Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Shame of Wytheville, VA

93 years ago, the "good citizens" of Wytheville, Virginia, lynched a black man. The white folk there have been living with the shame of it, while the black folk feel the fear of the past and the present.

Some people still had mementos from the murder.

Things like this will never be in the past until people confront the past.

News for Morons


No shocker that "Fox and Friends" is Cheetolini's favorite news show.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

As of the day I'm writing this, you can only see 737 MAXs flying on YouTube.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Don't Worry About Closing the Border, Deadbeat Donnie Doesn't Have the Balls to Carry Out His Threat

Threatening drastic action against Mexico, President Donald Trump declared he is likely to shut down America’s southern border next week unless Mexican authorities immediately halt all illegal immigration. Such a severe move could hit the economies of both countries, but the president emphasized, “I am not kidding around.”

“It could mean all trade” with Mexico, Trump said when questioned Friday by reporters in Florida. “We will close it for a long time.”
I'm not worried about it. Trump is blowing hot air in the hope of scaring the Mexicans to do what he wants. That is Trump's forte. He's not going to carry it out.

But if he does, it'll likely cause economic turmoil. That'll effect a lot of industry, which will then result in layoffs, which will hit states hard that voted for him.

That would be bad. But this is the president we have; an impulsive man-toddler who will do anything to ensure that his name is the number one story in the news cycle. he doesn't give a shit about anything else.

There is no point worry about it. Trump will do it or not do it, depending on what the low-wattage talking heads on Fox say to him. They are the only people he cares about.

Caturday

Chip is slow to awaken.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Cadet Bone Spurs Has No Shame


It takes a lot of damned gall for a draft dodger to celebrate the "brave veterans" of a conflict that he did his utmost to avoid having to serve in. But then again, Trump inherited his draft-dodging tendencies. For generations, the Trump family has regarded military service as something that chumps and losers do.

What Does the World Do With the Human Detritus of ISIS?

The announcement a week ago that the Islamic State had lost its final patch of territory in Syria was a milestone in the battle against the world’s most fearsome terrorist network. But it also raised urgent questions about what to do with the tens of thousands of people who had flocked to join the jihadists from around the world and now have nowhere else to go
It's an interesting question. It's a pretty safe bet that the countries where they came from, especially those in Europe, eastern Asia and North America, don't want them back. The same is probably true for the governments of most Arab nations.

Killing them all is not an option. That's what ISIS would have done.

So I guess they'll stay in fenced camps as stateless people until maybe into the next century.

Because It's Friday

UP's steam update for March:


May 4th is when they expect to steam this puppy.

We'll see.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Apollo 11

The documentary does not suck. There is a shitload of footage that I had never seen, including the liftoff. Lots of shots of flight control.

It's hard to fathom, sometimes, that barely fifty years after the end of World War I, in which all of the airplanes were pretty much all fixed-gear fabric-covered, open-cockpit craft, men were on the Moon.

Highly recommended. It must be stunning in IMAX.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pence is Smoking Crack, Again

The United States plans to land astronauts on the moon within the next five years, Vice President Mike Pence announced today (March 26).

The nation had been shooting for a 2028 lunar touchdown, but "that's just not good enough," Pence said during the fifth meeting of the National Space Council (NSC), which he chairs. "We're better than that."
"Within five years" is so that the landing would occur within the second term of Commander Bone Spurs or Suck-Up Mike.

Only now is NASA asking for lunar lander designs. Five years to design, build and test a lander design and then fly it with people is a very tight schedule. The last time NASA got into a godawful hurry to do stuff, they killed people.

How they are going to do this without cutting corners and while Cheetolini is handing out tax cuts to the uberrich is beyond me.

What the Fuck is Wrong With That Boy; Trump Ed.

The Trump administration has told a federal appeals court it wants the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, an outcome that could leave millions uninsured and re-ignite a winning political issue for Democrats.

