cat beds. But the chair is a year-round favorite.

I've never really used the chair, myself.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Hidden Tax on Parents in Texas

If you live in Texas and you want your children to receive an education from people operating in the rational world, you're probably going to have to send the to kids to a private school.

Because in the public schools, they can't seem to tell the difference between reality and fantasy:
A Kermit parent said his fourth-grade student was suspended [Jan. 30th] for allegedly making a terroristic threat.

His father, Jason Steward, said the family had been to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” last weekend. His son brought a ring to his class at Kermit Elementary School and told another boy his magic ring could make the boy disappear.

Steward said the principal said threats to another child’s safety would not be tolerated – whether magical or not. Principal Roxanne Greer declined to comment on the matter.
Riiight. Only in Texas will a threat to use magic on someone be considered a real threat, at least since the Dark and Middle Ages ended.

And this is how Texas defines terrorism-- threatening to use magic?

Because It's Friday

A stationary steam engine in a Siamese rice mill:

I imagine that they keep these things in use because the boilers are fired with rice husks, which are a by-product of the milling process. So their fuel costs are near zero.

Shorter St. Louis Cops: "Fuck You and Your Alibi."

How's this for a story premise:
So there's a purse-snatching in St. Louis. The cops grabbed up some random black dude, pretty much the first guy they came across, took him back to the scene and asked the victim "Dis da guy?" Witless says so, the cops arrest the guy and charge him.

Turns out the guy has a solid alibi. Tells the cops that. Cops don't give a shit. The witless told the cops that the guy who did the crime was wearing a hoodie and felony shoes. The guy they grabbed up was wearing a leather jacket and work boots. Cops didn't give a shit. As far as they were concerned, the vic ID'd the perp, case closed, and it was off to Pooh's Corner for some cold ones.

So finally, this all comes out. The guy they grabbed up was at a family birthday party, where pictures were taken and, surprise, surprise, surprise, the guy was in some of the pictures. It takes almost three months for this to be cleared up and, in the meantime, the guy the cops snatched up is losing business because people think he's a hoodlum.

So when this all comes out, the boss cop's mouthpiece refuses to say that his cops did anything wrong and says: "The system worked."
Sounds like a real loser of a story, right? Except it's all true.

It would seem that compared to the St. Louis police detectives, Officer Toody was as smart as Sherlock Holmes.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Shorter 9-1-1 Dispatcher: "Suck It Up, Kid".

An Anne Arundel County 911 operator has been reassigned after telling the daughter of a man who'd just been hit by a car on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway Sunday night to "stop whining" as she frantically pleaded for help.

The man later died.
Yep, a 13 year-old girl has just seen her father killed, right in front of her, and the response is "stop whining"? And the best that the county officials can say is "well, we still got to the scene"?

Right. Don't imagine that'll leave a mark on the girl's psyche.

But to change gears a little bit:

Back in the Stanley Steamer age, when I was a teenager, I was driving the family flivver on an interstate highway. I felt the car start to sag to the left and I knew what that meant. So I moved over to the right, quickly, and was on the shoulder when the tire went.

But it was a narrow shoulder and there was no way that I was going to try to change the tire with traffic whizzing by, inches from me. So I drove the car, slowly, and on the tire rim, to the next exit. Dad was some pissed off that I shredded the tire doing that. But I told him, pretty bluntly, that I wasn't going to risk my ass trying to change a tire out on the highway, just to save ruining it.

Not that I could have, anyway. The damn lug nuts were put on with an impact wrench. Even bounding up and down on the lug wrench, I couldn't budge them. A mechanic from a Porsche dealer drove by (I was driving a Ford); he stopped, told me to wait, and came back fifteen minutes later with a cheater bar and loosened them up for me. From the fact that I had the bumper jack set up and the spare out, he figured that I had the rest of it in hand. (Yes, my dad taught me how to change a tire before he let me drive the car.)

But I digress.

