Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

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

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Song to Inspire Every Woman in Trump's Life


Don, Junior and Whatzizname. All of them.

What to Wear if Trump Visits Your Town

A "Stronger Than Hate" t-shirt.

This is the graphic on the front:


This is what is on the back:


Personally, I'd get it slightly oversized in order to properly conceal your heater du jour, but that's just me.

Apropos of Nothing

From the movie "Postcards From the Edge".


I saw the movie in the theaters during its first release with a date. It probably says something about me that, nearly thirty years later, this is the only scene that I remembered.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

No Surprise That Wal-Mart Is a Heartless Bunch of Greedy Fucks

As Walmart moves to phase out its familiar blue-vested “greeters” at some 1,000 stores nationwide, disabled workers who fill many of those jobs say they’re being ill-treated by a chain that styles itself as community-minded and inclusive.

Walmart told greeters around the country last week that their positions would be eliminated on April 26 in favor of an expanded, more physically demanding “customer host” role. To qualify, they will need to be able to lift 25-pound (11-kilogram) packages, climb ladders and stand for long periods.
Ayup. "We know none of you guys can do any heavy lifting, so even though some of you guys have been working for us for twenty years, we're going to redefine your jobs and push you all out."

I wish I was surprised by the level of naked greed evinced by Walmart. But they are what they are-- the scum of the universe.

Update: Read the first comment. It is exactly on point.

Update II: Walmart says they'll try to find them other jobs. Right, as if anyone would trust the word of a Walmart executive.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Hypersensitive Whining of the World's Oldest Toddler

Somebody on Fox News had to have told Trump that Spike Lee made a "racist speech" about Trump at the Oscars, for this is what Cadet Bone Spurs tweeted about it:


This is what Spike Lee said:
All right. I wanna thank Tonya [Lewis Lee, his wife].

The word today is “irony.” The date, the 24th. The month, February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History month. The year, 2019. The year, 1619. History. Her story. 1619. 2019. 400 years.

Four hundred years. Our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and bought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, [inaudible], who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandmother who saved 50 years of social security checks to put her first grandchild — she called me Spikie-poo — she put me through Morehouse College and N.Y.U. grad film. N.Y.U.!

Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there.



No rational human adult would see that speech in the way that Trump does. But then again, Trump had to be prodded hard to condemn the Nazis of Charlottesville. The modern American Nazis are part of Trump's base. When he has to speak out against them, he does it as tepidly as possible.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Trump Apparently Thinks Americans Don't Celebrate the Fourth of July

President Donald Trump says he’ll host a July Fourth celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. And though the event he’s calling “A Salute to America” is months away, he’s boasting it’ll be one of the city’s biggest Independence Day gatherings--ever.
Right. Holding a Fourth of July celebration on July 4th-- that's some real outside-the-box thinking, there.

Every Fourth, there is a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and one of the Army bands on the west lawn of the Capitol. It's televised, live, by PBS.

It's been going on for thirty years. I gather that nobody has bothered to inform Cadet Bone Spurs of this.

He really needs somebody on his staff who isn't a sycophantic twit.

Funny Aeronautical Intersection Names

These are just to the east of Camp David:

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Instruction

How to fly a B-25:

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Caturday

More than one shelter cat.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Going to Try to Catch This One

The Highwaymen.

Frank Hamer sounds like he was an interesting lawman. Those old-time lawmen could shoot. Decades ago, I read the biography of Bill Tilghman that had been written by his second wife. My recollection is that when he was a kid, he about wore out a black-powder Colt revolver in learning how to shoot.

Because It's Friday

Big Boy 4014 update:


The original goal was to have her ready for the Golden Spike Sesquicentennial. Nobody seems to be talking about that, so I'm taking that to be highly unlikely.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Not Just the RCC.

The Southern Baptists have a record going back decades of protecting its child predators. Victims have been shunned, shamed and pressured to forgive their attackers. Their abusers have been able to move from one position to another.

The Southern Baptist Convention has refused to keep track of the SB pastors, officials and volunteers who have been charged and/or convicted of abusing children. The press has tried to do that.

Now we see why they love Trump so much-- he is one of their own with regard to being a sexual predator. Although Trump, as far as we know, has largely been careful to not prey on children.

