Words of Advice:

"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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Caturday

Jasmine is voicing displeasure at not being permitted to partake of the Thanksgiving feast:

Friday, November 29, 2019

Because It's Friday

Stephenson's Rocket (replica thereof)

Tab Clearing: Trump on Afghanistan; Opiates and Pain

In this op-ed, a knee surgery patient exhibits frustration at being treated like a potential drug abuser for using opiates for post-surgery pain. I'll cut to the chase, for those who feel lazy:
The thing is, there are millions of Americans who aren’t an addiction liability just because they want a narcotics prescription post-injury or post-surgery. Yes, the government says nearly 80 percent of heroin users first misused opioid prescriptions, but the research being cited refers to people who illegally obtained those prescription opioids. Not patients.

In conclusion, Orthopedic Surgeon (and all doctors, really), can you ease up on prohibiting medications that help patients in pain to relax a bit? They’re not terrible drugs. They’re terrible drugs in the wrong hands.
I am of an age that I know people who have had major orthopedic surgery and cancer. For orthopedics, there's not much worse than a knee replacement. An orthopedic surgeon told me that the knee is a far more complex joint than the hip, as the knee has several degrees of motion. Despite the glowing ads that some hospitals run for their joint replacement centers, the recovery from knee replacement can be long and brutal. Shoulder surgery has the reputation of having a recovery period that people put off having it.

Add in people dealing with spinal deformities and cancer and you have a large number of people who are dealing with prolonged and debilitating pain. Opiates help, not necessarily to make them pain-free, but to knock enough of the edge off that people can function.

So how are they treated? They're treated like drug abusers. Bring in the pills for a count. Take a piss test to ensure that the drugs are being used. If they try to taper off for a time, that effort is treated as if it's permanent, leaving them high and dry for a reoccurrence of pain. But the worst is the emotional impact of being told that although they are in pain, they're being looked at with a gimlet eye because they must be incipient druggies.

As a result, patients try to deal with pain on their own and they suffer. Nobody seems to care. Certainly not the politicians, who have jumped on the "all opiates are bad" bandwagon. The doctors have been given the message that if any badged-up DEA flunky thinks they may have overprescribed, at the very least, they'll take away the doctor's prescription pad and maybe go after their license. So they'll settle for having patients suffer.

The pendulum has swung too far.

------------------------------------------

Now, on to Trump:
President Donald Trump paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan ... During his visit, Trump announced that the U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in peace talks and insisted the Taliban want to make a deal after heavy U.S. fire in recent months.
The Taliban's leaders are not stupid. They can read a calendar as well as anyone else. They know, full well, that Trump is standing for re-election next year and that he started campaigning the day after he was sworn in. They know that Trump has promised to get out of Afghanistan. They know that the person who is most anxious for a deal is Trump.

In short, the party that is most eager to make a deal is Trump, not the Taliban. That gives them them the edge in any negotiations, and they know it. Trump may not, for he seems to have an ability to see his own version of reality, a world where there are kind-hearted Nazis, that the Mall in Washington was packed for his Inauguration and so on.

Don't be surprised if Trump gives away the store in exchange for a deal. We've seen this movie already.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Convicted Murderer Named Paul Termann Wins the Right to "Be Forgotten"

A man convicted of murder 37 years ago has the right to be forgotten and have his name removed from online search results, Germany's highest court ruled on Wednesday.

The constitutional court in Karlsruhe found in favour of Paul Termann, who was given a life sentence for killing two people on a yacht in 1982.

A rift with another couple aboard the 'Apollonia' ship, ended with Termann, then 43, shooting dead Herbert Klein and Gabriele Humpert.
Seems that Termann is finding it hard to have "social relationships" because nobody wants to date an 80-year old murderer.

I'm kind of skeptical of a court in a certain country finding in favor of the "right to be forgotten" for killing people. For one might argue that said nation may have a vested interest in the same rules applying to them as a nation.

Trump Supports Human Rights When There Is No Other Alternative

China reacted furiously Thursday to President Donald Trump’s signing two bills aimed at supporting human rights in Hong Kong, summoning the U.S. ambassador to protest and warning the move would undermine cooperation with Washington.
...
The U.S. laws, which passed both chambers of Congress almost unanimously, mandate sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses in Hong Kong, require an annual review of Hong Kong’s favorable trade status and prohibit the export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions.
Why do I say that Trump had no alternative? This:
The House passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act by a vote of 417 to 1 on Nov. 20. The lone holdout was Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). That vote came one day after the Senate approved the measure unanimously.
A veto would have been overridden in a New York minute.