The administration, in a terse filing Monday with the court in New Orleans, said it agrees that former President Barack Obama’s health care law should be declared unconstitutional after Congress repealed one part of it — unpopular fines on people who remain uninsured.
Health insurance was a big issue in the last election, with oodles of Republicans running away from full repeal of Obamacare. They were proclaiming that they really didn't want to take away people's health insurance, that they wanted to ensure that people who have pre-existing conditions kept their coverage.

Trump has now thrown high-octane gasoline on those embers. A few days after Trump was handed his big political win by Bob Mueller, now Trump has ensured that nobody is going to care about that. The news stories will be how Trump is trying to ensure that tens of millions of people lose their health insurance. "Repeal and Replace" has been supplanted by "Overturn and Fuck You."

"Donald Trump Wants to Take Away Your Health Insurance" will be the banner campaign ad if this case isn't decided by next year, or if Obamacare is upheld.

"Donald Trump Took Away Your Health Insurance" will be the main campaign ad if Obamacare is stricken down. Every Republican running for federal office will be tarred with that brush.

And you can be sure that every one of those birds knows that.

Just Fucking Great; Medical Device Ed.

(H/T)
DHS has issued a security alert about a bunch of Medtronic wireless defibrillators/links/programmers. If you have a Medtronic wireless defibrillator, somebody who was seriously motivated could fuck you up, if they have the right equipment and can get within twenty feet of your link box.

Guess Lord Voldemort was not being paranoid.

Cyber security is not cheap; I can understand why the beancounters might fight paying for it. But the blowback in bad publicity isn't worth the risk. (See: Pinto; exploding)

The vulnerability is going to go on for awhile, as any changes to the programming for a medical device has to be chopped through the FDA. If you have one of the units, you may want to not travel with the link box. If you see someone lurking right up against your home with some tech equipment, you may want to call the po-po.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Sharp Pivot of the Trumpanzees

Watch, over the coming days, how the Trumpanzees, from Fox News on down, do a rapid pivot on Robert Mueller. For the last two years, they've been taking their cues from El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, who has been impugning Mueller's character.

Now, without a twinge of shame, they'll say that Mueller is an honorable man.

Apparently, the Special Counsel took no position on whether or not Trump obstructed justice and specifically refused to exonerate Trump, leaving that call to the AG. Keep in mind that Trump worked hard to find a loyal Trumpista to put into that job. So you can take Trump's claim that he was exonerated for just another one of his ten thousand fibs.

Trump may say it's over. But as anyone who has been paying attention knows, there are ongoing investigations of Trump and his cronies in several jurisdiction.

This is far from over.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

A B-24 Liberator:

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Caturday

Chip gazes out a window:


Because of past shenanigans, he wears a harness and a lead whenever he's out of his room. It's a lot safer to break up a furball if all I have to do is grab the leash and yank him out of the fight.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

What Trump Is Really Planning to Do

President* Donald Trump abruptly declared Thursday the U.S. will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy that gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost a month before what is expected to be a close election.
Altering national borders by conquest has been outlawed since 1948. It simply is not done, anymore.

But this has nothing to do with Israel, other than one national leader with autocratic delusions seeking to prop up another. What Trump is doing is setting the stage to meet one of Trump's master's goal: Recognition of the Russian seizure of the Crimean peninsula.

This is hugely destabilizing. Countries have been living with their existing borders for the last seventy years because they have known that trying to "adjust" their borders by military means would result in international condemnation. Trump wants to go back to the days when conquest was legal.

So then, what? India and Pakistan settle who controls Kashmir by a full-on nuclear war? The Middle Eastern nations decide to fix their Sykes-Picot borders?

This is sheer insanity. Trump is meddling with forces and consequences that he cannot comprehend. The GOP caucuses in the Senate and the House need to fucking grow some gonads and stop this lunatic.

Devin's Beatdown Continues

The Onion:
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced Wednesday he was considering filing a defamation lawsuit against his official Twitter account for ruining his reputation. “The figure behind @DevinNunes has disparaged my good name in what appears to be a highly coordinated effort to make me look like some kind of whiny, impetuous idiot,” said the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking member, who accused the verified account of repeatedly posting and sharing content that has portrayed him as “a crackpot with abhorrent views” since the profile was first created in 2009.
It must be tough to write for The Onion these days. Too much of our political news is almost indistinguishable from parody.

