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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What We Need, Now, Are Some Quick Trials and Slow Executions

A publicly-accessible database with information on roughly 80 million American households has been discovered on a Microsoft cloud server, representing more than half of the total number of U.S. households.

While at the moment there is no information pointing at who is the company who left the 24 GB worth of data exposed, vpnMentor’s research team in collaboration with hacktivists Noam Rotem and Ran Locar—who found the unprotected database on a Microsoft cloud server—are currently in the process of identifying its owner(s).
There should be some rather severe penalties for putting so much data for so many people where it can be found. "Security by obscurity" isn't a viable concept.

The names, addresses, and income information on well over a hundred million people and that just gets put on an unsecured server in a plain-text format?

Heads need to roll, and I mean that literally.

(H/T)

Corrupt Fucks Gotta Be Corrupt

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, a target of a yearlong undercover federal investigation into political favors traded for campaign contributions, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on charges of theft of honest services.
As I understand it, "theft of honest services" is basically bribery, but the bribes get washed through the campaign fund and they can't prove they went directly into the office-holder's pocket.

It sure seemed as though Stenger wasn't even trying to hid any of this shit. He's probably toast.

UPDATE: He's toast.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Why On Earth Would Anyone Buy This Shit

Soylent. Why would anyone even think of using that name for a brand?




I've seen their products in stores. It's just baffling to me that some chuckleheads, probably with an MBA or two, thought that using the name "soylent" was a good idea.

Of course, it's been 46 years since Soylent Green came out. maybe they figured that few would connect the name with a fictional company that made food bars from human corpses.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Maybe Changing My Mind About Henry Rifles

I've never liked the idea of going into the woods with a Henry rifle. Not that I do much of that, anymore, but trying to reload by unscrewing the magazine cap and removing the plungers just seems problematic. Yes, the original Henry was tube-loaded from the front, but that rifle didn't have something that had to be unscrewed. Because that didn't make sense back in the day, when a customary use of such weapons was shooting at other people who also had guns.

And before you invoke the Spencer rifle, watch this:



Apparently, there are enough others like me. Henry has added a side-loading gate to one of their rifles.

OK, so far as it goes. I don't get the idea of a brass receiver. 160 years ago, brass (or a bronze-brass alloy) was a substitute material that was used when steel was either too costly or too hard to get. Besides that, brass is too pretty/shiny for a woods rifle.

But if Henry makes these with steel receivers, I might have to swallow hard and buy one.

Trump's Family of Historical Illiterates

One has to be a black-belt level ignoramus to say something like this:



I'm pretty sure that one only has to go back to the beginning of the last century to find some pretty horrific things that happened which involved Germany.

Monopolistic Companies Gotta Be Evil

That fits Apple to a T. Not that they are a monopoly, but if you use an iPhone, Apple acts just like a monopoly.
They all tell a similar story: They ran apps that helped people limit the time they and their children spent on iPhones. Then Apple created its own screen-time tracker. And then Apple made staying in business very, very difficult.

Over the past year, Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps, according to an analysis by The New York Times and Sensor Tower, an app-data firm. Apple has also clamped down on a number of lesser-known apps.

In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children’s devices or that blocked children’s access to certain apps and adult content. In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store.
The problem, as I understand it, is that iOS won't run an app that isn't distributed through the App Store. So if you have an iPhone, Apple has, in effect, a monopoly over what programs you can run on it. It'd be like buying a TV that can only be used on Comcast.

The essence of capitalism is competition. Within the iOS world, Apple is acting like an overlord.

This is a situation that cries out for regulation, if not breaking up Apple. The tech companies are more like Gilded Age trusts. We need another trustbuster in the White House.

Caturday; Interspecies Ed.

A couple of hoofed rats:

Friday, April 26, 2019

This Epidemic is Brought to You by Donald Trump, Jenny McCarthy, RFK, Jr., and the Rest of the Low-Wattage Anti-Vaxxers

Measles in the U.S. has climbed to its highest level in 25 years, closing in on 700 cases this year in a resurgence largely attributed to misinformation that is turning parents against vaccines.
And this:
More than 900 students and staff members at two Los Angeles universities were quarantined on campus or sent home this week in one of the most sweeping efforts yet by public health authorities to contain the spread of measles in the U.S., where cases have reached a 25-year high.
This is all on the whackaloon, dimwitted, conspiracy-theory-addled anti-vaxxers.