On the other hand, Trump could have asked his flying monkeys in Congress to block the bill, and Moscow Mitch might have done that. But Trump is not in a good place politically; being seen as standing up for the Chinese Communists over pro-democracy protesters (even when he had previously seemed to approve of brutal crackdowns).

It's Called "Doing an Epstein".

Thomas Bowers, identified as a former Deutsche Bank executive who signed off on controversial loans to President Donald Trump, died last week after apparently taking his own life at 55.
He hung himself and the coroner called it suicide.

Rudy had better hope that his so-called insurance is really good. Or his house may be painted.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Bus Bears Down on Rudy;
Also, If You Don't Want to be Known as a Liar, Don't Lie

Trump is denying having anything to do with Giuliani's going to Ukraine for anything. Rudy may want to see if his dry-cleaners can get tire treadmarks out of his suit.

------------------------------

Dead-eyed Sarah Sanders is not happy that she earned a reputation for lying. Maybe she should have thought about that before she took a job where lying was part of the job.

There's an old joke about that.

Our Stable Genius at Work


So Trump really does not understand why it is customary to wait one hundred years to celebrate the centennial of an event? Does he not understand how time works? Is he that freaking dense that he doesn't know what "centennial" means? Or is he that desperate to take credit for things that have nothing to do with him?

I guess we should cut him a break. Time is different for those in TrumpWorld... Melania probably feels as though she's been married to this boob for fifty years.

On Eddie Gallagher

I understand that Trump is the Commander-in-Chief. If he wants to override the verdict of a court-martial and protect a single sailor, that's his right.

But this is what I have a problem with: I have a problem with both the sailor and his lawyer going on Fox & Friends and whining directly to the President. That, to my mind, makes a mockery of the military disciplinary process. Gallagher made it a bit worse by hiring a lawyer who has Trump's ear. So Trump was predisposed to listen to what Gallagher's shill had to say, instead of what evidence was put forth and what judgment was made in a legal proceeding.

What Trump is doing is spreading his brand of corruption into the military: Do what the autocrat wants, even if it's a war crime, and he will protect you. Could Trump put together a personal hit squad and set them on his enemies? Why not? The Republicans have been claiming that Trump is immune from the justice system and Trump can ensure that his assassins are protected from prosecution.

That is admittedly far-fetched. But given that Trump admires Putin above all other living people[1] and that is pretty much what Putin has been doing, don't be surprised if it begins to happen. A president who has repeatedly called the free press "the enemy of the people"[2] and who has repeatedly called for people to be beaten up will have no qualms about ordering that people be killed.
________________________________________
[1] Because Hitler is dead.
[2] See FN.1. I have no doubt that Trump is familiar with the history of The Munich Post.

Monday, November 25, 2019

On Bloomberg: What He Said

The New York Crank has torn into Mayor McBig Gulp. You should read the entire thing.

Hong Kong Gets Interesting

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has said the government will "seriously reflect" after local elections saw massive gains by pro-democracy candidates.

Seventeen of the 18 district councils are now controlled by pro-democracy councillors, according to local media.

The election, the first since the wave of anti-Beijing protests began, saw an unprecedented turnout of more than 71%.

It is being seen as a stinging rebuke of Ms Lam's leadership and a show of support for the protest movement.
...
Pro-democracy contenders were victorious in 347 of the 452 district council seats up for grabs; pro-Beijing candidates won 60 seats; while independents - many of them pro-democracy - got 45, according to the South China Morning Post.

In the last election four years ago, pro-Beijing councillors won 298 seats, but the distribution of these seats meant they took control of all 18 district councils.

They retained control of only the Islands District Council after Sunday's vote.
So, unlike the narrative that the mainland Chinese are trying to sell, the pro-democracy protesters have proven that they have the support of the people.

Things are going to get even more interesting in Hong Kong.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Antidote to an Elderly Egomanical Billionaire as President Is an Even More Elderly Egomanical Billionaire?

According to Mayor McBig Gulp, it is.
Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the world’s richest men, has formally launched a Democratic bid for president. ... He will quickly follow with a massive advertising campaign blanketing airways in key primary states across the U.S.
Right.. "I made tens of billions of dollars, I was rich enough to buy a third term as mayor in NYC, I can buy the presidency."

Fucking give me a break. Bloomberg has a lot of Trumpian qualities; a belief that his billions have embued him with a special quality that would serve him well as president. Bloomberg is smarter than Trump, but he would be no more willing to listen to Congress than is Trump. Bloomberg would govern as does Trump; by scrawling his name on executive orders and expecting the entire country to kowtow to him.