Today's local paper had a letter from a rock-ribbed Republican, who says that he refers to the last president as "O'Bummer", and who also says that he misses the dignity and stability of the Obama Administration.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Trump’s Meds

Trump needs this to help him with his bad case of McCain Derangement Syndrome.

President* Donald Trump aimed new blasts of invective at the late John McCain Wednesday, even claiming credit for the senator’s moving Washington funeral though he “never liked” him — and complaining he was never properly thanked.
Let's be clear about this: The honor of lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda is an honor that is granted by both the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The President has jack point shit to do with it. Further, as the article pointed out, Sen. McCain planned his funeral. Trump's contribution was to allow, after considerable public pressure, mcCain's remains to be flown from Arizona to D.C. on a C-32A. Trump only had the flag flown at half-staff for a day, raising it over the White House, until public pressure forced him to relent.

Trump's conduct during the period of the national mourning for the passing of Sen McCain was a display of pettiness, meanness, and deep butthurt. It has to gall Trump no end that even those who opposed McCain politically recognized him as a man who spent his entire adult life in service to his country, in one form or another.

Nobody will ever think that of Cadet Bone Spurs. Even those who are allied with Trump for political reasons know that he is a man without a shred of honor or dignity.

In the core of his blasted and corrupt soul, Trump has to know that Meghan McCain was spot on when she said that nobody will ever love Trump the way that they did John McCain.

And so, Trump's public display of juvenile-grade butthurt will go on.

Soon to Be an Episode of Forgotten Weapons

The Hudson H9, for Hudson Manufacturing has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is "chop up the company and sell off the pieces". If you have a H9, you now own an orphan. You had best snag as many magazines as you can find, if you intend to run your gun any. I don't know what you'll do for spares, other than watch the auction sites for parts packages.

You're probably better off putting the gun in the back of safe for a bit and then selling it as a collector's item. Hopefully, you have the box that it came in.

Per the comments: It's already on FW, which discusses the problems of bringing a new gun to market.

Field Day on Devin



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Whiny-Ass Devin Nunes Discovers the Streisand Effect

So Devin Nunes sued both Twitter and some dude for a parody Twitter account, Devin Nunes' Cow.

At the time Devin the Whiner filed his case, @DevinCow had just over a thousand followers. It's well over 200K, now. It's adding a thousand or so followers every few minutes.

One of the bedrock principles of this country is that politicians are fodder for comedians and satirists. Funny how those people who say that they love freedom change their minds when they are on the receiving end of people who are exercising theirs.

I would have thought that we would have had to search far and wide to find a politician with a thinner skin than Trump. Well, Devin, we have a winner!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Quote of the Day

"No one will ever love you the way that they loved my father." Meghan McCain, responding to Trump's weekend tweetstorm





Trump can't let go of McCain.



What an utterly pathetic man-child we have for a president.

Dems 2020

Frankly, there are too many folks running for me to care very much. Pete Buttigieg's book was interesting. He's qualified for the debates. But he's young and, if this turns out to be a training run, he'll be positioned for 2024 and into the 2040s.

The pack will thin out over the coming months. And then, maybe I'll start to shiv a git.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Staying Home Today

I regard St. Patrick's Day as one of the three amateur-drinking holidays. No doubt that the cops will be out in force and that there will be no shortage of drunks behind the wheel as the day winds on.

Going out to eat in a crowded bar/restaurant is not my idea of fun. So I'll stay home whilst Erin goes "breaaghh".

I Assume That is Meant to Be Ironic

The 2020 race added a new player this weekend, as Senator Gillibrand debuted her “Brave Wins” slogan.
Gillibrand is not brave. She's flip-flopped around as it suits her purposes. Gillibrand is pretty much a tool of Wall Street.

I think she is as untrustworthy as all of these guys.