But really, what should one expect from a religious denomination whose very foundation was the preservation of slavery?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Feds Arrest a Nazi Coastie

A Coast Guard lieutenant who was arrested last week is a “domestic terrorist” who drafted an email discussing biological attacks and had what appeared to be a hit list that included prominent Democrats and media figures, prosecutors said in court papers.

[Asswipe] is due to appear Thursday in federal court in Maryland after his arrest on gun and drug offenses, but prosecutors say those charges are the “proverbial tip of the iceberg.”
[Asswipe] was arrested by the FBI and the CGIS. If you read through the second article, you may notice that [Asswipe] was using his work computer for some of his Nazi-themed research into murderous activities. So you can probably make a reasonable assumption as to how the Federal cops got onto him.

What is getting interesting is that the authorities seem to be not at all shy about labeling this particular alt-rightist as a terrorist. Maybe it's a sign that they're starting to take this American Nazi shit a little more seriously.

She'll Get a Long Time to Meditate and Reflect

An Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State group after becoming radicalized online realized she was wrong and now wants to return to the United States, a lawyer for her family said Tuesday.

Hoda Muthana, 24, regrets ever aligning herself with the terrorist organization and is putting herself at risk by speaking out against it from a refugee camp where she has lived since fleeing the group a few weeks ago, said attorney Hassan Shibly.
...
After fleeing her home in suburban Birmingham in late 2014 and resurfacing in Syria, Muthana used social media to advocate violence against the United States.
Providing material support to a terrorist organization, and there is little doubt that propagandizing for them qualifies, is good for a couple of decades in a Federal prison.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Achtung, BoneSpurFuhrer Donnie

Not being loyal to you is not treason, despite what you may think. You are not the fucking king,

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Donnie the Wannabee Despot Is Unclear On the Concept of Freedom of Expression

Trump is crying because he hates, hates, being mocked.



Being in political life pretty much requires one to have a thick skin. Trump's skin is as thin as an onion's. That he wants to exercise some form of retribution for being mocked is frightening. For there is, no doubt, some low-wattage Trumpanzee who might do something stupid because he thinks Trump has ordered it.

And Yet No GOPers Are Screaming "Boondoggle"!

Ivanka Trump was an attendee at the Munich Security Conference. Because of her noted experience in such matters?

If a Democratic president had sent his/her daughter to such an event, the Right Wing Noise Machine would be up in arms to decry the trip as a boondoggle. But Trump does it and all you hear from the RWNM is the sound of crickets.

How Tariffs Work, or Proof That Trump is a Moron

This is an example:

I am in Country J, you are in country M. I make widgets, which I sell for a buck apiece, FOB the port of export. You want to buy a million widgets. Your company assesses a 25% tariff on widgets from Country J.

You buy a million widgets and pay me $1,000,000. I send a container of widgets to the port, where they are loaded onto a ship and sent to your port of import. At Customs, the tariff is assessed. So you have to pay $250,000 to Customs for them to release the widgets.

The gizmo that you make uses ten widgets apiece. Since the materials cost of ten widgets has gone up $2.50, you pass that cost to the wholesalers, who pass it along to the retailers, who then raise the price of the gizmo.

Who pays Customs the quarter-mil? Not me. Your import agent does, which means you do. Ultimately, the consumers in Country M, your end-use customers, pay it.

That's how tariffs work. So, with that basic lesson in mind, let's take a look at one of Trump's tweets:


Trump has no idea of how tariffs work, despite the dead-nuts certainty that members of his economic team have tried to explain it to him. He's got tariffs stuck in his mind and no explanation of the facts will dent his dementia-addled brain.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Death Valley may be the American Mach Loop.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Sen, Capito (R-WV) is Dumber Than the Average Rock

This what she said about El Caudillo de Mara Lago's declaration of a national emergency:
“He’s got to ask himself, ‘What are the ramifications of what I’m doing?’” she said.
Trump has never given a shit about the ramifications of whatever he's done at any time in his life. Cleaning up after Trump is the job of his lawyers or the stupid schmucks who are dumb enough to have either loaned him money or invested in his projects. For sure, Trump does not give a fuck about the Constitution. He's probably never read it, he has a different set of reading material.

Capito has to be delusional if she thinks that Trump gives a shit as to whether or not he makes it easier for a future president to ram his or her pet projects into fruition over the objections of Congress, let alone the American people.

