Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck,
"FOFF" = Felonious Old Fat Fuck,
"COFF" = Convicted Old Felonious Fool,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset,
A/K/A P01135809, A/K/A Dementia Donnie, A/K/A Felon^34,
A/K/A Dolt-45, A/K/A Don Snoreleone

Sunday, June 30, 2019

No Additional Comment Needed

A Contrast to Our Illustrious President

Don't worry kid. By 1917, they won't give a shit.

Big contrast, though, to Trump and John Bolton, who is one of the Bombsey Twins.

Speaking of the Big Orange Racist, Spawn Of was indulging in his own bit of racism. Junior has a long history of tweeting white supremacist and racist shit, so why anyone would be surprised that he's doing again is a question with an obvious answer: The racism of the Trump family, including Cadet Bone Spurs, his daddy and his offspring, is worth emphasizing as Trump will try again and again to pretend that he's a friend of minority communities.

He's not. He never will be.

Some Shit Shouldn't Be Outsourced

Such as "critical flight control software."

But that's what Boeing did, outsourcing 737-MAX flight control software to engineers making less than burger-flipping money.

Because, to Boeing, 737 software was mature and they didn't need to pay real money for work on it.

So, is it now "If It's a Boeing, I Ain't Going"?

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A couple of Aardvarks (F-111) low passes:

The rest of the video shows the damage from the second pass.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Shorter CT: We'll Sell Out for Cash

So, some ultra-rich hedge-fund couple has pledged to donate $100 million to do something about public education. The catches are: 1) the state has to cough up the same amount; and 2) the money goes into a non-profit that is exempt from state sunshine laws.

Good on them for putting up their money. But the state shouldn't be required to put taxpayer money into a black hole.

This is the sleazeball idea of recently-elected Gov. Ned "Toll Booth" Lamont, another one of those goddamned rich guys who feel the need to play around with public service.

Lamont is offended by the comments others have made that this deal is little more than a bunch of rich folks showering dollars on the peasants of the state. The reason why that's so offensive to Lamont is that, well, it's the truth.


"Bring me the remote and a beer."

Friday, June 28, 2019

"I've Had All I Can Stand, I Can't Stand Any More" plus 50

50 years ago, queer folk got tired of being pushed around by the cops and did something about it. Ten years ago, cops in Texas marked the anniversary by raiding a gay bar for bullshit reasons.

It wasn't the first such riot against police oppression. However, it has come to be marked as the start of the modern gay rights movement.

There's still a lot of hatred and bigotry which, nowadays, is cloaked in religious justification.

Handling Handgun Recoil

Jerry Miculek has some pointers.

Because It's Friday

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Tab Clearing

Pro tip: Do not believe, because you are having a conversation in public in a foreign language, that your conversation is private.
I shot an IDPA match in an indoor range, using a FN Hi-Power. One stage was low-light, with the single light shining from downrange towards the shooter. It was difficult. Powder smoke made it even harder to distinguish between shoot and no-shoot targets.
I'll let the chattering classes talk about the debates. Until candidates start dropping out, it's not worth my pixels.
So the Supremes are OK with political gerrymandering, but not naked racism. Good to know.
The NYPD has been trying to figure out what to do about police suicides. What I didn't realize is that more cops kill themselves than are killed on the job. One of the struggles for the bosses is that seeking counseling is taken by most cops as a sign of weakness and it can lead to being put on the rubber gun squad.

This is not a new problem for the military.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Brock Turner, the Preppie Dumpster Rapist, is Still a Registered Sex Offender

In case you've forgotten who he is.

Brock limited the appeal of his conviction because it belatedly occurred to his lawyers that a retrial might open the door to Brock being sent to prison for several years. He argued that there was not sufficient evidence for a conviction. The appellate court laid out the facts of the case and, in essence, said that he was full of shit (the legal term is "this argument lacks merit").

If you want to read the opinion, it is here in PDF format (17 pages)

The judge in the case had the balls to compare going lightly on the Affluenza Rapist to Brown v. Board of Education. That argument didn't fly with the voters, who fired his ass. The judge sued to stop/overturn the recall election, a litigation which was apparently declared to be frivolous, for he was ordered to pay attorney's fees to the recall's proponents. The judge asked his supporters to kick in for that.

But don't you worry about poor little Brock. His family will, in a few years or so, probably spread around some money and he'll get a pardon.

OMG, the Dreaded Six-Engine Approach!

Daher, Airbus and Safran announced they are teaming up to develop a “hybrid-propulsion” aircraft to fly in 2022. Based on a TBM airframe still fitted with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop, the video produced by Daher reveals six electric motors mounted to the leading edge of the wing.
Clearly, it's a experimental airplane. It's going to take a long time before any of this is commercially viable.

To be frank, I am skeptical. To run those electric motors, there has to be batteries or a fuel-burning generator. All that means weight.

For almost every airplane, filling all the seats with adults and filling the fuel tanks is not possible. So one trades payload for range. Batteries make that tradeoff impractical.