Changing a tire next to a busy highway, especially at night, is A Bad Thing To Do. Ruin the tire, ruin the rim, if you must, but get off the road and to a safer place if you're going to change the tire. Or pull off the road and call AAA or your local Pro From Dover to do it for you.

But I Gave At the Office!

You can literally sell your shit.

But only if you live near Medford, MA.

They ought to open satellite offices near Beacon Hill or down in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ads You Won't See on TV; NSFW Edition

We're such prudes, compared to the French!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

GOP's War on Public Health

Fresh from Secaucus Fats's and Baby Paul's waffling on vaccines, come the news that the newly-minted junior senator from North Carolina thinks that the government is overreaching by requiring restaurant workers to wash their hands after using the bathroom.

Just fucking great. And when some kid who has leukemia or cystic fibrosis or some other condition that precludes them from being vaccinated contracts measles (or something else that we all thought was wiped out) because their yuppified, tinfoil-hat-wearing, mouth-breathing, scientifically-illiterate parents refused to have their own kids vaccinated, I propose that those parents get a free ticket to kick Chris Christie and Rand Paul in the balls on a monthly basis.

May the Almighty forbid that we have to deal with polio again. If we do, the ignorant anti-vaxxers will really be able to add broken bodies of children to their butcher's bills.

Besides the sad point of children getting sick because their parents are just fucking stupid, the very idea that a First World nation is subjecting itself to the scourge of preventable diseases because of large numbers of know-nothing parents and politicians is making this nation a laughingstock around the world.

As well we should be. For when it comes to vaccinations, large numbers of people in this country are as ignorant as the Taliban.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Who is Buying Our Politicians; State Edition

The big donors to state (not Federal) elections in `14.

Besides being the #1 individual donor, Bruce Rauner* dropped $27.6 million of his own money to become governor of Illinois. Which is a pittance compared to the money that Mikey the Nudgenick Bloomberg spent on his mayoral campaigns**, but to be fair, Bloomberg has a shitload more money than Rauner.

Other than ego, one wonders why these guys feel such a need to buy themselves a political job. Is it so that they can bypass the middleman when it comes to grinding their heels into our faces?
* Funny thing about Rauner: He ran on a platform of controlling state spending. But the very first thing he did was jack up the salaries for his lackeys.

** Including the one where he got rid of term limits so he could run for a third time. The rules don't apply to the richest folk in the way that they do to the rest of us.

Two Centuries of Screwing the Pooch

Almost everyone has heard the M-16 denigrated as a "poodle shooter", the "Mattel-o-Matic" or the "Jam-o-Matic". The legend, of curse, is that the changes the Army Ordnance people made to Stoner's design was the main cause of the teething problems of the M-16.

But what a lot of people have forgotten is that the M-16 replaced a rifle which was even worse: the M-14. You can read a short post here on it, or a long post here. Both will explain why the Army and, eventually, the Marines, dumped the sniper-version of the M-14 for a bolt gun.

A book has been written about the centuries'-long record or incompetence of Army Ordnance. I don't remember if the writer got into the firing port rifle. The book didn't discuss machine guns, so there was nothing about the M85 or the other inanities which all seem to derive from an imbedded "not invented here" mindset.


Good, We Can Now Dispense With Those Messy Trials

Because according to this clown, an affidavit to support a request for an arrest warrant (which said clown thinks is an arrest warrant) is all that one needs to prove that somebody broke the law.

Did David Gregory break the law? Probably, and so did the staffers at Meet the Press. The reason, of course, why Gregory and his staffies weren't arrested was because it would have made the D.C. legal system look both stupid and petty. Like any government bureaucracy, avoiding doing things that is going to get your bosses, especially the HMFICs, in trouble is Job 1. Both the prosecutor and the mayor would rather deal with having gun rights people angry at them (which was already true), than having hordes of reporters from the national press companies calling them to ask why they're harassing a reporter.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

F-14, full AB takeoff.

It was very impressive at night, even watching from 3SNX station.