Color Me Skeptical; High Seas Ed.

A company called Neoline in France plans to make a commercial cargo sailing ship.

Apparently, the company feels that the day will come when having a zero-net emission ship will be advantageous. I suspect that, to the shippers, it won't matter one bit. All they want is their cargo delivered, safely, on time, and at a competitive price.

(H/T)

Caturday

Two A shelter cats:

Friday, February 15, 2019

Traitor Trump's Power Grab, or, Now We See How Republicans Hate Freedom

Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress. – DJT tweet 11/20/2014

Make no mistake about it,: Trump's declaration of a national emergency is nothing of the sort. It is a power grab. It is a blatant attempt to nullify the right of the Congress to appropriate money for specific purposes. Trump lost a political battle and he is now going to wreck the entire idea of checks and balances, the bedrock of our freedoms, in order to get his fucking wall.

There would be nothing to stop a future president from saying "I'll take money from the Energy Department in order to establish a national handgun registry" and send out the AFT to scan every ATF Form 4473 into a database. Or shift money from the F-35 to battle climate change. Or fund Medicaid expansion, mass-transit systems, whatever a future president wants to do. All he or she would have to do is utter the magic phrase "I am declaring a national emergency" and presto! the Constitution evaporates.

If this stands, the budget bill, in the future, might as well be as short as "here's X.X x 10^12 dollars".

If you support Trump on this, you are neither a conservative nor a Republican. You are an authoritarian, someone who would have supported King George III during the Revolution. (Or you are a despicable politician who care for nothing but his own neck, like Mitch McConnell.)

In other words: A traitor. Just like King Donald the Nutter.

Because It's Friday

UP 844 puts together a freight consist and hauls it out of Denver:


With no "helper" diesel.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A-380 Program Has Crashed

Airbus has cut the A-380. I doubt if anyone is surprised. The A-30 has pretty much devolved into an airliner that is mainly operated by one airline: Emirates.

47 orders have been canceled this year. Orders started drying up after 2013.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Beige Betty

You'll need to have seen this commercial:


For this to seem funny:


Then, there is this:


Whenever There is Evil, You Can Find a Hedge Fund at the Core of It

You know by now, of course, that The National Enquirer, which tried to extort/blackmail the richest guy in the Solar System, is owned by American Media Inc., who is under the gun for illegal campaign contributions to Trump.

What you don't likely know is that AMI is owned by Chatham Asset Management, which holds 80% of AMI's stock. AMI is also in some financial trouble, through the usual horseshit scheme of a venture capitalist firm both owning the stock and owning the corporate debt.

"Venture capitalist" is a modern term that really means "plunderer of businesses". Forty or so years ago, they funded start-ups and new ideas. Now, it seems, they specialize in taking over going concerns and running them into the ground by taking out lots of cash through "creative financing", selling off the assets and laying off tens of thousands of people.

A strong argument can be made that the business schools, AKA B-schools, exist to degrade the American economy. A president who was a graduate of Harvard's B-school took the government from being on track to greatly reduce Federal debt and, instead, ran up the deficits and left office with the economy on the verge of a depression. The current president, also a B-school grad, has worked hard to give money to the rich and run up the deficit even further.

I propose what I suggested over a decade ago:
Here is my idea: Let's send in demolition teams and blow up all of the business schools. Even better, let the Air Force practice their surgical bombing skills on them (what could go wrong), they can do it lots quicker. Those "B-school" geniuses just fuck things up; we have had a Harvard Business School graduate in the White House for the last eight years (minus 103 days) and hasn't that worked really well? Mister "HBS class ring" has fucked up everything he has touched.

Because I'm feeling kindly, we'll let the B-schools send their faculty home before bombing them into rubble. Though I'm kind of on the fence about that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Probably "No Deal".

Congressional negotiators reached agreement to prevent a government shutdown and finance construction of new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, overcoming a late-stage hang-up over immigration enforcement issues that had threatened to scuttle the talks.

Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown. They tentatively agreed Monday night to far less money for President Donald Trump’s border wall than the White House’s $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion, according to congressional aides. The funding measure is through the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

It’s not clear whether Trump will support the deal, although GOP negotiators said they were hopeful.
The deal isn't significantly different from what was agreed to between Democrats and Republicans two months ago. But then, the unelected bloviators on Fox ranted against the deal and Donald the Insecure listened to them. A good part of the government was shut down for five weeks and Trump got nothing.