Bloomberg would probably be the first Democratic candidate in a long time to poll into negative numbers in the Black community and possible the Latino community. People dead and those not yet born would hate him. For Bloomberg is a nothing if not a fascist. His "stop and frisk all the darkies" policy was ruled to be unconstitutional, a policy he defended right up until he realized that it would hurt his presidential bid. His conversion on this is about as convincing as Giuliani's conversion on the Second Amendment. Or Trump's.

Like Tom Steyer, Bloomberg will spend a lot of money on TV advertising, which will reach anyone who doesn't have a DVR.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Lear 85:



The 85 was a project that was canceled four years ago.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Caturday

A trio of shelter cats:

Friday, November 22, 2019

Good Morning America is Run by Superficial Idiots

This morning on GMA, some clown was reporting on Bloomberg's pseudo run for the presidency. The reporter pointed out the last person to skip the initial primaries and win the nomination was Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

That is true on a very superficial level. But only that.

Plumbing my memory banks from 1968: Humphrey was, at the time, LBJ's veep. LBJ was running for reelection until Eugene McCarthy nearly beat LBJ in New Hampshire. LBJ then dropped out and others entered the race, including Robert F. Kennedy (the father of the moron who thinks vaccines are bad). Kennedy emerged from the California primary as the front-runner for the nomination, but he was assassinated that night. Humphrey then was the front-runner and he won the nomination.

So unless Bloomberg is counting on an assassin to kill off whomever is in front, he's got as much chance as his money will buy him.

Which hopefully is damned little.

Because It's Friday

The Brits do love steam, it seems.


Nearly 7' tall drivers and rain-slick track can make things interesting.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

I Second This Sentiment


Will No One Rid Me of This Turbulent Priest?

Whether it was that famous phrase or a mafia boss ordering a hit my telling someone "take care of Fredo", the idea that a boss can order his subordinates to do something while maintaining deniability for having done so is a concept that is centuries, if not millennia, old.

Republicans, like a certain former wresting coach, know all about deniability. The only people who don't understand that Trump was soliciting a bribe from Ukraine are those who wouldn't say he did something wrong if he was found coated in blood, holding a knife and standing over Melania's still-oozing corpse.

At this point it's hard to see the Senate voting to remove Trump. GOP Senators, some of whom are still in office, were oh, so hot on removing Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job are prostrating themselves in defense of Trump's subversion of American foreign policy to serve his personal interests.

But the impeachment still has to move forward. For even if the Republicans are too gutless to stand up for the rule of law, history will not be so shy.

At this point, the only true winner is the historical reputation of George W. Bush, who can be assured that he is no longer the worst GOP president in history.

Following Up

Two months ago, I blogged about MyPayrollHR, a company run by an alleged fraudster, which stole the paychecks of thousands of people. The overall number may be a quarter of a million.

Some of the companies dug deep and absorbed the losses themselves. One business owner, Brad Mete, and his partners coughed up over $250,000 to ensure that their employees got the money they earned.

The CEO, a guy named Michael Mann, directed $26 million in other people's payrolls into his own accounts.

He's been charged with fraud. Mann has admitted to stealing about $70 million over the last nine years.

With any luck, he'll get more than the usual white-collar wrist slap.

The company that did the bank processing for the fraudster and other companies, Cachet Financial, got out of the business last month. They gave almost no notice, which screwed over even more employers.

A lot of this modern third-party processing shit is based on trust. One crook can pull it all apart. Companies once did this all themselves, but they figured to save themselves money by firing Janet and her sisters in the payroll department and having some shadowy critters on the Internet do the work for them.

If you work for a company that outsources its payroll processing, you probably should have a couple of paychecks' worth of money stashed aside. (Which you should have, anyway.) That way, if payroll has a glitch like a criminal like Mann diverting the payroll, you won't be kicked out of your home or have the heat turned off.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

So, What's The Problem, Here?

Thousands of lawsuits across the United States have accused a drug company owned by the billionaire Sackler family of using false claims to push highly addictive opioids on an unsuspecting nation, fueling the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history.

Yet, even as its U.S. drugmaker collapses under the charges, another company owned by the family has used the same tactics to peddle its signature painkiller, OxyContin, in China, according to interviews with current and former employees and documents obtained by the Associated Press.
Once it becomes clear to the Chinese government that the Sacklers' company, Mundipharma, is getting a few hundred thousand Chinese addicted to opioids to enrichen a Western family, they'll react by charging the Chinese executives of Mundipharma with narcotics trafficking and shoot them.

The Sackler family may want to stay clear of Chinese territory for the foreseeable future. But if they don't, and if what I just posited happens to them, few tears will be shed by those who aren't related to them.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Second Thought on Trump's Settlement Move

Besides what I posted yesterday, there is another way that Trump's move benefits Putin.

Since the end of the Second World War, the gain of land by a nation through conquest has been heavily frowned upon. Doing so has been regarded as illegal; when nations have done that, their conquests have not been recognized by most of the rest of the world.

Russia, as you likely know, obtained the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine by conquest. Russia's conquest has not been recognized by nations of the world that are either, in essence, Russian puppets, or nations that similarly seek to keep conquered territory. American recognition of Israel's conquest of the West Bank, which is what Trump's reversal on settlement policy is, serves Russian interests in that Trump is fracturing the global consensus against wars of conquest.

So, one again, with Trump, all roads lead to Czar Vladimir IV.

More Bullshit from Boeing

Outside of charging NASA 63% more for flying people to space than SpaceX, Boeing had this jaw-dropping claim:
"Starliner flies on the most reliable lifter in the business, an Atlas V modified for human spaceflight safety by people with actual experience in the domain," the company stated.
The last Atlas that carried a human into space flew on May 15, 1963-- 56 years ago. It's pretty safe to say that there is nobody working for then-Convair, now Boeing now who worked on building the man-rated Atlas boosters between 1959 and 1963.

Boeing might as well tout their experience in building seaplanes.

South Dakota is on Meth!

No shit, that is essentially their well-chosen slogan for their anti-meth campaign.


Here is the governor of South Dakota to announce that the state is on meth:


I don't mean to make light of methamphetamine addiction. It's a serious problem. I've seen a number of families get torn apart by the drug; parents going to jail, kids going to foster care.

But south Dakota's state government has to be chock full of morons to think that "Meth. We're On It." is a good choice for a slogan.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Trumpers' "No Harm, No Foul" Argument is Bullshit

The Trumpers have been arguing that solicitation of a bribe wasn't historically a crime.

That's pure bullshit, as you can read here on Lawfare. This is what you need to know:
In short, the president got caught before the bribe could be delivered, called off the scheme and his defenders now claim as a result that he’s exonerated. That’s not how the law of bribery works: if you attempt or solicit bribery, you commit the offense, whether or not you get the goods. ... It is well established in the law that a “thing of value” for bribery purposes can be tangible or intangible, and is not limited to money.
If you are so wedded to Trump that you think that solicitation of a bribe is fine, then you need to put down the Kool-aid.

Or your name is Lindsey Graham.

Trump on West Bank Settlements: Cui Bono?

The Trump administration declared on Monday that the United States does not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law, reversing four decades of American policy and removing what has been an important barrier to annexation of Palestinian territory.

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the latest political gift from the Trump administration to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed in two elections this year to push for the annexation of the West Bank. His chief opponent, Benny Gantz, has until Wednesday night to gather a majority in Israel’s Parliament or he will relinquish his chance to form a new government, raising the prospect of a third round of elections.
Besides the obvious benefit to Netanyahu and Trump's naked attempts to pander to Jewish voters. there is another party who benefits.

That is Russia.

For decades, the United States has tried to be a nation that tried to facilitate an agreement between the Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab nations bordering Israel. The 1979 Camp David Accords and the 1993/1995 Oslo Accords are examples of that.

Trump has trashed all that. There is now only one quasi-global power who has at least semi-decent relationships with all parties.

That nation is Russia.

As in so many things that Trump does: All roads lead to Putin.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Trump's "Physical" is Likely a Pack of Lies

President Donald Trump spent more than two hours at Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday for what the White House said were medical tests as part of his annual physical.

The appointment wasn’t on Trump’s weekend public schedule, and his last physical was in February. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the 73-year-old president was “anticipating a very busy 2020” and wanted to take advantage of “a free weekend” in Washington to begin portions of his routine checkup.
Bullshit.

Trump's next physical is due in February. Going in for tests three months before doesn't even faintly have the ring of truth, not for the guy who declares that he is the most transparent man in history (except for his tax returns).

What is far more likely is that Trump had some chest pains or something worth a few hours worth of tests.

Which could be the opening for Trump's exit plan to leave office without being defeated or impeached.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A Lear 75.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Internet is Having Fun Today





Hey, Donnie Bone Spurs! Did You Forget William Calley?

As long as Trump is pardoning war criminals, one might think that he'd not forget one from the war that he fraudulently dodged.

Caturday

Say hello to Speck, a feral:


We've gone from Speck's not allowing us to be within fifty feet to sometimes within ten feet.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Get Yours Today!


Get it here.

Guilty as Charged

[Roger] Stone was convicted Friday of all seven counts in a federal indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.
Stone joins a long line:
Mr. Stone, 67, joins a notable list of former Trump aides convicted of lying to federal authorities. It includes Mr. Gates; Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser; Michael D. Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, and George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide. And his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was also once Mr. Stone’s partner in a political consulting firm, was convicted of a string of financial crimes and is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison term.
I am certain, down to the soles of my feet, that Trump will pardon Stone for his fuckery. Because the rule of law is a laughable concept to Trump. And, evidently, to the rest of his party of indicted criminals.

Because It's Friday

The Durango & Silverton RR.



Steam has been run continuously on that railroad since it was built.

Yes, It's Bribery

I've been calling what Trump was trying to pull as "soliciting a campaign contribution from a foreign government", but Nancy Pelosi is correct: He was soliciting a bribe. Trump was holding up Congressionally-authorized aid to Ukraine until they agreed to do something that benefited him personally.

The Defenders of All Things Trump like to claim "the aid was ultimately released, so no harm, no foul". Which is, of course, ridiculous. if you want to test this (at your own risk), shoot and miss at a Trumpanzee and see if they complain about it.

Beyond that, another thing that Pelosi said before was also correct: Whenever Trump does or does not do something in the realm of foreign policy, the ultimate beneficiary is Putin.

Ohio May Be For Idiots

The Ohio House on Wednesday passed the "Student Religious Liberties Act." Under the law, students can't be penalized if their work is scientifically wrong as long as the reasoning is because of their religious beliefs.
Science is based on facts. Religion is based on belief. If a kid is taking an astronomy test and claims that the Earth is the center of the solar system, that answer is wrong, no matter what belief system they claim to follow.

This sort of "accommodation" is perniciously evil. As is the Christian Taliban, which has far more in common with folks like Mr. Bone Saw than they'd admit.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Another Wall Street Hack Runs for President

Deval Patrick.

Right. Another clown who has gotten rich from being a parasite (subprime mortgages, vulture capitalism) is just who we need in the race.

Which reminds me: What is Helicopter Harold doing these days?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


Monday, November 11, 2019

It Is to Laugh; Lindsey Graham Ed.

A key ally of President Donald Trump is dismissing the latest developments in the impeachment investigation, calling it a “bunch of B.S.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters Tuesday he doesn’t plan to read the transcripts Democrats are releasing from the impeachment investigation, despite demanding that they be made public. He says he’s “written the whole process off.”
One has to have mush for brains to believe that Lindsey Graham is going to pay any attention to the evidence against Trump. Graham is a Trump sock-puppet. Graham is so far up Trump's ass that he gets to taste Trump's hamberders virtually undigested.

Graham was hot to impeach Bill Clinton for lying under oath about a blow job. But when it comes to Trump's pressure campaign to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump's political rival (which is a crime), Graham is dismissive.

Twenty years ago, Graham was really big about preserving the integrity and the dignity of the presidency. Now, having sold his miserable soul to Trump for a pittance, he couldn't care less about such things.

If you want to know what is truly wrong in Washington, you need look no further than the vapid political whore which Lindsey Graham has become.

Also, this, because I don't feel like starting another post:


Veterans (Armistice) Day

Today is the 101st anniversary of the day that the guns fell silent on the Western Front, ending the hostile fire phase of the First World War. The day was first set to honor those had fought and died in that war;
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Armistice Day became Veterans Day in 1954. The Worshipers of Mammon sought to make it into yet another three day weekend, but that was soon reversed. They still are at it, with "Veterans Day Sales" and similar bullshit. Everyone who is running a "Veterans Day Sale" should be consigned to a special circle of Hell, where they are forced to swim in lakes of molten gold or silver.

In the British Commonwealth, they do a much better job of remembering the day.



We should not forget that this day began to remember a day when peace broke out. When the shooting stopped. When the killing ceased. It is proper to remember those, living and dead, who have served the nation. It is not a day to glorify the wars that often made such service necessary, if not mandatory.

(Other things I've written for this day)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Aww, Poor Trumpie

Donald Trump Jr. wrote about a trip to Arlington National Cemetery just before President Trump’s inauguration in his newly released book, where he reflected on his family’s sacrifices since his father took office. ... Trump said he considered all of the sacrifices the Trump family made in order for Trump to serve in office as an Army Band bugler played “Taps” in front of the tomb.
Aww, poor baby, the pitiful, hairy bag of self-important protoplasm.

Nobody in the Trump family has ever spent a day in uniform. When the Twin Towers fell, Baby Donnie was in his early twenties. He could hae gone to war. His younger brother turned 18 a few months afterwards, he could have served. His sister was 19, she could have served.

But no. Not a single Trump has ever worn their countries' uniforms. Donny's dad was a draft-dodger. His great-grand-father was a draft-dodger. The closest any of them ever came to combat was his grandfather, the wartime profiteer.