For the near term, electric airplanes will be either used for specialized circumstances (like high-altitude radio relays) or for hobbyists.

(Google "seven-engine approach" if you don't get the headline.)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Not Moving the Needle on Trump

Let me be plain: I believe E. Jean Carroll's story that she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. Trump has a long track record of considering any woman he meets as property. He is a serial offender.

But the thing is, Carroll's account will, in the political sense, matter not. None of the Trumpanzees will be convinced. The self-styled "moral majority" is perfectly OK with a guy who has cheated on all of his wives, who wants to bang his daughter, and who cheats everybody.

Trump could be caught on film shooting somebody or in a drug-fueled sex party with minors and none of his supporters would give a rat's ass. (Or they would say "whatabout dem emails"?)

Monday, June 24, 2019

"Don't Be Evil", My Ass

If you use Google's Chrome browser, congratulations! You are using the most spyware-friendly browser that there is.

When Google began, they were touting themselves as not being an evil megacorp, unlike Microsoft. Their unofficial motto was "don't be evil."

Funny how shiploads of money have changed their tune on that.

An Indisputable Point

The United States of America runs concentration camps for children.

Before I retired, I handled child neglect cases. I can tell you this with utter certainty: Any parent who treated their kids the way that the Border Patrol has treated those kids would have their kids taken away from them, possibly forever.

Before any defenders of Trump respond, please do me a favor: Go look at yourself in a mirror and ask if you want to go on record defending the use of concentration camps to house children.

Second Time's Not Better; Istanbul Ed.

A few months ago, the ruling party in Turkey lost the election for Istanbul's mayor by 13,000 votes. Instead of taking the loss and using the vote differential to argue that the loss wasn't significant, they canceled the election, alleging irregularities, and ordered another one.

Which they lost by over three-quarters of a million votes.

Erdogan is one of Trump's buds, because he's an authoritarian. But possibly, the people in Turkey have had enough of his shit.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

How to Look Like You Served Time

Get a homemade tattoo. It's about as stupidly self-indulgent as it sounds.

Apollo 11

If you missed it in the theaters, you missed a terrific documentary.

But it airs on CNN tonight.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

By request, a working An-2.

Two things have stopped me from getting one.

First, money. Can you imagine a recovering job on one of those things?

Second, Cessna lobbied the FAA to not let them be licensed in this country because Cessna feared that the An-2s would gut the marker for Cessna's Caravans. So they can only be flown under an Experimental/Exhibition license, which is a serious pain in the ass.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Henry Rollins is a Five-Star Idiot.
It's OK to Disagree With Me.
If You Do, You're Wrong.

Right, buff guy with a neck the diameter of a fire hydrant sneers at those who have guns.

"Might makes right" is a very old concept. When a buff young punk takes it in his mind to have his way sexually with a 5-foot-nothing girl, what are her options for fighting him off? When a couple of thugs break into the house of an old man to steal his money and prescription drugs, what's that old guy's option for defending himself?

Guns take youth and strength out of the equation. Thomas Jefferson said that all men are created equal. Samuel Colt made them so.

"Never fear any man, no matter what his size. When danger threatens, call on me, and I will equalize."

Which is why big-muscled men hate guns. At least, until they come across a guy who is bigger, stronger, and meaner.


Elliott, a shelter cat:

Friday, June 21, 2019

And Once Again, It Appears That Trump is Lying

Early in the day, the president said he called off the counterattack at the last minute because it would kill 150 people in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned surveillance drone. “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” he tweeted.

But administration officials said Trump was told earlier Thursday how many casualties could occur if a strike on Iran was carried out, and that he had given the green light to prepare for the operation Thursday morning.
So this tweet:
is a lie.

I have a hard time believing that Trump was not briefed on possible casualties until a few minutes before the strike was due to be launched.

So instead of looking wise and not willing to authorize a non-proportional strike (killing 150 people over a winged toaster), Trump instead looks like a vacillating fool who is spreading lies to cover up his utter ineptitude.

Trump Has More Sense Than Bolton

President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would likely die in the attack.
Here are words you will rarely see on this blog: Trump was right to call off the strike. Killing over 100 people in retaliation for Iran shooting down a fucking robot would be just the sort of insanity that Bolton and Pompeo would promote.

And then there is this:
Still, there remained doubt inside the United States government over whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, this one flown by a military aircrew, did violate Iranian airspace at some point, according to a senior administration official.
So we aren't sure where the drone was or whether there was another American aircraft there that did intrude into Iranian airspace? And maybe the Iranians shot down the right drone or locked onto the wrong drone?

For that, Bolton and Pompeo (and Chief Torturer Haspert) want to start a war? Jesus. Well, we all knew what we were getting with Bolton, at least, which is why Trump put him in a job not requiring Senate confirmation.

Because It's Friday

I am somewhat surprised that they're running it to Chicago. I guess swing clearances aren't an issue.