Trump seems to be incapable of learning anything. I would not be surprised if in the next couple of days, the tiny-brained talking heads on Fox say bad things about the deal, insult Trump's manhood and then there will be another pointless shutdown.

From here

So Trump will declare a national emergency, which will be immediately challenged in the courts. Chances are good that an injunction will issue, because it's obvious AF that the "emergency" is that Trump couldn't prevail politically. Sober Republicans (the few remaining) will be dismayed, for Trump will have opened the door for a Democratic president using a declaration of a national emergency to bypass Congress to accomplish his or her agenda.

And it will provide some more reasons for senatorial Republicans to vote to convict Agent Orange in the impeachment trial.

Monday, February 11, 2019

See What They See

I've had some friends who were color blind. One thing I wondered was "how's that work?"

Now, you can find out, as there is an app, Color Blind Pal, for Androids and iPhones. You can simulate any form of color blindness.

For the color blind, the app will say what color you point the the phone at. You can also use it to intensify/alter the colors of what's on the screen, so you can see what those who are not colorblind can see. It can really help.

The neat thing, for me, is that dogs and cats don't have cones to see red. In humans, that would be protanomaly, but for our critters, it's not an anomaly. So you can see what they see.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Gotta Love the NY Tabloids (Sometimes)


David Pecker is the chairman and CEO of the company that owns The National Enquirer, which may now be in rather hot water.

What Trump Probably Looks Like

Once the artifice is stripped away:

Caturday

An outdoor cat sits in her guard tower.


Her name is Priss, which is short for Miss Priss.

Friday, February 8, 2019

What We Should Really Do to Try to Fix the Navy

First thing would be to take the people who caused the situation of undermanning, overextension, undertraining and slashing repairs and do one simple thing: Shoot all of them.

Donald Rumsfeld, Vern Clark, Ash Carter, Ray Mabus, Jonathan Greenert, and most of the congressional Tea Party, for starters.

Read this and you'll understand why. The blood of the dead sailors from the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain are on their hands.

This is a photo that was sent out by a Navy PAO:


That, according to Cdr. Sal, is the USS Wasp. There was a day when no sane First Lieutenant, let along ships' captain, would have tolerated so much running rust.

Contrast, if you will, this photo:


That photo was of a Cold War USN warship's boat's davit which had a bad limit switch. The davit's winches raised the davit's arms past the shut-off point and bent the arms. Shit happens. But the one thing you don't see in that photo is running rust.

I heard a lot of stories about how bad it was post-Vietnam, when ships had to be creative in order to obtain parts and supplies. From what I can see, things are far worse, now.

Nobody in the Navy these days has the balls to look their bosses in the eye and say: "With all due respect, unable to comply."

I knew of one ship's captain, one time, who refused to sail because his ship did not have enough boiler technicians to man the plant, let alone enough who were watch-qualified. He was the hero of the waterfront. But I'll bet that he tubed his career and he knew it at the time. Yet he likely chose to do it that way, then end up on the bad side of the green table following a major accident or fire. That took courage, integrity, balls, whatever you want to call it.

Qualities that were scarce then, and scarcer now.

Pass the Popcorn; Tabloid Ed.

The National Enquirer’s alleged attempt to blackmail Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with intimate photos could get the tabloid’s parent company and top editors in deep legal trouble and reopen them to prosecution for paying hush money to a Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump.

Federal prosecutors are looking at whether the Enquirer’s feud with Bezos violated a cooperation and non-prosecution agreement that recently spared the gossip sheet from charges in the hush-money case, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Friday.

The clash between the world’s richest man and America’s most aggressive supermarket tabloid spilled into public view late Thursday when Bezos accused it of threatening to print photos of him and the woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

He said the Enquirer made two demands: Stop investigating how the publication recently obtained private messages that Bezos and his girlfriend had exchanged. And publicly declare that the Enquirer’s coverage of Bezos was not politically motivated.
According to the National Enquirer, what a rational person would call blackmail is, to them, "good faith negotiations".