Little Donnie ought to drag his overly-inflated ass over to Walter Reed or any VA hospital, where he could meet men and women who had truly paid the price in service to this country. Hell, he could stroll around Arlington and gaze at the grave markers of those whose lives were taken from them in service to this country.

The Trump family has sacrificed for this country? That doesn't even pass the giggle test.

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

P-38 Lightnings:

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Caturday

Football Cat:

Friday, November 8, 2019

They Have Sharp Cops in Chicago

The Chicago police allegedly did a no-knock raid on a house to try and arrest a guy.

The guy had already been in prison for five years. A family that was not associated with the guy had moved in, and now they're suing.

The city should have to cough up a lot of money for this. The cops who, it would seem, lied on the warrant application should be disciplined. Fat chance of that happening.

Because It's Friday

Narrow gauge steam in Romania:


Those guys standing within the snapback range of that wire rope is unnerving.

Only in TrumpWorld, is a $2 Million Fine Called a "Donation"

A New York judge has ruled that President Trump must pay $2 million in damages to settle claims that the Trump Foundation misused funds. ... A statement from the Trump Foundation said it was "pleased to donate" the $2 million to the charitable organizations. It praised the judge for not imposing a penalty beyond the $2 million in damages.
So remember, boys and girls, if you get pulled over for a traffic violation and you have to pay cash money, that's not a "fine", no, you're "donating" to the court system.

The point that'll probably be overlooked was that, as part of the settlement of the case, Trump had to personally admit to wrongdoing.
Trump acknowledged in a legal filing that he allowed his presidential campaign staff to coordinate with the Trump Foundation in holding a fundraiser for veterans during the run-up to the 2016 Iowa caucuses.
One thing that is clear from Trump's practices is that he doesn't "allow" anything. That would be akin to saying that he has "allowed" his hands to grope women.

The Trump Foundation was a scam. And now it's being consigned to the shitpile.

Racist Chicken

Koch Foods, which apparently thinks that chicken is better when the farmers raising them are white.

What Koch Foods was demanding of black farmers is reminiscent of the line that Dick Gregory once said about the literary tests used to discriminate against black voters:
"Back in my home town, they make us take a test to vote. Nuclear physics in Russian. If you pass the test, they tell you 'Boy, you can't vote, you read Russian, you must be communist."

Thursday, November 7, 2019

OK, Billionaire

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, signaling his dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates vying to take on President Donald Trump.
I dislike Bloomberg. He's just another goddamned billionaire who made a reputation in NYC of trying to be a national nanny ("Mayor McBig Gulp"). When he was the mayor of New York City, they had term limits. Bloomberg spread a ton of cash around ("campaign contributions") to get the city council to ditch term limits, something that the voters of the city had twice voted for.

Bloomberg has no party loyalty. Republican, Independent, Democrat, Bloomberg turns his coat as it suits him (like Trump). He is a megalomaniac and a fascist. He has been one of the backers of stopping and frisking minorities.

We don't need another arrogant billionaire as president. Between Trump and Bloomberg, the only rational choice is blackout drinking.

Lying Politicians; CT Ed.

When you drive down a highway and you come across a booth where you have to pay money (or use and EZ-Pass) to continue, what do you call the money that you pay?

That takes no real thought, does it? It's a "toll". If it's on a highway, the highway is a "toll road". If it's on a bridge, it's a "toll bridge." Same deal for tunnels.

But not in Connecticut, no siree. To Gov. Lamont, it's a "user fee". So Connecticut will have "user fee bridges".

Lamont is a shiftless, lying cocksucker, another Trump-style amateur politician who thinks that being successful in business bestows some skill in politics. Lamont campaigned on only putting tolls on out-of-state trucks, a promise he ditched within a week or two of being elected. He is not to be trusted, Hell, if the Republicans had run a candidate who wasn't basically Trump with a different name, they might have won the election. The last governor, Dan Malloy, was the most-disliked governor in the nation, but the GOP had to run a guy who embraced Trump so hard that they had to be surgically separated.

Lamont'll be a one-term governor if the GOP can get their shit together.

Speaking of being separated at birth:

Billionaires: And the Grift Goes On

First, the Donald:
A New York judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to an array of charities to resolve a lawsuit alleging he misused his own charitable foundation to further his political and business interests.
Trump was required to admit personal responsibility for some of what went on. But if you were to call him out on that, no dobut he's be screaming "ddep state, fake news" and all of his other patent-pending screeches.

Second, the billionaire who wants to replace Trump:
A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa privately offered campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing his White House bid, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the conversations.
...
[State Sen. Tom] Courtney declined to name Murphy as the Steyer aide who made the offer, but several other local politicians said they received similar propositions, and all confirmed the proposal came from Murphy himself. Most spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the issue freely. Iowa state Rep. Karin Derry said Murphy didn’t explicitly offer a specific dollar amount, but made it clear Derry would receive financial support if she backed Steyer.
"Campaign contributions" might as well be a modern-day code for "bribes".

Guys like that think everything is for sale, everything has a price, whether it be an endorsement from an Iowa pol or an investigation by a foreign government into a political rival. They have no morals, it's all just a cash deal to them.

Which is why neither of them is fit for a seat on the local school board, let alone to be President.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Wasn't There Some Biblical Shit About "Sowing" and "Reaping"?

At least three women and six children, all apparently U.S. citizens, were slaughtered by drug cartel gunmen in northern Mexico, officials said Tuesday. Six children were found alive, one child had a bullet wound and one child was still missing.
...
A relative said the victims lived in the hamlet of La Mora in Sonora state, a decades-old settlement founded as part of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mormons moved to Mexico because they wanted to escape the restrictions of U.S. laws on what they viewed as their religious liberties. Polygamy has been illegal in Mexico for a very long time, but their forebears and yes, they, chose to live in an area where there wasn't and isn't a lot of law and what law there was/is, can be adjusted by the proper application of folding money.

There have been some rumors that the Mexican Mormons and the local cartels have had some sort of arrangement in the past. The shootings may be mistaken identity. They may be a form of very bloody revenge.

But I have a suspicion that there is more here than cartel gunmen shooting up innocent Americans.

None of which has stopped Trump from telling the Mexican government that he is willing to send troops to "help out".

Update: This story just gets ookier.

Fuck the Billionaires and Fuck Wall Street

On balance, they are nothing but evil.

Wall Street values two things that are disruptive to the American economy: They only value the stockholders of a corporation and they only value short-term results.

First the overvaluing of the stockholders: Wall Street has demanded that companies only consider the interests of the stockholders. They don't give a shit about anything else. In the search for short-term gains, Wall Street pressures companies to abandon long-established factories, instead of investing in renovations of those factories. The casting aside of American factories results in the surrounding towns and cities becoming hollow shells. When companies were controlled by families, those families were happy to see a ten percent return in exchange for making life better for their communities. But that's not good enough for Wall Street, for if offshoring the production will get a 20% return, that's what they'll do, even if it means throwing 20,000 people out of work.

In the process, the value of labor is completely discounted. A stockholder who invests $50,000 in a company can sell their shares later on. maybe they'll make money on the deal, maybe they won't. If they invest elsewhere, they may recoup their investment. Contrast that to someone who goes to work for the company: They are investing their time and, to some degree, their health in the company. If the company closes the factory, those workers cannot get that time and physical health back. In a sense, the employees have made a far more serious investment in a company than a shareholder. But they are no more valued than a robot.

As to the billionaires, nobody emphasizes why those fuckers need to be heavily taxed than Adam Neumann. His start-up, WeWork, is failing, thousands of people are losing their jobs, while Neumann is walking away with over a billion dollars, including a $185 million "consulting fee" which was paid by the bank that bought his shares. When a history is written of the WeWork endeavor, I suspect that it's all going to look like a giant con that will make Trump's cons look amateur.

Other billionaires seem to think that their ability to make money translates into their being experts on everything else: George Soros, the Koch Brothers, Michael "Big Gulp" Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and, of course, El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago. Some of the aforementioned have been using their money to basically legally buy politicians to get things changed so that they can make more money without being hindered by niceties such as pollution laws or labor laws. "Fuck the World, As Long As I Get More" is their motto.

In a way, they are to be pitied. They are in a self-imposed race to amass more and more, regardless of the effect on their communities, their countries or the entire planet. In a just world, they'd probably be institutionalized in a place where they could shiv each other over games of Monopoly.

Wall Street is fretting mightily over the rise of Elizabeth Warren. They would do better to engage in an honest assessment as to why their conduct has given Sen. Warren the opening to appeal of the American people.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Somebody Once Mentioned That They Were Looking to Replace the S&W .32 That Was Their Grandmother's

If that was you, please email me. My email can be found on this here page.

Trump's Definition of "Fairness"

It's pretty clear, in reading articles about how Trump gripes about the press being unfair, that to Trump, being "fair" to him is covering Trump like a slavish toady, an all-in bootlicker.

His definition of fairness is no more evolved than that of a toddler who has just learned the word.

It's pretty pathetic, really. He's a politician who has a skin thinner than a sheet of oinionskin paper.[1] If anybody says anything bad about him, either on the teevee or in print, Trump throws a hissy fit. I'm somewhat surprised that he hasn't thrown himself on the floor and kicked his body around in circles, much like a child pitching a fit in the store because mom won't buy cocoa-puffs or a toy.

He sits behind the Resolute Desk, throwing his daily pity party, being fluffed[2] by Immigration Oberführer Stephen Miller and Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, while whining about how everybody is being so, so unfair to him.

Poor baby. Bless his heart.
_________________________________________
[1] Onionskin paper was popular back when airmail was a thing (first class mail went by rail or by ship) and the rates were determined by the half-ounce.
[2] I presume "verbally". The physical kind would be really creepy, but not out of character for Trump.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Set Your Motherfucking Clocks Back Tonight

Whether we adopt permanent daylight savings time or permanent standard time or split the goddamned baby and go 30 minutes inbetween, let's do it once and fucking forget about this shit, forever.


The rationale for continuing with this twice yearly time shift is about as obsolete as using bolt-action rifles for a primary infantry weapon. We might as well be practicing trench warfare and laying Deucaville railroad tracks to supply them.

Republicans Are Now Trying to Paper Over Trump's Impeachment With a Thin Veneer of Truth

A growing number of Senate Republicans are ready to acknowledge that President Trump used U.S. military aid as leverage to force Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his family as the president repeatedly denies a quid pro quo.
...
The pivot was the main topic during a private Senate GOP lunch on Wednesday, according to multiple people familiar with the session who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the meeting. Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) argued that there may have been a quid pro quo but said that the U.S. government often attaches conditions to foreign aid and that nothing was amiss in Trump’s doing so in the case of aid to Ukraine, these individuals said.
The veneer of truth is that conditions are often put on foreign aid: You want bulldozers, you have to buy them from an American company; we'll give you ten billion in military aid and gear if you send fifty soldiers to Afghanistan; that sort of thing.

What is not done, what is an abuse of power and what is, in point of fact, illegal as all fuck is to do that to solicit aid from a foreign government for a political candidate.

If Person A breaks into Person B's home and attacks B with a knife, B is justified in blowing A away. B is going to be congratulated by the cops, etc. Now if B is beefing with A and B walks up behind A and B shoots A in the back of the head on a public street, then B is going to go to prison until he dies (whether by natural causes or lethal injection).

Context matters. What Trump did was ask for an illegal quid pro quo. Getting a political favor is not much different from getting a bag of cash.

Republicans should wise up and stop drinking the Trumpist Kool-Aid. History will not be kind to any of them.

Caturday

Bella "ate out the eyes" of her dish of dry food.


This was not staged. This really happened.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Back to the Gull-Wings

The Gull-Wing Stinsons are back as my lead-in photo.

Because Beto's quit.

Don't let the storm door hit you in the ass, Bobby.

Best snark on this:
Presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has announced he is dropping out of the presidential race so that he can spend more time taking guns away from his family. “I’ve been so focused on grabbing the guns of strangers,” O’Rourke told the press, “that I’ve neglected taking away the guns of those closest to me.”
...
Having dropped out of the race, O’Rourke wasted no time in turning his attention to his family, immediately confiscating his children’s super soakers. ... O’Rourke also asked his nephew Tommy where he kept his Nerf dart guns; Tommy claimed he lost them all in a “tragic boating accident.”

Because It's Friday

The Brits have a lot of steam!

Happy Blade Runner Month

The movie was set in this month:

Trump Asked for It, He Got It. (Toyota)

Democrats swept a rules package for their impeachment probe of President Donald Trump through a divided House...
Trump and his congressional lackeys have been demanding a full House vote and now they have it.

Oh, they'll still whine about something and Trump will screech that the process is so, so unfair (like some toddler), but he got what he demanded.

Call 9-1-1, then Pray

When an ex-convict climbed through her window in Salt Lake City and stabbed her repeatedly four years ago, Breann Lasley says the emergency response system that should have rushed to send help to her ended up nearly costing her life.

She is now suing a Utah company [Priority Dispatch Corp] over what she says is a faulty 911 protocol that would have resulted in her death if a nearby police officer had not happened to hear her sister’s cries and intervened.
...
Lasley and her sister, Kayli, called 911 four times after [some Asswipe] broke in through Lasley’s window on Sept. 23, 2015, yelling out their address and saying, “Help us, he’s going to kill us,” according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court.
The interesting twist is that the cop who capped the Asswipe was in the neighborhood because Asswipe tried to break into another house and he was dispatched on that call.

That a private company is involved may be the thing that gives some legs to this lawsuit. It's pretty settled law that the cops can sit across the street and eat donuts while you're being beaten and you (or your heirs) have no legal right to complain.

Anyone who says "you don't need (implement), just call 9-1-1" is a fool.