The Hunt for the USS WASP

This is a long article, from the Sunday NY Times Magazine, about the search for the wreck of the USS WASP.

I think it's worth the time to read.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

A Beech Starship:


There are still a few around.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Brexit: Maybe Not This Month?

The UK's Parliament voted to ask the EU for a stay of execution more time to negotiate a Brexit deal. It'll be two years on March 29th since the UK formally notified the EU that the UK was leaving, but in that time, the Brits have been unable to agree amongst themselves the terms of an acceptable divorce package.

If the EU doesn't agree to a delay, then the Brits will, in essence, be tossed out of the EU on the 29th. All of the other countries have to agree in order to grant an extension. They may do that, but some might want some extra sugar.

The One Thing Trump Doesn't Know Anything About

“I don’t really,” Trump said in the Oval Office when asked if he saw white nationalism as a rising threat around the world, according to a pool report. “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess. If you look what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet…But it’s certainly a terrible thing.”
Trump knows more than any experts about technology, aircraft design, campaign finance, ISIS, the legal system, government, trade, infrastructure, economics, among other things.

But about /white nationalism... he knows nothing, other than there are many Nazis who are "good people". If a Muslim had shot up a church and killed even five people in New Zealand, Trump would have been screaming about banning Muslims. Five kids were found to be innocent of a rape and Trump can't let that go, but when a white guy murders lots of people, he's got nothing to say.

Caturday

Chip is making sure that the island at the vet's exam room carries his scent.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Too Soon?

Teterboro Tower


Sort of based on a real incident.

The Cowards of the Senate

These are the Senators who chose to fall in line behind Trump, rather than stand up for the principles of separation of powers and the Constitution:
John Barrasso, Wyo.
Marsha Blackburn, Tenn.
John Boozman, Ark.
Mike Braun, Ind.
Richard Burr, N.C.
Shelley Moore Capito, W.Va.
Bill Cassidy, La.
John Cornyn, Texas
Tom Cotton, Ark.
Kevin Cramer, N.D.
Mike Crapo, Idaho
Ted Cruz, Texas
Steve Daines, Mont.
Mike Enzi, Wyo.
Joni Ernst, Iowa
Deb Fischer, Neb.
Cory Gardner, Colo.
Lindsey Graham, S.C.
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
Josh Hawley, Mo.
John Hoeven, N.D.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, Miss.
Jim Inhofe, Okla.
Johnny Isakson, Ga.
Ron Johnson, Wis.
John Neely Kennedy, La.
James Lankford, Okla.
Mitch McConnell, Ky.
Martha McSally, Ariz.
David Perdue, Ga.
Jim Risch, Idaho
Pat Roberts, Kan.
Mike Rounds, S.D.
Ben Sasse, Neb.
Rick Scott, Fla.
Tim Scott, S.C.
Richard Shelby, Ala.
Dan Sullivan, Alaska
John Thune, S.D.
Thom Tillis, N.C.

Todd Young, Ind.
I never want to hear a word from any of them about the importance of the Constitution or of separation of powers. Especially from some of the more mouthier weasels, such as Miss Lindsey and the Canadien Usurper.

They are all cowards. Every last one of them. We, as a nation, ask young people to put their lives on the line for their coiuntry. Those gutless weasels couldn't bring themselves to even risk putting their jobs on the line.

They are despicable.

Because It's Friday

PS Natchez gets under way in New Orleans.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Cheetolini Channels His Inner Fascist

President* Trump in a new interview suggested that his supporters are tougher than Democrats, and that if they actually play tough things could get "very bad."

Trump made the comments in the context of an interview with the conservative outlet Breitbart in which he argued that Democrats play a tough political game.

“You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny," Trump said in the interview with Breitbart published on Wednesday. "I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher."

"I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad," Trump said.
I suspect that Trump may find out that there are people across the services that take their oath of office far more seriously than does El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago.

Trump is proving the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in writing the Second Amendment into the Constitution as a counterweight to tyranny. For we now have a president who has intimated that he would not recognize losing the 2020 election.