I find it hard to conceive of how threatening to publish salacious photos of someone if they don't agree to do something is anything other than blackmail. But, no doubt, the Enquirer's lawyers will argue that.

UPDATED TO ADD:


Don't Hold Yer Breath

White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is hosting a group of bipartisan lawmakers at Camp David this weekend.

I think it's a fool's errand. As the recent past has shown, there is nobody in the Administration who has the power to negotiate things other than Trump. Mulvaney can reach a deal on anything and Trump can blow up hundreds of hours of negotiations with a single tweet. Or maybe a deal will be announced, but then Trump will watch the unelectable bloviators on Fox and blow things up because they said disapproving things.

But this is what happens when the president is an insecure, mercurial and narcissistic sociopath.

Because It's Friday

Pere Marquette 1225:

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Pass the Popcorn; Virginia Ed.

This is getting good:
Virginia Republicans claimed the moral high ground this week as a blackface scandal left the state's Democratic leadership on the brink of implosion.

But now a racist yearbook has come back to haunt a top Republican.

It has emerged that Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment edited a 1968 college publication chock-full of slurs and blackface photos.
Stay tuned!

This Problem Can Be Fixed With a Bullet

A 27-year-old Indian man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him without his consent.

Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel told the BBC that it's wrong to bring children into the world because they then have to put up with lifelong suffering.

Mr Samuel, of course, understands that our consent can't be sought before we are born, but insists that "it was not our decision to be born".

So as we didn't ask to be born, we should be paid for the rest of our lives to live, he argues.
It would seem reasonable that if somebody is complaining that he should not have been born, the equitable solution would be to off one's self. . If one is not willing to do that, then one has, in essence, ratified and accepted being born.

If this clown wants damages for the rest of his life, then the court should require that he mitigate his damages and give him a goodly length of rope and directions to the nearest stout tree.

This case should be filed under Assholes, Greedy; people can be such

Fine Cop Whines

Google’s navigation app Waze is known for providing real-time, user-submitted reports that advise drivers about potential thorns in their roadsides.

But one feature has Waze in conflict with law enforcement officials across the country: how the app marks the location of police officers on the roads ahead or stationed at drunken-driving checkpoints.

Over the weekend, the New York Police Department, the largest force in the nation, joined the fray, sending a letter to Google demanding that the tech giant pull that feature from Waze.
Google should tell the NYPD to fuck off. DUI checkpoints are required to be publicized, which the cops try to evade by publishing the notice in the smallest possible newspaper. Since the time and location of the checkpoint is, by law, public information, there is no legitimate reason to carp about public information being publicized.

Beyond that, speed traps are often more about raising revenue than road safety. The towns that say that it's all about road safety, funnily enough, stop running their speed traps once the state government limits how much revenue towns can get from the fines. In some cases, they go out of business.

Using the cops to raise revenue is inherently evil. It promotes disrespect for the law. It would be better if the fines are donated to UNICEF.

Brexit: This Wasn't Hard to Foresee

After two apparently unproductive days in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Theresa May was headed to Brussels for further talks on Thursday, hoping to put her Brexit plans back on course. Any hopes that she would receive a warm welcome, however, were dashed before she could board the plane.
...
Mrs. May is scheduled to meet senior figures, including [EU Concil President] Tusk, to seek a way to help rescue a blueprint for Brexit that was rejected overwhelmingly by a disgruntled British Parliament last month. If she is to have any hope of getting her deal passed, she will need the bloc’s leaders to give her some concessions over a backstop plan to prevent physical checks on the Irish border.
I thought, two years ago, that the EU would not be interested at all in playing nice with the UK in the Brexit negotiations.

It seems to me that the Brits are playing chicken with the EU over Brexit. The Brexiteers in the UK think that the EU will blink at the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, also known as a crash-out and the EU will agree to reopen negotiations to come to a deal that the Brexiteers in Parliament will support. Also, as I understand things, any revised deal will require the unanimous approval of the EU member states. Spain, in particular, is not inclined to play nice. May's going back to the EU to negotiate a better deal with fifty days left on a two-year clock.