What the Hell is Going On, Now; PGW 3.0 Ed.

The United States abruptly called off preparations for a military strike against Iran over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, a U.S. official said, while Iran claimed Friday it had issued several warnings before shooting down the drone over what it said was Iranian territory.
President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.
Absent some unknown backchannel communications, it would seem that teeing up a military strike and then backing down is a move that the Iranians are going to take as a signal that Trump has no stomach for this.

One of My Little Litmus Tests

One of the things I look at is how whether or not candidates try to make unjustified hay from the remarks of others.

Example one, Joe Biden:
"I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me boy. He always called me son. Guess what, at least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished. But today, you look at the other side and you are the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don't talk to each other anymore."
The first one to start carping about that was Sen. Corey Booker, who is currently just outpolling dryer lint.

Booker is intentionally missing the point. Booker knows damn well what Biden's point was, but he's ignoring it in his "oooh, Joe said something nice about segregationists" bullshit. But with his manufactured outrage, Booker is getting his name in print and his face on TV.

Running for office, when one is at the ass-end of the pack, can turn one into an attention whore. Booker is a fine example of that.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Drone Shoot-Down

Iran "made a very big mistake" in shooting down a US military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump says.

However, he told reporters it could have been the result of human error, saying: "I find it hard to believe it was intentional."

Iran said the drone had violated Iranian airspace, but the US military denied this.
Right now, I'm not believing anyone. It's quite possible that the drone was being used to probe Iranian reaction by flying it as close as possible to Iranian airspace.

Those who would say "why, US would never do that" has no understanding of history.

Those who would say that "no such mistake is possible" also are revealing their ignorance.

One thing that keeps getting lost in the noise is that oil coming via the Persian Gulf isn't that critical for the United States. It is more important for Europe and Asia. Those nations need to step up their involvement, for if Iran does threaten oil shipment, this one is not our circus.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Yep, Jared's BFF Is a Murderer.

Saudi Arabia is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate last year, and there is “credible evidence” justifying an investigation into the role of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a United Nations expert said in a report released on Wednesday.

The expert, Agnes Callamard, also said that the United Nations secretary general should establish an international criminal investigation to ensure accountability for the crime.
Since Trump loves murderous autocrats more than he loves his wife, don't expect this report to dent his love for Prince Bone Saw.

Is China Outplaying Trump on Tariffs?

They may be because Trump views a trade war as a two-party fight, but the Chinese are using their tariffs to encourage Chinese importers to buy from other sources.
On average, it is now 14 percent cheaper in China to buy something from Canada, Japan, Brazil, or Europe than it is to buy something from the United States. Beijing is making it worthwhile for its consumers to develop new commercial relationships. And once those new ties are formed, the Chinese may not bother to switch back.
The article goes on to point out that Trump thought that nobody would ever retaliate for his imposing tariffs, an assumption that has proved to be laughable.

Meanwhile, Trump apparently spent most of his so-called campaign kickoff lambasting Hillary Clinton. Apparently, Trump has not yet gotten the memo that she isn't running for election. Besides that bit of stupidity, only a complete moron would think that Trump hasn't been campaigning since 1/21/17. He's been holding campaign rallies ever since he was inaugurated.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Abe & JFK Say "Hold Our Beers."

Abe Lincoln may beg to differ:

So might JFK:

Or Emmett Till

Or these two gentlemen:

Or the thousands who walked and died on the Trail of Tears:

We can keep this up for a long time.

Trump is a pathetic, whiny man with the emotional maturity of a toddler. He is a snowflake; everybody is so mean to him or it's noooo faaaiiirrrr! His sons are no different.

They should, frankly, be ashamed of themselves. So should anyone who defends them on this.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Big Push (Pin Shooting)

You have to knock the pins back 14.5' to clear the table. It's an event for the big magnums. A .44 magnum might be marginal.

Persian Gulf War 3.0

The Coalition of the (Un)Willing is going to be small this time around. For one thing, all of the players arguing that Something Must Be Done are, well, biased as all fuck.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to get America to shed its blood and treasure on Iran for decades. If he were to trip over a curb, he'd blame Iran.
  • John Bolton similarly has been trying to cook up a war with Iran for a very long time.  On the other hand, Bolton's been trying to start wars with everyone he can, other than possibly Liechtenstein and Andorra.  And I'm not sure about Andorra.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan, a/k/a Prince Bone Saw, is another of the "let's let the Americans die for us" caucus.  
  • Donald Trump, a man who lies only less frequently than he exhales. But only because he breathes in his sleep. Alost every day, you can find a news item that fact-checks Trump, which probably should be titled "Stupid Shit That Trump Said Today." The point being is that Trump lies about everything. You would have to be an idiot to buy anything from Trump, including a #2 pencil
These are the guys who are agitating for PG War 3.0. Only an utter fool would believe anything they say.

Which is something that the Iranians are well aware of and are exploiting.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Probably the Only Time I'll Cite "Bloody Bill" Kristol, Plus Iran

I don't know why Dotard Donald had to add "(UK)" after "The Queen of England". Maybe there's another "Queen of England" who is also the Queen of Brazil?

More seriously, if things go sideways, who is going to speak for the United States? Trump is a notorious liar. Damn near everyone on the planet who has heard of Trump knows that he lies about anything and everything, all of the time. Every sentence he utters is a lie, including the articles, the conjunctions, and the punctuation.

So if Trump says that "Iran did it", who, other than Mitch McConnell and the Trumpanzees, is going to be inclined to believe it?

Grayson Fritts is Exhibit "A" on Why Everyone Who is LGBT Should Own a Gun

In the hourlong sermon based on an Old Testament passage, Detective Grayson Fritts, also a pastor at All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville, told his congregation June 2 that he believes that federal, state and county governments should arrest, try, convict and "speedily" execute people within the LGBTQ community on no more grounds than a cell phone photo of a person participating in a Pride event.
First off, I normally don't use the names of asswipes like Fritts in my posts. But this turdlet deserves all the notoriety that he can get.

And this:
Fritts took a voluntary buyout two weeks ago after giving the June 2 sermon. He is on paid sick leave until the buyout takes effect July 19, Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said Wednesday. Fritts said the buyout was not related to his sermons.
In a pig's eye it wasn't related to his preaching of hate.

Funny how all those G_d-fearing folks will rail against gay people but then go chow down on a pulled-pork sandwich.

But let's leave that aside.

The law and the LGBT community have had a distrustful relationship. Cops have, up until recently, had a reputation for raiding gay bars for bullshit reasons. Some agencies have worked hard to try and change that image, which is why you'll sometimes see police brass marching (or float-riding) in Pride parades.

Fritts has done his best to damage that.

For a very long time, LGBT people have known (or believed) that they cannot expect to be treated fairly by the cops or the courts. The "gay panic defense" is a symptom of that. Openly LGBT people have known for a long time that crimes against them often will not be taken seriously by the cops or the courts. States are slowly trying to fix that.

I suspect that Fritts is not a real outlier.

An older definition of the word "outlaw" was "a person who is outside of the protection of the law." In that sense, being LGBT is basically, to some degree, being an outlaw. Someone robs, rapes, kills you, the cops and the courts are not going to take your being a victim as seriously as they will John Straight Whitebread. To an extent, you are on your own.

Hence the need to own a gun, know how to use it, and to get a carry permit if your state allows such.


Bella is not happy.

She had dental work the day before this picture was taken. She had a tooth that was really bad, so it had to come out. she also had her teeth cleaned.

It was a little risky. Bella is 15 (or more); anesthesia is problematical for older cats. But it was either do this or put her down. The decision was made to proceed.

She's now doing a lot better.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Do You Know What Day It Is?

It's National Bourbon Day!

Drink up!

Felonious Trump

Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners -- such as China or Russia -- or hand it over the FBI, Trump said, "I think maybe you do both. "I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent' -- oh, I think I'd want to hear it."
Information is a thing of value. For a political campaign, accepting a thing of value from a foreigner is illegal and is a felony.

In point of fact, a politician who illegally accepts something from a foreign government should not have a security clearance, for they are susceptible to blackmail. Arguably, they become an illegal agent for that government.

But there is Trump, openly saying that he would commit a felony and fuck you for asking.

Needless to say, the other members of the Party of Trump are busily twisting themselves into knots to justify Cadet Bone Spurs's lack of regard for the law. They are nothing short of despicable, zero-integrity chunks of sentient sewage settling pond scum.

And These Blast Points, too Accurate for Sand People. Only Imperial Storm Troopers are so Precise.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington: "It is the assessment of the United States that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks.

"This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication."
Right. My dim recollection of Pompeo is that, when he was a congressman, he was part of the Benghazi Conspiracy Caucus and that he was one of the "Bomb Iran" wingnuts.

So, do I trust Pompeo? Nope. We've been down this road before, when chickenhawks in the Bush-II Aministration cherry-picked and/or flat-out lied about intelligence to gin up their Extra Special Iraq War, a way which destabilized the region and led to the birth of ISIS.

And then there is this:
The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said his country's "starting point" was to "believe our US allies".
Slow learners, the Brits.

So, was Iran behind these attacks? I don't know. But "who else coulda done it" isn't evidence.

UPDATE: One might want to read CDR Sal's take on this.

UPDATE II: Something that didn't occur to me until later is this-- look at the blast points on those tankers. If you are going to try and sink a ship, you would attach a limpet mine below the waterline, not several feet above it. Those blasts were also set to occur in places of the ship where it would be highly unlikely that any sailor would be present. Keep in mind that those ships have a total crew of maybe 25 hands, from the captain down to the cook.

No Real Shock to Anyone

The executive summary of this article: Trump has lied and conned people about his net worth for decades. His lies were the only thing that kept him afloat.

The big question is whether it's going to work anymore or whether to so-called Trump empire will implode.

Because It's Friday

The Elizabethan, one of the old British Transport flicks:

Steam was a lot more labor-intensive than people realize nowadays.

Maybe She Can Ask Baghdad Bob For Résumé Advice

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, whose tenure was marked by a breakdown in regular press briefings and questions about the administration’s credibility, as well as her own, will leave her post at the end of the month, President Donald Trump announced.

Trump said Thursday he’s encouraging her to run for governor when she returns home to Arkansas, where her father once held the job.
It took two years for Trump to drain her soul out, leaving a dead-eyed husk of a woman with zero integrity left to her name.

So she's probably a good fit for the governorship of Arkansas.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Do You Want Free Baby Food or Toothpaste?

If you're in Dallas, you can just steal them.
[Dallas County DA John] Creuzot said his office will not prosecute theft cases where the value is under $750 unless the evidence shows the theft was for economic gain.

"Study after study shows that when we arrest, jail, and convict people for non-violent crimes committed out of necessity, we only prevent that person from gaining the stability necessary to lead a law-abiding life. Criminalizing poverty is counter-productive for our community’s health and safety," Creuzot said.
I had to read that a few times. Are they actually telling people, in essence, that if they really need or want something, they're free to go steal it? How is promoting theft going to get people to "lead a law-abiding life"?

Poverty drives people to desperate acts. A classic French novel centers on that theme. It's right that justice be tempered with mercy. But mercy shouldn't be an automatic pass. What happens when the DA refuses to prosecute cases is that the cops then will refuse to arrest people. Why take the time to run someone down to the station, book them in, take them to the jail and do all that when the prosecutor's going to nolle the case?

So the owner of a local store in that neighborhood calls the cops on someone for stealing stuff, but the cops will do nothing. The store owner can then ban that person from the store, but if you’ve read the story, you'll see that Creuzot isn't going to prosecute charges of criminal trespass. Someone comes into a store and boosts a couple of packs of baby food, some milk, some bread and they can just walk out the door, smiling, knowing that there is not anyone who going to do anything about it. The store clerk isn't going to go all western on them.

One of two things will eventually happen. The simplest one will be that stores in lower income areas will just close. The complaints about poor areas being "food deserts" will grow more acute. The other outcome is that stores will revert to a pre-war service model: You step up to a counter, place your order and a clerk brings out your items. If you try to then steal them, there may be an element of robbery, not just shoplifting, and that'll probably still get you prison time. Naturally, a store where a clerk has to bring out everything will charge more for their stuff, which will make life even harder for people living in poverty.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

It Was Treason Then, It's Still Treason

The Chicago Tribune is still defending its treachery following the Battle of Midway, wherein it reported that the Navy had broken the Japanese naval code.

It was treason or, at least, aiding and abetting the enemy.

Would anyone have approved of a paper printing that the codebreakers of Bletchley Park had broken the codes used by the Germans and the Italians? I doubt it very much.

You may recall that one of the reactions of Admiral King to the capture of U-505 was initially to order the court-martial of Capt. Gallery, as if the Germans had learned that the boat had been captured, they would have changed their codes, which were being ready by the British and Americans.

Revealing during wartime that we've broken an enemy's code isn't a brave act of bringing sunshine. It is treason. In 1942, it was by no means clear that we were going to win. If the Japanese had learned of the codebreaking, it may have prolonged the war. A lot more people would have been killed as a result of the Tribune's reckless, nay, treasonous action.

Roosevelt's initial reaction was correct: The editors and publisher of the Chicago Tribune should have been prosecuted and shot.

(H/T for reminding me of this)

This One Registers on the Bullshit Meter

Reince Priebus, President Trump’s former chief of staff, has officially joined the Navy.

At a commissioning ceremony Monday morning, Vice President Pence swore in Priebus as an ensign, an entry-level officer. Priebus and his family also met with Trump at the White House after the ceremony.
A Navy review board reviewed 42 candidates last December and “professionally recommended” Priebus and four others to join the service through a competitive direct-commission program for human resources officers, the memo said.
I suspect that Preibus got in due to political connections because Ens. Priebus is 47 years old.

Whether or not Preibus feels truly called to serve, one might wonder why that call wasn't present fifteen years ago, when the need for people who were willing to serve was so dire that the recruiters were accepting people who would have had trouble outsmarting the contents of a petri dish. Tens of thousands of sailors and airmen were sent to fill Army jobs in Iraq and elsewhere. My recollection is that the Air Force Chief of Staff was publicly complaining that the Air Force was having trouble recruiting people because nobody wanted to join the Air Force to drive trucks over IEDs in Iraq.

But that was then.

Preibus's going into the service both at an advanced age and into a non-deployable specialty where the uniform could be a cocktail dress and heels is both less than impressive and smacks of political pandering on the part of the Navy.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Fact-Checking on Guns

Jake Tapper fact-checks some Democrats on their claims about guns:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand edges out President Obama for the award of "Who's the Biggest Liar."

Regular readers know what I think of Gillibrand. The executive summary would be "an untrustworthy weasel who is a tool of the banksters" will suffice if you don't want to read through that.


So, let's recap Trump's latest kerfuffle with Mexico: Donne sees something on the tee-vee that upsets him. So he picks up the only tool he knows how to use and threatens Mexico with tariffs. The GOP, this time, bleats that they've had enough. So Trump reaches an "agreement" with the Mexican government, whereby the Mexicans agree to do things that they've pretty much already agreed to do. Trump claims victory and gives in on imposing tariffs.

What Trump did was gull his base, again. Nobody else is fooled by this irrationality show.

What does the world learn from this? They learn that Trump is an angry child with no impulse control. If he sees something that makes him mad, he lashes out.

They also know that any trade agreements with the Trump administration are, in essence, written with smoke. They are only as good as Trump's word.

Which is of no value whatsoever.

(Trump's next great deal)

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Trumpist Tab Clearing

Trump's getting a wall:
Work is expected to begin this summer to replace fencing outside the perimeter of the White House with a taller barrier in an effort to improve security.

The roughly 3,500-foot fence that surrounds the White House grounds currently stands at about eight feet high. The new structure will measure at more than 13 feet high.
Only it's not the one he's been bleating about.
Meanwhile, Trump is getting his panties in a twist over Nancy Pelosi's comment that she'd prefer to see him in prison.
President Trump on Friday lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling her “a disgrace" after the California Democrat privately told lawmakers she wants to see the president “in prison.”
Republicans have similarly been wringing their hands over this.

Gee. Funny how short their memory is. I guess they don't recall Trump presiding over chants of "lock her up" at his rallies. I guess they don't recall Trump telling Hillary Clinton, to her face, that if he had his way, she'd be in jail.

It's been Republicans who have been chanting for criminal prosecutions of opponents. That it was their guy who may have done something worthy of going to prison is savorable.


Chip is lounging on a blanket that was made especially for him.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Putin's Man in the Senate Is.......

..... Mitch McConnell. He is standing firmly athwart any effort to beef up the security of American elections.

One has to wonder why McConnell is turning a blind eye and a thick head towards the well-documented efforts by the Russians to interfere in our elections.

The only possible answer is because McConnell believes that Russian interference benefits his party.

I've long regarded McConnell as a partisan hack who places the welfare of his political skin and his party over the safety and security of his country.

One might hope that one of the nonagenarian veterans who are coming home from the D-Day commemorations will swing by Capitol Hill and give McConnell a swift thwack in the mouth with their cane.

Beemer Cop Car

From here, in German.

The Brits had something similar:

Collecting police cars is indeed a thing.

Hate Café

A couple says that a suburban St. Louis restaurant canceled their wedding rehearsal after learning they’re gay. ... Madison’s Cafe [O'Fallon, MO} said in a statement posted on its website that “in order to honor God, we will not host or facilitate any event that we believe directly contradicts our Christian principles.”
So, if you're not a full-on member of the Christian Taliban and you find yourself in O'Fallon, go find another place to eat.

But please, be careful. There are a lot of "Madison's Cafés" out there.

National Cop-Pill Day

June 7 is National Doughnut Day – or National Donut Day in some circles – and shops across the country are marking the day with fried freebies and delectable deals.

Because It's Friday

Big Boy 4014, with some expository narration for those who haven't been following the rebuild:

Why We Can't Have Nice Things, Rifle Ed.

The .350 Winchester Legend.
Compared to bottleneck cartridges, straight-wall cartridges generally have shorter effective distances, reducing the chance of overshooting a target. This increased distance in bottleneck rounds can be caused by many factors, but most specifically it is caused by the increase in propellant. When the case is wider than the bullet, you have more room for propellant, which means the bullet can be fired with greater velocity and energy.

Straight walls, however, pack less propellant, and therefore have less velocity, which means less distance from the bullet.
[M]any midwestern states have outlawed rifle hunting. Iowa, for example, has traditionally only allowed deer hunting with a shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun, or bow. But recent changes in the state law have allowed for rifles that load straight-walled ammunition. Ohio and Southern Michigan enacted similar legislation. Of course, there is potential for other states to make changes too.

The issue is that many of the straight-walled ammunition options didn’t offer the speed and performance that most hunters desire. Seeking to fill an obvious need, the developers at Winchester created the 350 Legend. ... [T]he goal was to achieve a bullet that has the ballistic performance of a traditional rifle cartridge with less recoil than many of the hard-hitting brutes of the straight-wall variety.
Let's rephrase this. 1) Some states don't want hunters banging away with high-power rifles; 2) They were OK with hunters basically shooting handgun cartridges out of rifles; 3) So Winchester developed a straight-walled cartridge to try and reach the performance of a bottle-necked (high-power) cartridge.

I predict that the legislators, who recently allowed the use of straight-walled cartridges, will regard the .350 Legend as an attempt to work around the legal limits. They'll either say "ok, fuck you" and repeal the laws or limit them to specific handgun cartridges.

When that happens, the .350 Legend will fade away.

D-Day Plus 20 Years, a CBS News Special Report

You would have to be of a certain age to remember watching this one:

My dad sat all of us down to watch this when it aired. This morning, I saw a little blurb about the MV Cape Henlopen returning to service after an overhaul; that and the D-Day +75 coverage in the paper this morning prompted me to look for the video. I had years ago, but I couldn't then find it. Turns out that CBS uploaded it two days ago.

Kudos to CBS for making it available to the world.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

It's "Kids Dying in Locked Car Season," Again

Authorities say an 11-month-old girl has died after being locked inside a car for 15 or 16 hours in suburban St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District received a call around 4:30 p.m. Sunday about an infant who wasn’t breathing and found the child unresponsive in Calverton Park. First responders were unable to revive her.
This happens every year, people. It does not take a very hot day for the sun to turn a car into a greenhouse that'll bake a child, or an animal.

Keep your heads out of your asses and look out for your kids, people.

Lies and Lies from Trump

President Trump, who avoided serving in the Vietnam War thanks to several dubious draft deferments, said Wednesday he was “never a fan” of the bloody 20-year conflict and claimed he’s making up for his failure to serve by boosting defense budgets.

In a softball interview with British TV personality Piers Morgan, Trump suggested he was pleased with avoiding the Vietnam War and said he would have preferred to serve in a battle like World War II.

“I thought it was a terrible war,” Trump said of U.S. military involvement in communist Vietnam. “I thought it was very far way, and at that time nobody ever heard of the country. So many people dying, what is happening over there? So I was never a fan."
Really? Really? Let's look back, shall we.

Trump got his bone spur deferment in 1968. This was after a few college deferments. Well before 1968, everyone knew about the Vietnam War and where Vietnam was. The war was routinely on the covers of the news magazines, but scratch that, Trump doesn't read. It was on the news a lot. The Tet Offensive began on January 30, 1968. Footage of the battle aired on the nightly news damn near every day.

Besides that, I'm reasonably confident that if Trump had had a choice of whether to fight in World War II, he'd have either run from that one or fought for the nation that he ideologically agrees with.

Which isn't the one he is playing president of.[1]
[1] The point that Trump thinks that spending other peoples money on the Pentagon makes up for his draft-dodging is classic Trump, he's always willing to let other people pick up his load. But it's outside the thrust of this post.

D-Day +75; Belleau Wood +101

You can read what I wrote ten years ago.

This will probably be the last commemoration where a fair number of the active participants will be in attendance.

In 1918, two Marine battalions joined the Battle of Belleau Wood . The Marine began the battle with the battle cry of SFC Daly, who yelled: "For Christ's sake men—come on! Do you want to live forever?"

The last Marine veteran of the battle, Gene Lee, died fifteen years ago.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


I shot a couple of stages of an IDPA-style match tonight. I was the only one there with a revolver.

I'd never shot such a match. I did shoot the second stage clean. What helped there was a number of the shooting positions required six rounds, so I was able to reload on the move.

I was feeling pretty beat, so I didn't shoot the last two stages. Some other day.

Lack of Moral Fibre

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson for his inaction during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland last year, which left 17 dead and 17 others injured.

Charges include seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury.

“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statement. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”
The Volokh Conspiracy argues that the charges essentially boil down to "cowardice in battle". The analogy may not be perfect, but it works.

I'm kind of skeptical about school resource officers (SROs). That may be because I've known of a few who got jobs as SROs after bouncing around a few departments. They took their POST certification and got jobs where they're not likely to have to face a huge drunk guy wearing a wife-beater in the midsts of a domestic dispute at 0230. So they get a job where they can be Ossifer Friendly or, if they are so inclined, lord it around over kids.

Here's the thing: Mass shootings are rare, but they do happen. When they occur in a school, if there is a SRO on duty, he or she is the only one that is there with the best tool to stop the shooter. If they are not inclined to move toward the sound of the gun, then they should not be on the job. Kids are being told "run, hide fight". Kids in Parkland helped others escape rather than running for their lives and some died for that. Unarmed kids in other shootings have fought back.

Is it unreasonable to expect that an armed (and hopefully trained) SRO be at least as brave as unarmed kids?

(It could also be that a little bit of "pour encourager les autres" is also going on.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Two Reasons to Own Guns

This guy:
The mayor of an Alabama town reportedly called for "killing out" gay people in a since-deleted Facebook comment.

Mark Chambers lumped "homosexuals" and "transvestites" together with "baby killers" and "socialists" in the post, according to TV station WBRC.
And this guy:
A Flordia politician has ignited criticism in his response to the idea that gay people should be legally executed in America.
I'm pretty sure that both men are card-carrying members of the Christian Taliban.