Sounds Like Trump, Too

When William Burns visited the Kremlin in the summer of 2005 to present his credentials as the U.S.’s new ambassador to Russia, he was met by an aggressive Vladimir Putin who was eager to convey a message: The U.S. had taken advantage of Russian weakness, and now Russia was going to push back.

“Putin is a combustible combination of grievance and ambition and insecurity, all wrapped up together,” Burns said of the Russian leader.
"A combustible combination of grievance and ambition and insecurity, all wrapped up together" fits Trump like a bespoke suit.

No wonder they get along. Trump and Putin are, at the core, basically the same person.

Because It's Friday

Discussing a leaked photo of 4014:


65 year-old steam footage on the PRR:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Trump's Friends

ALBUQUERQUE — The F.B.I. on Saturday arrested the leader of a right-wing militia that was detaining migrant families at gunpoint near the border in southern New Mexico, as the group faced a torrent of criticism for its tactics.

Hector Balderas, New Mexico’s attorney general, said federal agents had arrested the leader, [Felonius Asswipe], who had been operating under the alias [Asswipe-2]. Mr. Balderas said in a statement that [Asswipe] was arrested on charges of firearms possession by a felon.
This Asswipe probably thought that his violations of Federal firearms laws would be overlooked, because he was doing Trump's Work.
In November, [Asswipe] gave an interview on a conspiracy-heavy YouTube channel, the host of which wore a gasmask and used a voice distorter. During the interview, [Asswipe] claimed Trump listened to his internet radio show and asked him for information on Muslim immigration. [Asswipe] claimed his tie with the president originated from a chance meetup in a Las Vegas casino. “That’s how I knew him,” he said. “And Trump and I have kept in touch ever since.”
This particular group of asswipes was in pretty deep.
The suspected leader of a New Mexico militia group allegedly boasted of plans to assassinate former President Barack Obama, the FBI has said.

[Asswipe], and his group United [Conglomeration of Asswipes], also plotted to target Hillary Clinton and billionaire George Soros, according to a tip received by the FBI.

It is unclear when he allegedly made these comments, which were included in court papers released this week.
They, no doubt, believe that the cops would overlook their crimes because the cops would be sympathetic to what they were doing. They're no different from the gay-bashers who have been shocked that they were arrested for assaulting queers.

They are vigilantes, just a few microns away from the lynch mobs of old. I have not a shred of doubt that, if those asswipes thought that they could get away with it, that they'd be lynching brown people.

They are evil.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Rotting Hypocrisy of Team Trump

Trump is suing to try to prevent the House Oversight Committee from investigating him, claiming that the investigation is pure harassment.

Gee. Remember when, under pissants like Devin Nunez,[1] the House engaged in "All Benghazi All the Time", investigations that went nowhere, repeatedly?

Then there was this gobsmacking moment, when Rudy the Mouth:
“There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” Giuliani said Sunday, referring to a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a lawyer linked to Russia.
Really, Rudy? There's nothing wrong with taking help from an enemy of the country?

Let's test that. Suppose the help was being offered by China? Is that OK, Rudy? Or ISIS? Would Rudy think there was nothing wrong in using dirt that was in the possession of al Qaeda?

Putin's Russia is no less of an adversary than was the Soviet Union under Brezhnev. If a Democrat had accepted a packet of opposition research from the KGB, there would have been cries of treason from Republicans. But now, it's OK if a Republican accepts help in an electoral contest from our nation's adversaries.

Because it's not treason if it's done by Republicans.
______________________________________
[1] His cows hate him.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Idiots With Guns; Instructor Ed.

I think you may be able to watch this video without signing on to the Book of Evil.

It is gobsmackingly stupid.

Caturday

Chip:

Friday, April 19, 2019

Shorter Mueller Report: The World's Oldest Toddler Was Saved Both by Adult Supervision and Incompetence at Being Criminals

Don McGahn was barely on speaking terms with President Donald Trump when he left the White House last fall. But special counsel Robert Mueller’s report reveals the president may owe his former top lawyer a debt of gratitude.

McGahn, who sat with Mueller for about 30 hours of interviews, emerged as a central character in Mueller’s painstaking investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice and impeded the years-long Russia investigation. In one striking scene , Mueller recounts how Trump called McGahn twice at home and directed him to set Mueller’s firing in motion. McGahn recoiled and threatened to resign instead.