I think that's like getting into a Smart EQ and playing chicken with a Chevy Silverado pickup truck. The EU has no interest in giving nice deals to any country that wants out. There will be pain in the EU over a UK crash-out, but the EU apparently is willing to take the hit pour décourager les autres.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

An Interesting Point About the Virginia Governor

The field negro points out a bit of truth:
Some of the biggest champions for black people in America's past have been white politicians who were racists.
Virginia is getting interesting.
The political crisis in Virginia spun out of control Wednesday when the state’s attorney general confessed to putting on blackface in the 1980s and a woman went public with detailed allegations of sexual assault against the lieutenant governor.

With Gov. Ralph Northam’s career already hanging by a thread over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook, the day’s developments threatened to take down all three of Virginia’s top elected officials, all of them Democrats.
So, different scandals have the possibility of making continuing in office untenable for the top three elected politicians in Virginia... care to guess who is #4 (or third in line of succession)? House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican.

I smell some high-grade ratfucking going on. Very high grade.

Or, to put it another way: How convenient.

Bet His Bone Spurs Won't Stop This Trip to Vietnam

President Donald Trump will hold a two-day summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam to continue his efforts to persuade Kim to give up his nuclear weapons.
It's pretty clear to anyone outside of the process that Kim is playing Trump like a cheap cello. Kim talked Trump into canceling two exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, for which Trump got absolutely nothing.

Trump's goal is patently clear: He wants a Nobel Peace Prize in order to put a gloss on his train-wreck of a presidency.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Presidente Bone Spurs to Sing Kumbaya? (with an update)

The White House says President Donald Trump will call for optimism and unity in his State of the Union address, using the moment to attempt a reset after two years of bitter partisanship and deeply personal attacks.
Fat chance that'll happen. "Unity", in Trump's view, is when everyone agrees to do it his way. He is not disposed to listen to the opinions of others, much less adapt his approach to incorporate the views of others. His sole tactic for motivating his base to support him is to play the fear card. In short, if Trump stops appealing to racism and xenophobia, he's got nothing. Even if he reads a speech from the teleprompter in which he tries to make nice, a couple editions of "chopper talk" or his tweets will blow that out of the water.

Don't expect Trump to talk about how he's not willing against ISIS.

As far as I can see, unless you're (a) a Trumpanzee, (b) a masochist, or (c) getting paid, there is no reason to watch.

UPDATED to add: Because, as it seems, nobody really cares what Trump wants.

Apropos of nothing:

The Wheels Keep Grinding On

Escalating one of the investigations into President Trump’s inaugural committee, federal prosecutors ordered on Monday that its officials turn over documents about donors, finances and activities, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.

The subpoena seeks documents related to all of the committee’s donors and guests; any benefits handed out, including tickets and photo opportunities with the president; federal disclosure filings; vendors; contracts; and more, one of the people said.
Some of the things that are being inquired into are money laundering, illegal contributions, making false statements, and so on.

Anyone who is shocked by any of this hasn't been paying attention. Corruption is a stench that has long enveloped the Trump family.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Saturday, February 2, 2019

No Wonder Trump Can Watch TV for Eight Hours a Day

He's not doing any real work.
As of Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump has had nothing on his schedule this week except his daily intelligence briefing and a lunch with Vice President Mike Pence. The open calendar comes after Trump on Friday agreed to temporarily reopen government without getting his demand for border wall funds, which he has insisted is not a concession but time for more negotiations with Democrats.
I'm not including the time Trump spends sending out his tweets, since he probably does that watching the Trump Propaganda Network.

Trump could probably spend the day in a bathrobe and nobody'd be the wiser.

Bad Times for Ralph

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appears to have almost no choice but to resign after losing support from virtually the entire state Democratic party and other key allies, who urged the governor to leave office because of a racist photo in which he appeared more than 30 years ago.
When Ralphie was at VMI, his nickname was "Coonman". Which sounds either racist, or, in the alternative, an accusation of bestiality. "Pencil Dick, the Raccoon Fucker"?

How he survives this is anyone's guess. He's probably going to be a "former governor" before the weekend is out.

Caturday

Tuxies

Friday, February 1, 2019

Brick-and-Mortar Stupidity, Part Duh

My laptop (the one I was using up until yesterday) is ten years old. It's showing signs of age and, frankly, I wanted something that was a little faster.

So I went into a blue store of electronical stuff that, for the sake of this piece, I'll call "Great Purchase". For under $600, I found two that might work. Both were HPs. One had a 14" screen and a 1Tb HDD. The other had a 128 Gb SSD and a 15.4" screen. Both had 8Gb of RAM

I called the duty sales dude and said: "I want one of these (pointing to the 15.4"), but I want it with a 1Tb HDD like this one (pointing to the 14"). Do you have anything like that?"

Sales guy: "No, we don't have one."

Me: "Does Great Purchase carry one like I want?"

Sales guy: "No. But you can get one from HP, probably."

Smooth fucking move, people. Tell a customer with a handful of Benjamins to, essentially, frell off and go elsewhere.

So I went online. You will not be surprised, Gentle Reader, that Great Purchase, indeed, had the very machine that I wanted. If the sales idiot had done his job, he could have gotten it in and sold it to me, with a protection plan and who knows what else. I bet he could have sweet-talked me into having them transfer all of the data files.

But you know who else had the same machine and for less? HP. And HP allowed me to customize it however I desired. So I ordered one with with both drives-- the SSD which I am using for programs and the HDD which is holding the data (and I upped the RAM to 12 Gb). And the protection plan was cheaper.

I should not be surprised. I had the exact same fucking experience with them ten years ago. This is the first time since then that I've tried to buy something expensive from them since then and, other than having different idiots walking the floor, nothing's changed.

But yeah, this thing is fast. It's nice, once I yanked off a bunch of "trial use" crap. I'm not done there.

UPDATE: How to remove a lot of the embedded crap on a Win 10 box.

UPDATE 4/11/19: I had to use the old laptop because reasons. Gawd, is it fucking slow!

Warning to Locals Who Assist U.S. Forces in Foreign War Zones

The chances are that you will be ignored and abandoned once things wind down. Which will possibly result in you and your family becoming refugees in some shithole DP camp, at best. Worst is that you and yours will be killed.

Which is what is likely to happen in Afghanistan.

Those who have risked their lives to help our soldiers should be treated with as much consideration as the soldiers themselves. That a lot of them are probably going to be abandoned to the likelihood of being killed for what they did should be a national shame.

But shame as a country is something we seem to have exhausted.

Why Sarah HuckaSands Can Lie so Effortlessly

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she believes God wanted President Donald Trump to win the 2016 election, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported on Wednesday.

"I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that's why he's there," Sanders told CBN's David Brody and Jennifer Wishon, according to a transcript of the interview provided by CBN.
People who believe that they have a mandate from the Almighty are among the most dangerous people that there are. People who truly believe that, as I wrote about four days into blogging, aren't constrained by law, ethics, the Constitution, or anything else. They have a hall pass from Their Dear and Fluffy Lord, which gets them off the hook for doing what He has told them to do. So Sanders can lie and proclaim that up is down, right is wrong, day is night and she will sleep like a babe because she is doing G-d's work. Only maybe not the god she thinks.

In her mind, at any rate.

I doubt if Trump has bought into that; he's a grifter with zero morals. But if the Light in the Loafers crowd wants to believe that The Donald is the Anointed One, he'll be happy to play them for the saps that they are.

Travis McGee Had the Right of It

It's been over thirty years since John D. MacDonald died. He wrote a series of mysteries between 1964 and 1984 featuring Travis McGee, a "salvage consultant". There were 21 books in all.

McGee's schtick was that he retrieved unrecoverable property for a 50% fee. He explained to potential clients that they had nothing and that 50% was better than 0%.

Anyway, when McGee was flush with cash from a job, he would take a little bit of retirement.

As I creep into my elder years, I have come to appreciate the wisdom of McGee's approach to life. I've met too many people who have reached their retirement with conditions that precluded them from doing what they would have wanted to: Arthritis, macular degeneration, diabetes, cardiac issues, memory impairments, so on and so forth. They put their dreams on hold and now those dreams have become unattainable.

Everyone had good reasons: Marriage, children, career. Maybe it wasn't possible to take off for long stretches of time. In those cases, things are what they are. Needs must, and all that. But, if you can, take some time and do some of the things that you dream of doing when you are of an age and physical condition to do them.

This is not personal to me. I took some time at different points in my life to do things.

Because It's Friday

UP's Big Boy update:


You could probably count the number of places on the planet that could do this work on one hand, with fingers left over.