The first jerk said that he only meant to spew his hateful bile in a private message. As though that makes it any better.

Food for Thought

From here.

It makes some sense. If one is going to go hunt humans, it would be logical to go hunting in places where one's prey is less likely to mount an aggressive defense.

Alan Dershowitz is a Fascist Piece of Shit

He is of the impression that a president could defy an impeachment conviction and just keep on presidenting under the "naw, I don't think so" provision of the Constitution.

I am certain that the Framers of the Constitution would disagree emphatically with him. I am also certain that the Framers would have regarded such presidential defiance in the face of an impeachment conviction as an "all y'all go get your guns and let's meet up at the White House with some hot tar, feathers, and a rail" moment.

Thirty Years On

On this day in 1989, Chinese troops massacred pro-democracy student demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

A precise death toll has never been made public. It likely was well north of a thousand.

China has tried to stuff the Massacre down the memory hole, but they haven't wholly succeeded.

Donald Trump has sought to curry favor with China over this, of course. He called the demonstrations a "riot" and approved of the PLA shooting kids. His comments were pretty much in keeping with his philosophy that freedom is bad and authoritarianism is good.

(Accidentally posted yesterday. Deleted and sorry about that.)

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Consequences of Institutionalized Child-Raping

Not to mention slavery of unwed mothers is that when the scandals came to light, the Catholic Church in Ireland has lost its moral authority. RCC opposition to a law in Ireland now seems as though it almost guarantees passage.

The chains of the people that were imposed by the prelates in Ireland have been shattered.

Of course, in Canada, Quebec was able to break the stranglehold of the RCC without any scandals that I can recall, other than maybe the piss-poor educational system.

A. He is the reigning Jeopardy! champion for the foreseeable future.

Q: Who is Ken Jennings?

James Holzhauer was defeated on today's show by Emma Boettcher, a librarian from Chicago. He was $58,484 shy of the record.


M50 Ontos:

My uncle was a two-war Marine, who retired by the time I was of an age to know anything about it. Our familes went camping one time at Quantico; he took us to a garage of some kind where there was an Ontos. Even to a kid, it seemed pretty tiny.

(My memory was jogged by this.)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ruger Security 9

Ruger's new Security 9 Compact:

I have to admit that this one intrigues me a little. Even though I have a Security-Six. But a Ruger 9mm for not much more than a Taurus G2 and the same street price as a S&W Shield? Interesting.

Planning on Coming to America?

Think hard about deleting all of your social media accounts.
Visa applicants to the United States are required to submit any information about social media accounts they have used in the past five years under a State Department policy that started on Friday.

Such account information would give the government access to photos, locations, dates of birth, dates of milestones and other personal data commonly shared on social media.
Other nations, no doubt, will follow suit. So if you plan to travel across a non-Schengen border, you may want to delete all of that shit, now.

The Provenza Rule

New developments in a missing-mom case that has been all over the news of late:
Police investigating the disappearance of a Connecticut mother of five have arrested her estranged husband and his girlfriend on charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution, authorities announced Sunday.

Police in the wealthy New York City suburb of New Canaan said Fotis Dulos, 51, and Michelle Troconis, 44, were taken into custody in Avon, Connecticut, late Saturday. Both were detained on $500,000 bail and are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Norwalk Superior Court.
The cops found blood in the victim's home that "somebody" tried to clean up.

Who would have done that? The charges suggest an answer.

So does Lt. Provenza:

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A 727:

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Give a Toddler a Hammer and Everything Becomes a Nail

In a surprise announcement that could derail a major trade deal, President* Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is slapping a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports, effective June 10, to pressure the country to do more to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross the U.S. border.

He said the percentage will gradually increase — up to 25% — “until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”
This smacks of something dreamed up by both the World's Oldest Toddler and his Office Nazi.

As many articles have pointed out, one of the things Trump is proudest of is ripping up NAFTA and replacing it with his version. That agreement has not been ratified by either the Mexicans or the U.S. Senate. And now, there's a better chance that it won't be.

Tariffs are a form of economic warfare. Using them against a friendly nation strikes me as being a not-terribly bright idea.

Using them against Mexico is not at all smart. I believe that internal Mexican politics will not look favorably on a government that is seen to be bending a knee to the Colossus of the North. I would not be at all surprised if there was talk in Mexico of allowing migrants to ride in boxcars (instead of on top of them) from the central Mexican railheads to the border.

It can get much worse. The Central American nations could implement a policy of "we don't accept anyone being deported from the US." The could claim that any papers are forged, that any admissions of citizenship in the origin country was obtained by psychological torture.

From there, they could make it legal to manufacture cocaine, crack, and Schedule 1 drugs for exportation-only. Legalization of production might have the side-effect of reducing the amount of crime and violence associated with the production of such drugs.

Another step would be to invite the PLAN to make a port visit.

Trump may think that he's the only person on the global stage who is willing to play hardball. He may find out that he is grievously in error.


Bella chills out in a sunny room.