Keep your powder dry, people. Shit could get very real in about 20 months.

You Know What Day It Is

Pi Day:


In Indiana, there was once a chance that it would have been on March 2nd.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Knee-Jerk Reaction From the Biggest Jerk

The U.S. is issuing an emergency order Wednesday grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft “effective immediately,” in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people, President Donald Trump said.

Many nations had already barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, but until Trump’s announcement, the Federal Aviation Administration had said that it didn’t have any data to show the jets are unsafe. Trump cited “new information” that had come to light in the ongoing investigation into incident. He did not elaborate.
I am skeptical as all fuck.

One of the persistent gripes about many non-Western airlines fall into three categories. First is an inability, whether cultural or otherwise, to adopt "Cockpit Resource Management" in place of "The Captain is God". The latter mindset was, in part, behind the Asiana Airlines crash at SFO. The second is "G-d wills it"-- that if things are falling to shit, it's the will of the Almighty and there is nothing to be done. The third is that a number of pilots in non-Western airlines are "ab initio" pilots-- they did not know how to fly before being hired. They start from day one as future airline pilots. All of their flying and flight training is to that goal. So they become more systems managers than pilots (the deprecatory term is "Children of the Magenta Line"). They are not stick-and-rudder pilots.

I'm not saying that a lack of piloting skills is behind the crashes, or lack of maintenance. There is a significant and detailed investigation ahead. The data transmitted in flight as well as the data/voice recorders all need to be examined. But given that both -Max crashes have happened to Third World airlines, I am skeptical that it's an airframe issue.

One of the truisms of aviation has been when all else fails, default to pilot error. Without information as to cause, grounding all of the airplanes is a knee-jerk reaction. (I have a flight later this Spring. I would have happily taken the trip on a 737 Max.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tab Clearing

Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.

Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.
There's a lot of fuckery going on there. Bribing test proctors, faking disabilities, getting picked up for college sports teams without being able to play them. This is the list of folks charged, so far.
----------------------------------
The Brits are on the path of crashing out of the EU with no agreement.
Prime Minister Theresa May's EU withdrawal deal has been rejected by MPs for a second time, throwing her Brexit strategy into further confusion.

MPs voted down her deal by 391 to 242 - a smaller defeat than when they rejected it in January.

The PM said MPs will now get a vote on whether the UK should leave without a deal on 29 March and, if that fails, on whether Brexit should be delayed.
----------------------------------
Countries are banning the 737-Max from flying in their airspace:
The European Union and India have banned the Boeing 737 Max from flying over their airspace to ensure passenger safety.

They join a long list of countries in suspending the plane, including the UK.
As of today, the Canadian and American authorities have done so. The FAA has been known to wait for hard evidence of a problem before ordering a grounding. Meanwhile, the World's Oldest Toddler has an opinion.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Heh. Heh. Heh.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s $4.7-trillion budget raised eyebrows on Monday when government-watchdog groups discovered that it contained twenty million dollars for bail.

The line item for a “bail fund” was buried in the fine print of the published budget, along with a footnote specifying that the money could be used only to bail out Trump and members of his immediate family.
The rest at the link, above.

Historical Plaque

The world's first parabolic radio telescope.

Grote Reber was a pretty interesting man. For about ten years, he was the only radio astronomer in the world.

This is the telescope that he built in the backyard of his mother's house. It could tilt, but not pan.


Reber sold his telescope to the Bureau of Standards in the late `40s, where it was made fully-steerable. Eventually, it was donated as a historical artifact to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, WV.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Trump Sees the US Army As a Big Version of Blackwater

For years, President Donald Trump has complained that countries hosting American troops aren’t paying enough. Now he wants to get even, and then some.

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.
The most charitable analysis is that Trump is a geopolitical moron who only sees dollar signs. The less charitable is that Trump wants to do this to weaken NATO, which benefits his boss in the Kremlin.

Trump may have been listening to Betsy DeVois's brother, who is a mercenary and has had dubious ties to authoritarian regimes. It's all about the buck for those guys.