Mueller concluded that McGahn and others effectively halted Trump’s efforts to influence the investigation, prompting some White House officials and outside observers to call him an unsung hero in the effort to protect the president.
Let's be clear about this: It was Trump's intent to commit the crime of obstruction of justice. That he was unsuccessful was due to the work of his aides who refused to carry out Trump's unlawful commands.

On the Russian conspiracy thing, it is clear that the Russians and the Trump Campaign were acting in parallel. The Trump Campaign, right up to his older sons, if not Trump himself, clearly were interested in getting information from the Russians. That they only did so through Wikileaks meant that Assange was operating not as the journalist that his supports claim he is, but as a cutout for both the Russians and for Trump. To the extent that was deliberate, Trump can credit the FSB and the GRU for saving his neck. Nobody on Team Trump was that smart.

Clearly, though, Trump thought he was guilty. His initial reaction when Sessions told him that Mueller was appointed as a special counsel reveals that: "Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm fucked." That's not the reaction of an innocent man, folks.

Where do we go from here? Expect Trump's conduct to become more outrageous and unlawful. He got away with this, in his mind, he's another Teflon Don. Trump is not going to engage in any self-reflection and realize that he just dodged a bullet and he needs to take it down. No, he's going to go the other way. Because he knows that William Barr will use the DoJ to protect him and that Mitch McConnell will do the same.

Buckle in, folks.

Because It's Friday

Big Boy 4014 update:

Patriots' Day

Today is Patriots' Day, the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, where the Colony of Massachusetts kicked off the Revolutionary War. I've written about it a few times in the past.

No doubt, there will be some mealy-mouthed bullshit from politicians who are in it for power and profit. Fuck them.

And fuck the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If the servile cowards governing the state were there in 1775, the Minutemen would have been lucky to have been armed with bows and arrows.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

FireClean's Lawsuit of Butthurt

I've written, a time or two, about FireClean's suing bloggers for basically saying that their product was very similar to vegetable oil.

For their second try at the apple, FireClean filed its case in Arizona (FireClean v. Tuohy, 4:16-cv-00604, ED-AZ).

The case was dismissed by the parties, with prejudice, in February (the order was signed off by the judge on March 1st).

I'm not going to go through the docket file, not at ten cents a page. There was a lot of arguing over discovery and motions to strike FireClean's experts.

So what happened? Your guess is as good as mine. But it's over. And, as far as I can tell, nobody anywhere in the gunnie press is talking about it.

Corrupt Fucks Persist in Being Corrupt

Last November, a proposal to bring ethical reforms to Missouri state politics was approved by 62% of the voters and thereby became law.

No surprise, the Lege hates that and is working to reverse it. Especially the part that seeks to rein in gerrymandering.

Corrupt fucks have to keep on being corrupt.

The Redaction Process

MOSCOW (The Borowitz Report)—After putting in what one associate called a “hellish all-nighter,” the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is almost finished redacting Robert Mueller’s report in time for its release, on Thursday.

Trump's Poodle Yaps This Morning

[Attorney General* Billy] Barr will hold a 9:30 a.m. news conference to present his interpretation of the report’s findings, before providing redacted copies to Congress and the public.
Keep in mind that Barr's job application for AG was a nineteen-page memo attacking the Special Counsel. Trump wanted an AG whose first priority was to protect and defend The Donald; in Fat Billy, he got just that.

A professional would have released the report and then held the press conference, But that's not what Trump wants. Trump wants Barr to try and spin things so the news cycle is about what Barr says, not what the report says. So Billy Barr is going to do what Trump demands, so Billy can avoid being fired.

Fat Billy is no improvement over Smirky the Racist Elf. Billy has his own Russia problem.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Fire at Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire.



It took over 100 years to built it and an evening to burn a lot of it to ash.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Do You Have an Android Phone? Do You Use Goggle Maps on an iPhone?

Then, thanks to a Google database called Sensorvault, you can wind up being ensnared in a police investigation because your phone was near where a crime was committed. In some states, your name may be released to the public for that reason alone.

Read more here.

Basically, you should ensure that "location history" is turned off. Then do this:


Then you should go through whatever device that you have and ensure that location services is shut off for any app that doesn't need it. For those that do, ensure that it's set to "while using".

Because it's not just the possibility of being caught up in a random investigation. We really don't know who else has access to your location history. Besides the government, there is this fact that has become all to clear: If corporations are people, as the Supremes have repeatedly held, then they are psychopaths. They do not care about anyone other than themselves. Google's founders once bruited about that their first principle was "do no evil". They never talk about that anymore.

If some company can persuade Google to sell location data to them, they will. If it's not being offered for sale, it soon will be. Maybe Allstate and others will judge your insurance rates by where you drive. Maybe your employer will want to know where you go on your off-time. Maybe you have a stalker or a political enemy.

but you can bet your last farthing that the information will be available, if you don't do something to choke it off.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The first flight of the Stratolauncher.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Trump's Threat- Responded


The "Whistleblower" and the Migrants

You've probably seen or heard something like this:
Wanting to retaliate against Democrats critical of President Trump and his border wall, the White House tried twice to push U.S. immigration authorities into releasing migrant detainees in "sanctuary cities," The Washington Post reports.

Sanctuary cities are places where local authorities have said they won't turn over most undocumented immigrants for deportation. The Post spoke with Department of Homeland Security officials and obtained emails discussing the plan, which included targeting the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). According to a congressional investigator who spoke with a DHS whistleblower, Trump adviser and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller came up with the plan.
The so-called "whistleblower" is, in my opinion, either Miller himself or a DHS sockpuppet. Because getting this vindictive plan out in public suits Miller to a T. It gets it all over the news and it's great fodder for the anacephalics and neo-Nazis on Fox New's commentary shows. Then Trump will see it and a plan that the professionals have talked him down on now will gain traction.

As for this:
President Trump has tossed around threats of closing the southern border, but two reports say he took the proposal a step further.

Last week, Trump told his then-Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to close the border to asylum seekers, two senior officials informed both The New York Times and CNN. Trump also reportedly said that if McAleenan got in trouble for it, he would pardon him, though the officials didn't make it clear if Trump appeared to be joking.
Now Trump is getting into impeachable territory, again. Soliciting a Federal official to perform a criminal act, conspiracy to commit a criminal act.

So much winning.

Caturday

Julian Assange's cat:


Nobody is talking about where it is.

Kind of irritates me that Assange looked upon the cat as a PR tool.

Friday, April 12, 2019

A Modern Truism

Trump showed himself to be pettier and more mean-spirited and inhuman today than he was yesterday. Tomorrow, he will be worse.

The only thing you can count on with Trump is that every word out of his mouth will be a lie.

He couldn't tell the truth if he was being waterboarded.

Side by Each; Talkie Ed.

A side-by-side comparison of Zero Hour! and Airplane!:

Because It's Friday

Winter on the Durango & Silverton.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Fish and Guests Stink After Seven Years

British police arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday, after the South American nation decided to revoke the political asylum that had given him sanctuary for almost seven years.
There have been reports for years that the Ecuadorians were peeved because they felt that Assange was an ungrateful prick who refused to follow basic rules. He had the balls to sue Ecuador because, among other things, they allegedly were tired of his being a slob.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says Russia wants Julian Assange’s rights to be observed following his arrest.

Shortly after Assange’s arrest in London, Dmitry Peskov told reporters that he could not comment on the overall case.

But, he said, “We of course hope that all of his rights will be observed.”
That Putin, who sends assassins around the world to kill his enemies is so, so concerned about Assange's rights may be an indication of whom Assange was benefiting. For if Wikileaks had been releasing troves of Russian secrets, he would have been put in the ground years ago. In point of fact, Wikileaks has refused to publish Russian secrets. Wikileaks has arguably been operating as an intelligence service hostile to the US.

Assuming that Assange is extradited to the US, it's anyone's guess what will happen. The CIA would love to see him tried and thrown into a supermax prison until his body decays. Trump, on the other hand, loves Wikileaks.



Whether or not Trump pardons Assange will depend on what marching orders Trump receives from his handler.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Democrats and Republicans in Congress Jointly Agree to Fuck You, But Hard:
The TurboTax/H&R Block Protection Act of 2019

Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system.

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., passed the Taxpayer First Act, a wide-ranging bill making several administrative changes to the IRS that is sponsored by Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa.

In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing.
Basically, the online tax companies are doing their damnedest to protect their rice bowls. Because, absent public scrutiny, the first principle of American politics is "money talks."

So, if you can file a simple return, print off the tax forms yourself, fill them out and mail those fuckers in.

Science!

The M87 black hole:


Via Tam, a fascinating article about the KT meteorite and the day the dinosaurs died. Not just the dinosaurs, almost everything else died, too.
Scientists still debate many of the details, which are derived from the computer models, and from field studies of the debris layer, knowledge of extinction rates, fossils and microfossils, and many other clues. But the over-all view is consistently grim. The dust and soot from the impact and the conflagrations prevented all sunlight from reaching the planet’s surface for months. Photosynthesis all but stopped, killing most of the plant life, extinguishing the phytoplankton in the oceans, and causing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere to plummet. After the fires died down, Earth plunged into a period of cold, perhaps even a deep freeze. Earth’s two essential food chains, in the sea and on land, collapsed. About seventy-five per cent of all species went extinct. More than 99.9999 per cent of all living organisms on Earth died, and the carbon cycle came to a halt.

Earth itself became toxic. When the asteroid struck, it vaporized layers of limestone, releasing into the atmosphere a trillion tons of carbon dioxide, ten billion tons of methane, and a billion tons of carbon monoxide; all three are powerful greenhouse gases. The impact also vaporized anhydrite rock, which blasted ten trillion tons of sulfur compounds aloft. The sulfur combined with water to form sulfuric acid, which then fell as an acid rain that may have been potent enough to strip the leaves from any surviving plants and to leach the nutrients from the soil. ...The world that emerged after the impact was a much simpler place. When sunlight finally broke through the haze, it illuminated a hellish landscape. The oceans were empty. The land was covered with drifting ash. The forests were charred stumps. The cold gave way to extreme heat as a greenhouse effect kicked in. Life mostly consisted of mats of algae and growths of fungus: for years after the impact, the Earth was covered with little other than ferns. Furtive, ratlike mammals lived in the gloomy understory.
What has been found in North Dakota is an extremely detailed fossil deposit that preserves the first hour(s) after the Chicxulub meteorite slammed into the sea off the Yucatan Peninsula.

If you're at all interested in the extinction of the dinosaurs, the KT impact or paleontology in general, you should read the article.

The Code on CBS

It's a new military law series on CBS; Marine lawyers, etc. One comment to the show's producers: Learn something about military uniforms and careers, to wit:
  • Commanders in the USN do not have two gold stripes on their sleeves (three for commanders, two and a half for lieutenant commanders).
  • A lieutenant junior grade who has a surface warfare officer qualification isn't going to have served as a medical administrator in a medical company long enough to have received three fitness reports. it takes two years, give or take, to qualify as a SWO. Three fitreps imply more than eighteen months of observed service. Between schools and sea duty, no JG is going to be ashore long enough to get three fitreps as a JG before being promoted to lieutenant.
It's not that hard to figure this shit out. That's why shows hire military advisers whose job is to ensure that they get details like this right.

Assuming that they're sober, that is.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

And Then There Were None; Doolittle Ed.

Retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last of the 80 Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who carried out the daring U.S. attack on Japan during World War II, died Tuesday at a military hospital in Texas. He was 103.
Col. Cole's memorial service will be held next week, on the 77th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid.

The Raiders now belong to history.

Shorter GOP: "Freedom of Press Means You're Free to Praise Us."

Six Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives, including one from Gwinnett County, filed legislation to create a board that would oversee journalists across the state as legislators closed out this year’s legislative session Tuesday.
I gather that the "make no law" language of the First Amendment doesn't cut any ice in Georgia.

A state-organized board to try and rein in the reporters whose purpose is, in part, to shine a bright light on the same people who are trying to implement this fuckery.

This is entirely in keeping with the GOP under the thumb of Trump. Trump clearly views the press as people whose sole job is to offer him praise and approval, not to ask him difficult and pesky questions. The Republicans in Georgia are channeling Trump.

This bill has been filed by Georgia state Rep. Andy Welch, R-McDonough, a cowardly fucker who resigned from the legislature the same day that he filed this execrable excuse for legislation. He's a lawyer who, for a guy who did a clerkship in a federal court, seems to have an abysmal grasp of Constitutional law.

My guess is that some reporters wrote something about poor little Andy that upset that snowflake, so this bill is his petty bit of vengeance. If he wanted to become famous, he's doing it wrong.

The other traitors to the Constitution are state Reps. Timothy Barr, R-Lawrenceville; Ron Stephens, R-Savannah; Mark Newton, R-Augusta; Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper; and Mike Cheokas, R-Americus. Barr would seem to be a melange of the worst parts of Trump and Pence, especially the part about being a member of the Christian Taliban (those who believe they should foist their religion onto others). Stephens is a pharmacist by trade, so you can opine as to whether or not he's been snacking on his stock. Newton is some kind of doctor, which begs the question as to what he has done to crack down on the quacks and candymen in his own profession. Jasperse is a retired "county agent". Cheokas says that he's a "buinessman", which covers a lot of ground.

All of these pissants have dishonored their state and this nation.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Cat-Herding


Cat herding is a good term for a political chief executive: Mayor, School Board President, Governor or President. While there is some inherent power in any of those jobs, the truly great ones know that their job is to both lead and persuade. The councilman for the fifth ward isn't going to go along with the mayor's desires just because the mayor want it. The mayor has to build either a consensus or a movement. That takes work.

The ones who are good at it are those know know this to their bones. A president can order the army about, but the congress can cut funding for that.Getting elected is not a carte blanche.

The problem is intensified with business guys who become political executives. They are used to a world where what they command eventually happens. It's worse for those who come from family or private corporations, for they have never had to answer to anybody.

This is why Trump is failing. He seems to be unable to comprehend that his desires, expressed on Twitter, count for almost nothing. Just because Trump wants it doesn't always mean that it will happen. He can go see his Potemkin plaque all he wants. He needs to build a consensus in order to do anything not easily reversible, and right now, he is congenitally incapable of doing that.
(It's actually worse for Trump. He craves flattery and approval like a drowning victim craves air. He is a thin-skinned bully, able to dish out insults, but unable to take them.)
It's early yet, but one of the governors elected last year, a rich guy named Ned Lamont, is also a former executive with no real political experience, other than serving as a one-term selectman in one of the richest towns in the nation. His opponent was Bob Stefanowski, another rich guy with zero experience in politics. So the Nutmeg State voters had a choice between two tools who know jack.shit about government. It's almost guaranteed to turn out badly, unless Lamont is a quick study. I'm betting against that.

And as for the "resignation" of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, color me "uncaring". Whomsoever Trump chooses to nominate will likely be some lacky who understands that Job #1 is fluffing the ego of Der Mar-a-Lagoführer. Mich McConnell would confirm a sack of putrid horsemeat for the job if Trump so nominated. So there is little point in caring, unless the nominee is a certain balding, goose-stepping, piss-poor excuse for a human being.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

You'll only see this in video:


WOW Air is out of business as of the last week of March.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

No, Numb-Nuts, Netanyahu Is Not My Prime Minister

Trump thinks he is.



Der Mar-a-Lagoführer was speaking to a bunch of *American* Jews. He thinks that the Prime Minister of Israel is, somehow, the leader of all Jews. I guess that's what his neo-Nazi cabal in his Administration has been telling him.

Saying that American Jews have an allegiance to the State of Israel is an insidious lie that has been told by both the far Left and the Alt-Right.

We know which group Trump is a member of.

And we know that the GOP Jews have no balls, just like the rest of the GOP. If they had any integrity, they'd have booed his ass.

Protecting the Shoreline From Storms

It turns out that that "hard construction" is the worst alternative.
The team estimated that the [Gulf] coast would suffer $134 billion of losses over 20 years if no preventive measures were taken. Elevating homes could prevent $39.4 billion of those losses, but it is incredibly expensive. At an average of $83,300 per house, it would cost $54 billion to prevent that $39 billion in damages. The six-meter-high dikes being built in Louisiana were a worse option; at $33,000 per meter, they were an absurdly expensive way to protect a relatively limited amount of property, returning just $1 in savings for every $4 of expense. Smaller levees built on land in front of many low-lying coastal communities prevented much more damage for almost the same cost.

In terms of bang for the buck, sandbags were the best investment, saving $8.4 billion of damages for a mere $0.84 billion in expense. Natural defenses ranked high as well. Wetlands restoration, which could prevent $18.2 billion of losses, would cost just $2 billion. Oyster-reef restoration could prevent $9.7 billion in losses for $1.3 billion. Barrier island restoration offered $5.9 billion of prevention for $1.2 billion. And “beach nourishment” (replenishing depleted beaches with sand dredged from the seafloor) in the eastern Gulf could save $9.3 billion for $5.5 billion.
The thrust of the article is that natural forms of shoreline protection are more cost-effective than armoring the coastline with concrete seawalls. Those that pay for things such as shoreline protection and for damages after major storms are starting to pay attention. Which combinations of protection measures are used may have a lot to do with how much it costs to buy flood insurance. That, in turn, has a lot to do with who can afford to build what near the coast.

Caturday

Bed hog:


But, because I outweigh him by fifteen times and I have opposable thumbs, he got moved.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Pharma Bro is In the Hole

Pharmaceutical honcho Martin Shkreli has been banished to solitary confinement amid allegations he was running his drug company from federal prison using a contraband smartphone, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

Shkreli was moved to solitary confinement at the Fort Dix, New Jersey, facility on March 7 and is likely to remain there while his alleged conduct is being investigated, the person said. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
If the Feds decide to file charges, he could spend some more time behind bars.

Shkreli's conduct before his conviction was that of a man who believed that he was above the law. Time in prison doesn't seem to have changed his attitude. The only medicine that may cure him is embalming fluid, for he is probably going to be a self-entitled douchebag until the day he lies down for the big dirt nap.

Our Idiot in Chief

TRUMP: “The Flores decision is a disaster, I have to tell you. Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country, a disaster.” — remarks at a meeting with local officials in Southern California.

THE FACTS: There’s no Judge Flores involved. Jenny Flores , a 15-year-old El Salvador native, was held in what her advocates said were substandard conditions, contending she was strip-searched in custody and housed with men. They launched a class-action lawsuit on behalf of migrant children in the country illegally. Her mother was a housekeeper in the U.S. who feared deportation if she picked up her daughter.

The case worked its way to the Supreme Court, which sided with the government and against the girl’s advocates. But the case gave rise to an agreement in 1997 setting conditions for the detention of migrant children and the codifying of those conditions in law a decade later. It generally bars the government from keeping children in immigration detention for more than 20 days and guides how they are to be treated.
Before Trump was elected, he had been involved in over 3,000 lawsuits. Surely a man who has amassed such experience with the legal system knows that cases are named after the parties.

Or maybe Trump things that Judge Roe is to blame for legalized abortion. He probably thinks it's a damned shame that Judge Brown outlawed segregated schools.

And this:



Because It's Friday

A 2-4-4-2 from bygone logging days.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

"General Electric: We Bring Evil to Life," or
"If You Want to Live Under Constant Surveillance, Move to San Diego"

San Diego has installed over three thousand GE-made streetlights that record both audio and video.
Though the council and the public were not given further specifics, a January 2018 report by IEEE Spectrum revealed that each so-called smart streetlight is packed with high-tech spyware, including “an Intel Atom processor and half a terabyte of memory; Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios; two 1080p video cameras for video, still images, and computer vision analytics; two acoustical sensors; and environmental sensors that monitor temperature, pressure, humidity, vibration, and magnetic fields. Much of the data gathered will be processed on board, with selected events or streams of data uploaded to GE’s Predix cloud through AT&T’s LTE network.”
When you are out in public, you can begin assuming that the cops can watch everything that you do and hear everything that you say.

The future is getting suckier and suckier. You can try to fight back by not owning any computer device that listens or looks. If you have "hey siri" or Alexa or any of those things, you've invited the spies into your house. One can argue that you have no expectation of privacy if you have some device listening to you.

The Stasi would have been envious.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Is Trump Lying or Brain-Damaged?


How can Trump forget where his father was born? Or, if he's lying, how can he not think that people will know that he's lying?

Updated to add:
President Trump on Tuesday stepped up his attacks against wind power, claiming that the structures decrease property values and that the noise they emit causes cancer.
"Brain cancer"? The only possible source of that hogwash may be a fossil-fuel astroturf group.

More:

Are You Using a BOB-Britax Jogging Stroller? Rethink That.

Basically, they're apparently fucking dangerous, with hundreds of injuries as they have a tendency for the front wheel to fall off. Normally, that would be the stuff of a safety recall by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Not in the World of Trump. So if you or a relative is using one of those things, you're on your own.

By the way, if you like eating pork, you might want to rethink that. Trump's going to let the pork industry police itself. Because what can go wrong?

There was a time when Republicans cared about food safety and not allowing companies to blithely sell adulterated and contaminated food and medicine. But those days have been over for about 110 years.

Trump on the Border; Toljaso Ed.

Four days after issuing a firm threat to shut down the U.S. southern border as soon as this week, President Donald Trump on Tuesday was far less definitive.

“I haven’t made that intention known,” Trump said when asked by a reporter during an Oval Office photo-op if he intended to close the border this week.

He went on to say that he remains “ready” to shut down the border if necessary but expressed satisfaction with what he said are ramped up efforts by Mexico in the last couple of days to more aggressively stop migrants making the journey north to the U.S.
First off, there seems to be no evidence that anything has changed as far as Mexican government policy on the migrants. Trump seems to think they're doing something, but there is zip in the way of independent confirmation.

I told you he wasn't going to do it.

This is what happens when there's a president who has no impulse control. Before Trump, presidents actually had discussions with thier staff about major policy proposal. Trump is, in comparison, like an untrained golden retriever, pooping on the couch with no shame. Only in Trump's case, he shits on the world with Twitter.

Trump's Big "Fuck You" on Health Care

You might recall that Trump's government lawyers have switched to attacking Obamacare. But when asked what will replace it, Trump has, essentially, said "fuck you, America". Whatever bullshit the Party of Trump has in mind for health care won't be shown for two years, or so they say.

Which means they have nothing. Oh, they say they have ideas, but they have nothing that they can discuss. In other words, nothing.

The Weasel of Missouri, Josh Hawley,* thinks this is OK.
“Obamacare is in place; it’s going to be for the foreseeable future,” Hawley said.
Great leadership from those guys. Fade back, punt, run away.

Cowards, all of them.
_____________________________________
* Hawley ran for state attorney general in 2016 and won, with lots of promises about what he was going to do for Missourians. But all he really did was position himself for running for the Senate in 2018. If there is any senator who nakedly only gives a shit about himself, it's Hawley.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

On Opening Locks (and More)

If you're in IT or any other kind of security, this might give you the willies.



I'd give credit, but I've forgotten where I first saw this.

"How Stupid Can You Be" is Not a Contest, People

Interstate 95 has reopened after a crane took down power lines and closed the highway in both directions between exits 87 and 88.
And
State police are planning two shutdowns of both sides of Interstate 95 between exits 87 and 88 so crews can replace two hefty cable lines a crane accidentally tore down Tuesday morning.
Word earlier was that the crane was repositioning along the highway with the fucking boom up.

I guess that's what insurance is for. But sometimes, I wonder if it wouldn't be nice if the site foremen were given Makarovs.

Coffee Clown Proves That He's a Serious Putz; Mad Libs Ed.

This is an example of his shtick:It's Howard's version of Mad Libs: "Trump’s _____________________ is just the latest example of the dysfunction in Washington. Both parties should focus on getting results, rather than party politics."

Anything could fit in there: "groping a girl scout", "murdering a hobo", "using Devin Nunes as his personal fluffer", "getting a golden shower in Moscow". Trump does something outrageous and, in Howard's strange skull, that's now partially the fault of the Democrats. Does Howie believe that, if not for the Democrats, Trump would be a cool, collected policy wonk like Obama? Is he nuts?

Nah, not really. He's just another oligarch who figures that hawking coffee makes him qualified to do something that he's got no experience in doing. "Hey, I can run a coffee shop, how hard can it be to fly an A-380?"

Howie the Coffee Clown should go back to selling his overpriced, bitter, stupidly-named swill.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Some Representatives of a Global Organization of Child-Molesters Hate Books About Magic

Priests at a Catholic parish in northern Poland have drawn criticism after they burned books, including from the “Harry Potter” series, and other items that their owners said had evil forces. ... In the pictures, flames are consuming an African wooden mask, a small Buddhist figure, figurines of elephants and books on personality and magic, as well as those by J.K. Rowling. They were all brought in by parishioners, who were encouraged by the priests to clear their homes of objects that had evil forces. Influential in Poland, the Catholic Church objects to “Harry Potter” books, which are international best-sellers, saying they promote sorcery.
OK, so I guess that they are in favor of torching every Catholic church, seminary, orphanage, etc. where children were molested. Because, Gentle Reader, that's where true evil took place.

Nah, whom am I kidding. in the RCC, superstition and ignorance are features, not bugs.

Liars and Security Risks

A career official in the White House security office says dozens of people in President Donald Trump’s administration were granted security clearances despite “disqualifying issues” in their backgrounds, including concerns about foreign influence, drug use and criminal conduct.
Trump and his dutiful daughter have both denied overruling denials of security clearances.

So they lied. Which, in the Trump Administration, is almost an hourly occurrence.

Monday

Vaccination Perspective

About Balto.