For nations, basing troops overseas is a matter of geopolitical concerns. Forward-based troops allow for quicker reaction in a crisis. They protect our national interest. They are used as a stabilizing influence, to deter potential adversaries from becoming froggy in places where we have an interest. They're not there for the naked profit of the American treasury.

That such would need to be explained to a sitting president shows how far we have shrunken as a world power.

Hellacious

The British Mk.IV tank.


Try to imagine being inside of that thing, rolling across No Man's Land.


Your Sunday Morning Radial Engine Noise

A Stinson Reliant:


Having had a much smaller Stinson (a Voyager 165), I have always lusted after the Reliants.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Trump is Psychologically Incapable of Keeping His Mouth Shut

President* Trump on Friday called the Democratic Party “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” following a House vote on a resolution broadly condemning hatred rather than specifically condemning past alleged anti-Semitic comments by a freshman Muslim congresswoman.
Rather than just keeping his yap closed and letting this issue burn Democrats, Trump had to chime in. So now, Democrats are more than happy to lambaste Trump for his hypocrisy on antisemitism. They can remind people that Trump's initial response to the violence of the Tiki-torch Nazis of Charlottesville was to say that there were good people among the Nazis. He's used antisemetic tropes, brought white supremacists into his administration. When American Nazis commit or plan murderous acts, the most Trump will ever do is say "that's a shame".

So Trump is a fine one to talk.

Caturday

Bella is watching the birds.


She and Chip had a battle last weekend. When I have let Chip out of his room, he wore a harness and a leash. That turned out to be very helpful in breaking up the fight, as I yanked his ass out of the fight.

Friday, March 8, 2019

AP Has Some Serious Science Geekery

SpaceX’s swanky new crew capsule returned from the International Space Station to an old-fashioned splashdown in the Atlantic on Friday, successfully ending a test flight that could lead to astronaut rides later this year.
...
It was the first time in 50 years that a capsule designed for astronauts returned from space by plopping into the Atlantic. Apollo 9 — which orbited Earth in preparation for the moon landings — splashed down near the Bahamas on March 13, 1969.
They're right about that. The rest of the Apollo missions, including the Skylab missions and the Apollo-Soyuz Project, all splashed down in the Pacific.

That's some top-shelf science geekery, there.

Because It's Friday

I neglected to post this Big Boy 4014 update:

Old Geezers In The Street

The New Kids on the Block are touring, 30 years after their first album.

Almost all of them are old enough to join AARP. They're hardly "kids".

King Reflector Sights

A century or so ago, the King Sight was the solution to bringing extra illumination to a front sight:


You can read more here. That mirror is slightly convex and chromed.

That's a pretty elegant device.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Democrats Recognize Reality

The Democratic National Committee said Wednesday that it won’t pick Fox News to televise one of the upcoming debates being held for its 2020 presidential contenders.

The party chairman, Tom Perez, said he has concluded that the network isn’t in a position to host a fair and neutral debate. He cited a New Yorker magazine article released Monday that detailed how some Fox News personalities and President Donald Trump echo each other.
Perez has to be a real chucklehead to not have recognized that Fox is a Trump propaganda outlet. They're not going to get anything resembling fair coverage from Fox. Why anyone even entertained pretending that Fox News is anything than in the tank for El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago is a mystery.

Cadet Bone Spurs is, of course, not happy.

It's Hard Not to Make Fun of This Guy; Darwin Award Ed.

It's an intersection of the Darwin Awards and First World Problems:
A billionaire diamond trader has died during a penis enlargement operation at a posh Parisian clinic, it was reported.

Ehud Arye Laniado died at the age of 65 in the clinic of an unnamed plastic surgeon on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in the French capital.

According to local media, complications during surgery proved fatal for the Belgian-Israeli dual national and he suffered a heart attack when a substance was injected into his penis.
...
According to media reports, Laniado suffered from a so-called Napoleon complex due his short stature. ... According to Laniado's friends, the only time he forgot about his short height was when he asked his accountant to read out his bank statement, something which he did multiple times a day.
The jokes almost write themselves. Imagine him standing before the admissions guy to Heaven/Hell/whatever and having to explain the cause of his demise. Or wandering around in the afterlife, among the millions of souls who died from famine, war or the Plague and having them whisper: "That's the guy who died from penis enlargement surgery."

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

How Far Away Are We From Another Major War?

I've been mulling this over for a bit. The surprise attacks of 1941, which postwar colored much of the security postures of the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia, were 77 years ago. The only participants left were the youngest soldiers and sailors at the time, and all of them are at least in their 90s.

The children who saw that war firsthand are almost all into their 80s.


The Europeans had a series of continent-wide wars in the early 19th Century. The rest of the century was somewhat bloody, with nation-on-nation fights here and there as well as civil wars-- even the Swiss had one. But there was not a major war for a century. Even when that war came, at least in western Europe, the front was largely static for most of the war; it wasn't until the second phase of that war in the early `40s that a significant percentage of Europe was turned into battlefields, with the infrastructure of entire nations reduced to rubble.

On the other side of the Eurasian land mass, countries have not borne the brunt of war for decades. The leadership of China has no memories of war. They seem to be growing more and more enamored of conflict as a means to an end; forgetting/ignoring that wars tend to spin out of control. What is planned to be a short, sharp war can turn into a meatgrinder of a bloody stalemate.

It's not hard to find more recent evidence of the costs of war. But nobody has seen large-scale armies fighting each other, with artillery and air support on both sides, in a lifetime.

As those memories fade, the delusions as to the cost of war will set in. The chickenhawks in several nations are gaining influence.

The Guns of August will be heard again.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Fine Cop Whines

I have, over the past few years, read threads on different forums where cops and retired cops are complaining that they have to abide by magazine and/or ammo restrictions when they are off duty, especially when they are traveling for pleasure.

My feeling is this: Suck it up, buttercup. Be grateful that you can carry a gun in any state under LEOSA. A retired cop from Indiana who is seeing the sights in California doesn't have the powers of his old badge in California. He's got just as much power and authority as any other schlub strolling the streets of Hollywood. He is, in fact, a civilian. Why he shouldn't have to abide by the weapon laws that the rest of us do is baffling.

Well, not really. There is a strain of cops who really do believe that they are above the law and that their "holier than you" status is a lifetime brass pass.

Warm Up Roger's Jail Cell

Attorneys for Roger Stone withheld and misrepresented plans for his new book criticizing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in violation of a gag order in his case, a federal judge found Tuesday, warning that any “costs or consequences” that result are solely his responsibility. ... [Judge Jackson] ordered Stone’s defense to explain by Monday how he will come into compliance.
I thought that Stone was either too arrogant or too stupid to realize that his usual cookbook of dirty tricks and mudslinging wouldn't impress a Federal judge.

I would not be surprised if the judge doesn't conclude on Monday that the surest way to bring Stone into compliance with the orders of the court will be to park his happy ass in jail until his trial. Stone might want to bring his toothbrush to the hearing.

Confirmed: Anti-Vaxxers are Morons

Children who receive the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are not at increased risk for autism, and that includes children who are sometimes considered to be in "high risk" groups for the neurodevelopmental disorder, a massive new study finds.
Even their children are recognizing that their anti-vaccine parents are imbeciles.

No matter how many times one can point out that correlation is not causation, it won't sink in. A professor I once knew used to use the example of there being almost a perfect correlation between the number of cancer cases and the number of telephone poles in one state. You'd have to be a complete idiot to then conclude that telephone poles cause cancer, but that's what the anti-vaxxers live.

Sometimes, bad shit happens. The anti-vaxxer cause is built on a lie by a charlatan. The old saying that "a lie travels around the world before the truth can pull on its boots" is appropriate.

Add to that the people who believe in conspiracies, such as chemtrails or, for example, the lunatics who think that the Navy's hospital ships trigger earthquakes, and the flat-earthers, and you have cohorts who are somewhat unhinged. Not helping are industries such as the oil companies (tetraethyl lead, climate change) and the tobacco companies (yes, that shit causes cancer) who pump hundreds of millions of dollars into propaganda campaigns that feed on conspiracy theories.

Then there are the states who are willing to accept the "religious exception" bullshit without requiring any level of evidence that the claimants are following any religious tenets, and we have kids who are unvaccinated because their parents, arguably, are nuts.

Their kids know they are nuts. We should listen to them.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Petition for an Order of Protection Against Trump

If inanimate objects could file them, that is.




Feel free to steal.

9,000 Lies and Counting

Cadet Bone Spurs has now uttered over 9,000 lies since he was sworn in. I'm reasonably certain that Fib #1 was his oath of office.

This was a big one:
President Donald Trump is suggesting that a congressional hearing Democrats arranged with his former personal attorney may have contributed to his failure to reach a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
There is zero evidence for that, other than the deranged sputterings of Trump and maybe a few Fox News idiots.

The discussions with and about North Korea's nuclear program have been going on for a very long time. It was pretty common knowledge that the Norks regard their nuclear program as both giving them international heft and as a shield against meddling by the United States. They aren't going to give that up lightly. All of the experts knew that.

Trump, on the other hand, seemed to think that he could bluster and persuade Kim Jong Un to take the same deal that the Norks have been refusing to take: Nuclear disarmament in exchange for easing sanctions. Kim probably thought that he could use Trump's bluster as a sort of judo move to get Trump to agree to lifting sanctions for shuttering a reactor.

Both were wrong.

But it had nothing to do with Cohen's testimony.

Only Perfect People Can Fly on American Airlines

American Airlines is apologizing to a South Carolina mother and her young son after they were booted from a flight because of their rare, genetic skin condition.

Jordan Flake said she was discriminated against and wrongfully kicked off a South Carolina-bound flight with her toddler son, Jackson, after an airline employee inquired about her "rash" shortly before takeoff.
Flight attendants on some airlines seem to have a strain of petty tyrants running through them. What about having a rash makes a passenger a security risk to the flying waitstaff prison guards?

Visual Recognition Class for the Sacramento Po-Po

This is a gun:


This is a cell phone:


This is a gun:


This is a cell phone:


By now, it should be clear to everyone that anything that a black man has in his hands will be thought to be a gun by the cops. A wallet, a cell phone, it doesn't matter.

Now if you carry a gun and you shot some guy who had a wallet in his hand, you'd go away for manslaughter. Because you don't have the training that the cops do. {/sarc}

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Trump Must Think His Supporters Are Rubes

For his CPAC speech was laced with lies and exaggerations and the audience just ate that shit up.

The alternative is that Trump really does believe the bilge he spews, in which case, he's likely suffering from some degree of drain bamage, bless his heart.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

A BT-67:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Caturday

Miss Priss, the outdoor/neighborhood cat.

Friday, March 1, 2019

How a CEO Can Ensure That A Shitload of People Won't Buy His Crappy Products

For the CEO of a company that sells consumer goods, taking a strong stand on a political candidate or issue is an unforced error.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell declared that God had chosen President Trump to run against Hillary Clinton at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

In a speech to the conservative activist conference posted to Twitter by Right Wing Watch, Lindell said Trump's victory in November 2016 was "a miracle" directly caused by divine intervention.
"Divine intervention"-- using Vladimir Putin as an agent of the Almighty?

So now "mypillow-daht-com" is going to go down as a place that has the badge denoting "exclusive supplier to American neo-nazis everywhere".

Or the CEO has resumed his former habitual use of Peruvian Marching Powder.

Because It's Friday

Steam in Eritrea:

B- 4 Weeks and Counting

The Brits seem to be no closer to agreeing amongst themselves whether or not to take the Brexit deal on the table.

There is also a discussion as to whether or not the EU will agree to extend the deadline by between two and 21 months. However, that'll require the unanimous consent of the EU. Spain, in particular, is playing hardball.

This could be very interesting for lovers of cliffedge diplomacy and trainwrecks.

And this: