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

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Pro Tip for Justice Barrett: If You Don't Want to Be Seen as a Political Hack, Don't Act Like One

Claiming the supreme court “is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks”, Amy Coney Barrett told an audience at a Kentucky center named for the Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell that “judicial philosophies are not the same as political parties”.

Speaking alongside McConnell a little more than a week after she and four other conservatives on the court declined to block a Texas law which all but outlaws abortion in the state, the devout Catholic also insisted the panel does not judge cases based on personal beliefs.

With all due respect: Horseshit, Madam Justice. The Republican party hasn't spent decades, cramming the judiciary full of Federalist Society members just for fun. The political hack you stood next to didn't deny Merrick Garland a nomination vote, nor did he cram through your nomination mere days before the election because of concerns about judicial integrity.

No, the Right has been laser-focused on the courts, including your own nomination, because they seek to do an end-run around the political process. They can't get the country to agree to banning abortion (polls consistently show majority approval for it), but that hasn't stopped the Christian Taliban from packing the courts with their judges.

Barrett is denying reality, as almost every rational person knows. She wasn't appointed to the Court for her intelligence or for her looks. She was appointed to the Court so that the Right could reach its cherished goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. She was appointed to the Court so that Republicans could have some assurance that the laws enacted by the next (now present) Congress would be given searching scrutiny.

Barrett was appointed by a political hack and hed her nomination rammed through by another political hack in order to have some assurance that the wishes of their party would be heeded by the Supreme Court. If that wasn't the motivation for appointing her (and Gorsuch), then the machinations behind both appointments defy reason.

We'll see, I guess, But her willingness to let the Texas Abortion Bounty-Hunter Law go into effect tends to weigh on the side of "yes, Justice Barrett, you are a political hack."

Trumpers Keep Trying to Kill Their Kids; Pandemic Ed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new studies Friday that show enforcing masks in schools helps reduce the spread of COVID-19.

One study looked at data from schools in Arizona's Maricopa and Pima Counties after they resumed in-person learning in late July for the 2021-22 academic year. The two counties account for roughly 75% of the state's population.

The CDC found that the K-12 schools that did not have mask requirements at the beginning of the school year were 3.5 times more likely to have COVID outbreaks than schools that required all people, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask indoors from the first day of school.

Some states seem to be run by Trumpist lunatics, who are doing everything they can to ban masks in schools. Other states, although run by Republicans, seem to be marginally saner.

As of the latest update Thursday afternoon, 141 of 171 [Kentucky] school districts, about 82%, have decided to require masks.

I thank the Almighty that the current crop of batshit-crazy right-wingers[1] weren't around when vaccines were developed for smallpox, polio, diphtheria, measles, mumps. rubella, tetanus and other diseases. They were probably too occupied with railing against integration, miscegenation and fluoridation.
[1] Yes, I know that they were Southern Democrats back in the day. That point as been answered ad nauseum. So shut the fuck up. Any comments addressing that will be deleted.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Turkish F-4s:

The Rhino is my favorite jet fighter.

Saturday, September 25, 2021


Priss tucks into some of her supper. Her wet chicken slop was served a few minutes later.

Friday, September 24, 2021

I'm Sure That the Trumpanzees Will Claim That Their Own Audit Was Rigged

After months of delays and blistering criticism, a review of the 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county, ordered up and financed by Republicans, has failed to show that former President Donald J. Trump was cheated of victory, according to draft versions of the report.

In fact, the draft report from the company Cyber Ninjas found just the opposite: It tallied 99 additional votes for President Biden and 261 fewer votes for Mr. Trump in Maricopa County, the fast-growing region that includes Phoenix.


This was an audiit done by Republicans with the sole goal of proving TFG's outlandish claims and they fucking failed.

None of this will make a difference to a single Trumpanzee. They have bought the Big Lie and they will remain faithful to their lord, the Führer of Mar-a-Lago, until their deaths. They'll continue to believe that the election was stolen and the Party of Trump will continue its efforts to undermine our democracy and our free elections. They will continue their attempts to make this country into a minority-led autocracy, a country where free elections are a myth.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Texas is doing the bidding of His Orange Overlord:

Officials in the Texas secretary of state's office have launched a "full and comprehensive forensic audit" of 2020 general election results in four of the state's largest counties: Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Collin.

The agency announced the audit late Thursday, hours after President Donald Trump asked Gov. Greg Abbott to add an election audit bill to the agenda for the current special legislative session.

I'm somewhat surprised that Republican politicians don't ask for Trump's blessing before wiping their own asses.

Because It's Friday

Wood-fired steam:

News Only For Those Not Interested in Dying of COVID-19
(all you horse-paste addicts can move along)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19.

I have little doubt that, as the data comes in, that booster shots will be expanded to cover all of those who have received any of the currently-authorized vaccines.

This one came in via email and seems appropriate for this post:

(And yes, I'll be in line for my booster shot.)

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Mike Flynn is Nuttier Than a Boxcar Full of Almonds

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn this week pushed a theory that COVID-19 vaccines are being snuck into our salad dressing.

Snark is almost superfluous for this former unregistered foreign agent and felon. Everyone who listens to Flynn could arguably be either cray themselves or people who hate this country.

Just Plotzing These, Here


It took a little while for this guy's bit to get rolling, but if this was legit, he is freaking amazing.

Another "Great Idea" From the Zoomies

[Air Force Special Operations Command] is working with private companies and the Air Force Research Laboratory to modify its MC-130J Commando II transports so the turboprop aircraft can land on water as well as terra firma. In other words: C-130s, prepare to become ducks.

The effort, called MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability (MAC, though ‘quack’ is perhaps a better fit), is meant to give AFSOC more options for getting special operations teams into and out of the fight, and for landing where airstrips might not exist.

You can click on the link to see the conceptual art of the float-equipped C-130.

The weight, range and speed penalties of those floats will be non-trivial. Those airplanes may end up losing the ability to operate from rough fields. Servicing them will be fun, as anyone who has ever gassed up a floatplane will know. And frankly, those airplanes will be quite limited in their abilities to land and takeoff in windy conditions due to wave heights. Flying boats, like the ShinMaywa US-2, typically can handle heavier seas than floatplanes.

What's driving this, you may ask? China's developing large amphibs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Dead Pretty Blonde White Women News

Search teams fanned out Wednesday at a Florida wilderness park to look for the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, the young woman who authorities say was killed while on a cross-country trip with him.

The search resumed around 8 a.m. Wednesday at the 24,000-acre (9,700-hectare) Carlton Reserve park, North Port police spokesperson Joshua Taylor said. Investigators say Brian Laundrie’s parents told them he had gone there after returning home without Petito on Sept. 1.

And this:

The last person seen with Kristin Smart before she vanished from a college campus 25 years ago on the Central California coast will stand trial on a murder charge in her suspected death and his father faces trial as an accomplice for allegedly helping bury her body, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Women get killed by their boyfriends/husbands every day. Women go missing every day. Indian women disappear from the reservations routinely and their deaths are all but ignored.

I am not minimizing the pain to the Petitio and Smart families. But let's also not ignore the plain fact that, save for the fact that their murdereded loved ones were pretty long-haired blonde women, nobody in the national media would have given two shits.

Color Me "Not Shocked"; The Big Lie Ed.

Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump.

But there was a problem for the Trump team, according to court documents released on Monday evening.

By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue.

Read to the end and you'll find the bizzare-land claim of the Trumpists: They believe the election was fraudulent because it hasn't been proven to them that it wasn't. That inverts the requirements for proof on any fraud case. Those alleging fraud have to prove it.

Even if those suing the Trumpists for defamation win their cases, it won't matter to the Trumpanzees. They are beyond proof or, for that matter, rational thought. They have swallowed Trump's Big Lie and they will believe it until they lay down for their dirt naps.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Dropping These Off, Here

Do You Remember.....

...the 21st of September?

Did you expect anything else?

Monday, September 20, 2021

Gio Benitez is One of the Dumbest Reporters on ABC News (and that's saying something in and of itself).

Yep, this is really dumb: In his gushing report on SpaceX's "Inspiration Four" return from orbit, he names the rich clown who paid for the flight as the "Commander" and someone else as the "Pilot".

Keep in mind that the flight had been ballyhooed as having no trained astronauts on board, that it was basically an autonomous vehicle that was overseen by the ground controllers. It was, in essence, a passenger-carrying drone. There was no fucking crew on board. They were all passengers.

To call one rich jerk-off who bought the flight the "commander" and one of his guests the "pilot" is beyond hyperbole. For Benitez to swallow that PR bullshit without even any seasoning speaks ill of him.

I'm sorry: Riding around the Earth for three days in a space capsule, all the while peeing and pooping in your spacesuit? That's been done a long time ago.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

Departures from EAA-Oshkosh:

You'll see the only flying Stinson Trimotor as well as a 1/3rd scale flying replica of a B-17.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Because It's Friday

Iowa Interstate's QJ #6986:

For steam engines, this one, which is 36 years old, is basically a kid.

The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging

Guests are in for the weekend.

One of nice things about real-time flight tracking sites is that you can watch the flight you're waiting for to come in as you sit in the free cellphone waiting lot. Some other sites have time delays.

Or you can do what I did: Take a portable aircraft radio with you and tune in Approach Control. That way, you can read or pay attention to your surroundings, as cell phone lots seem to be in the ass end of the airport and ripe for evil fuckery.

That's not mine, but I do have an old Icom A-20. It's thirty years old, the battery pack's been replaced twice (and I no longer fly), but it still works.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Newsom Prevails

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday emphatically defeated a recall aimed at kicking him out of office early, a contest the Democrat framed as part of a national battle for his party’s values in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and continued threats from “Trumpism.

Elder, who would have replaced Newsom if the recall succeeded, showed that he has far more class than His Orange Idol and conceded the contest.

The only good thing is that, at least from Elder, we're probably not going to hear screams about voter fraud. But from the rest of the batshit-insane right will probably be out there, yammering away.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Dear Chimpy: Fuck You and Your Legacy

From his speech on 9/11:

There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.
On America's day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor's hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.

At a time when religious bigotry might have flowed freely, I saw Americans reject prejudice and embrace people of Muslim faith. That is the nation I know.

Right. It was Bush's campaign that said in 2000 that John McCain had a Black love child. In 2004, it was Bush who opted to gin up the Christian Taliban in a culture war to enact bans against gay marriage in the states where they had control.

Oh, Bush talked a nice game of equality and respect for others. But when the rubber met the road, he ran campaigns that were as racist and divisive as those of TFG.

Dropping These Off, Here

It Sure Looks Like a Small-Time Crook is Leaving With His Pockets Full

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet resigned his position on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Effective on Oct. 1., the resignation comes 13 days after the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission released a report detailing the ethical lapses by the superintendent.

Hamlet’s resignation follows a series of closed meetings of the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education about the Ethics Commission report. Board President Sylvia Wilson said in a Zoom meeting with the media that she would not disclose the substance of those meetings because they involved a confidential personnel matter.

Hamlet will receive $399,687, which Pittsburgh Public Schools [PPS] Solicitor Ira Weiss said reflects one year of his salary and benefits minus the value of vacation days that the commission found Hamlet owed to the district. The payment was part of Hamlet’s contract with the schools.

They call it "ethical lapses". Those "ethical lapses"? He put expenses for sponsored trips on his company credit card and then didn't reimburse the PPS when the vendor (The Flying Classroom) reimbursed him for the expenses. Instead of taking time off when he took trips sponsored TFC, he went on those sponsored trips on clock. His contract didn't allow him to roll over vacation days, but he did so anyway. He claimed meal reimbursements while on personal trips.

There's more, of course. Thousands of laptops have gone missing with no response from Hamlet or the PPS as to what happened. I've seen reporting in an offline newspaper that Hamlet accepted (and the school board retroactively approved) the donation of a Boeing 727 engine from TFC for the city's aerospace training program, but that they had no suitable place to put it; they then planned to put it into a K-8 school (and nobody will say where the engine currently is).

You have to know that there was some severe fuckery involved when the PPS tried to limit the press's access to a public meeting.

What is even more unseemly is that both Hamlet and his supporters are insinuating that he only got pushed out for being a small-time bureaucratic crook because he's Black. Playing the race card when caught doing bad shit is the refuge of scoundrels.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Covidiots: I Give Up

I've come to the reluctant conclusion that there is no persuading the antivaxxers and/or the covidiots. You can point out that wearing masks works. unvaxxed are 11 times more likely to die of Covid, ten times more likely to get sick enough to require hospitalization, etc., but you know what? It makes no nevermind.

For those who follow the science of things, they basically say: "This is what I believe to be true. Prove me wrong."

For the far right, it's: "This is what I believe and I'm not wrong, and if you say I'm wrong, damn you for heresy."

It's the difference between science and religion, in a nutshell.

So, go ahead. Get Covid. Spread it to your kids and your family. You're the ones who have to live (and/or die) with the karma of the consequences of your inactions.

I don't.

I'm done with you guys.

Cat Food Report

I got a free sample of Rachel Ray's Nutrish chicken wet cat food. It looked pretty good.

Chip hates it. He ate a quarter of it and then tried to bury the food dish.

Back to good old Fancy Feast.

You Can Tell that Republicans Expect to Lose the CA Recall Election...

....they're already screaming about voter fraud.

Republicans don't believe in fair elections. For the Party of Trump, it's not a fair election unless they win.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Death Panels in Idaho

Idaho public health leaders announced Tuesday that they activated “crisis standards of care” allowing health care rationing for the state’s northern hospitals because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare quietly enacted the move Monday and publicly announced it in a statement Tuesday morning — warning residents that they may not get the care they would normally expect if they need to be hospitalized.

So, to sum up, thanks to the antivax covidiots in Idaho, there's a chance that if you have a heart attack, a stroke, or are in a major crash, you're going to die on the gurney because there's no bed for you.

Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to dance around the point that states require kids to be vaccinated for dipheria, teatus, polio, measles, mumps and a whole bunch more, but requiring people be vaccinated against Covid is just too much.

I don't recall people saying "well, let's see if this works" when the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines were made available. In fact, they were lining up to take them because polio was not a fun disease to get. But hey, if today's Republicans were around back then, you could still invest in stock of iron lung manufacturers.

More Truth From Mike Luckovich

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

Gluster Gladiator, one of the last biplane fighters:

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Twenty Years On

Fuck it. Go read what I wrote in 2010 and 2011 and 2017. Or this, which wasn't posted on an anniversary.

But I really expected we'd still be stuck in Afghanistan when this anniversary rolled around.

You may remember this:


Priss snoozes in a somewhat hidden spot. There is an old cotton bathmat under the ladder for her comfort.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Cough it Up; Trumpist Lawyers Ed.

Michigan officials on Wednesday demanded that lawyers who unsuccessfully sued to overturn former President Donald Trump's election defeat in the state pay about $200,000 to reimburse for legal fees and related costs.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker ruled last month that state and local election officials in Michigan were entitled to reimbursement of their legal fees, but has not yet determined the exact amount. The judge will now review the $200,000 request to determine if it is reasonable.

It's not unusual for judges to knock down the requested fees a bit, but this is still going to sting them alittle.

The beauty of it is if the Trumpist lawyers appeal the award and lose, then they'll also get to pay the legal fees of both the state and the city of Detroit for the appeal(s).

This couldn't happen to a nicer and more deserving pack of clowns.

Prove the Charges and Max Out These Guys!

Three Vermont state troopers who are accused of being involved in a scheme to create fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards have resigned, state police said Tuesday.

Troopers Shawn Sommers and Raymond Witkowski resigned Aug. 10, a day after a fellow trooper told supervisors about the alleged scheme. Trooper David Pfindel resigned Sept. 3 following further investigation, according to a state police news release.

The three ex-troopers are suspected of having varying roles in the making of fraudulent vaccination cards, according to the release.

forging vaccine cards is a Federal felony because the vaccines are being paid for under both Federal grants and/or private insurance. Forging a federal document (which the vaccine cards are) is also a federal crime and most states can also prosecute the forgers.

So these clowns might be in a lot of trouble. And, being that they were, up until very recently, cops, it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that they aregoing to be made an example of pour dissuader les autres.

New Heater-- Range Report, S&W Model 66-8

At 25', from a rest, my new roscoe shot this group for the first three rounds:
Pretty damned tight.

After sighting it in, this is where the rear sight ended up:
That seemed a bit much. Mind you, I was shooting it from a quasi-rest (elbows braced on the bench, sitting down, firing single-action), so I'm pretty confident that it was shooting where the sights were indicating once I had it dialed in.

Take a look at the fitment where the barrel shroud meets the frame:
It doesn't quite line up. The shroud is flush with the frame on the right side. On the left side, the shroud is .004" below the line of the frame, as best I can measure it with an analog caliper.

So now the question is: What do I do about it? Can I, or should I, just suck it up and drive on? Or should I give in to my gun-OCD and see if I can get someone to turn the shroud in .002"? And if I ask someone to do that, will they look at me as though I'm fully out to lunch?

Decisions, decisions....

Because It's Friday

UPRR Big Boy 4014 climbs the bridge into NO,LA

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Dropping These Off, Here

On Ivermectin (and Moderation)

Ivermectin comes in many forms. There are forms that are prescribed for people for dealing with parasites. If you don't want to take a fully-approvedvaccine for reasons (that are mostly basicly stupid) and yet you want to take a drug, off-label, under a doctor's supervision, that's your right. I think you're being foolish, but knock yourself out.

But if you're not getting an approved vaccine and when you get sick, you're going to the local feed store and buying the livestock forms of Ivermectin and taking it because of things you heard on Trumpist media or on Facebook, then you are a four-starred idiot. And I reserve the right to make as much fun of you as suits me.

We have, in this country, bred a real virulent strain of imbeciles. They won't wear seat belts because some gummint agency recommends them. Fluoridation ia a commie plot. They won't take a vaccine to keep them from dying during a pandemic because of the gummint. We are indeed lucky that most of these clowns weren't yet alive when the government was working to eradicate polio and smallpox.

It's a mixture of childishness and a complete lack of comprehension of civic duty. People aren't being told to adhere to rationing or to grow a vegetable garden. They're not being asked to engage in scrap metal or paper drives. But wear a mask when out in public? That's fucking tyranny to those jerkoffs. Maybe we ought to bring back the draft so that people start relearning that citizenship has duties, not just "mu rights".

On moderation: It's amazing that there are still wastes-of-oxygen who keep trying to post hateful or screed-filled comments and who disregard the warnings that all comments must be approved before they appear. The spammers also ignore that warning, but they are a particular breed of greed-driven crazy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Republicans Keep Spreading Their Big Lie About Election Fraud

Essentially, Republicans now blame every electoral loss on election fraud. The Baby Trumper in California is doing just that in advance of the recall election. So is Fox "News".

Republicans hate America. They hate the idea of free and fair elections.

They are, in short, fascists.

"The Fact That You Would Say Such a Thing Just Goes to Prove That You Are the Leading Asshole in the State!"-- Abbott Ed.

When asked why the Texas All Hail the Cult of the Fetus law doesn't make an exemption for rape or incest, the fool sitting in the governor's chair had this to say:

"Let's make something very clear, rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets," Abbott stated. "So, goal number one in the state of Texas is to eliminate rape, so that no woman no person will be a victim of rape."

That is so mind-boggling stupid that one wonders how Abbott has managed to master the ability to make intelligible sounds with his mouth. First off, there is no pre-crime unit operating in Texas. For someone to be convicted of rape, they first have to, you know, rape somebody. Aggressively prosecuting the crime of murder hasn't made Texas a homicide-free state.

Second, anyone who even thinks that prosecuting and jailing rapists is a top priority in Texas, or anywhere else, has been doing some powerful drugs. I would be willing to wager that, just like most other states, there are untested rape kits sitting on the evidence shelves in Texas.

Third, the only time Southern states, like Texas, historically cared about rape was when the victim was white and the accused perpetrator was Black. Then they tended to lynch them and, if not, execute them, because the death penalty for rape was a product of the former Confederate states.

Women in Texas may wind up going to Mexico.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Ooo, That's Cold. But Funny,

Heater du Jour

The first brand-new gun that I have bought in a while, a Smith & Wesson 66-8:

The empty weight is 33.2oz. None of the horror stories about new-production Smith revolvers were evident in this gun. The barrel-cylinder gap is pretty tight. There's no appreciable endshake. The barrel isn't clocked and the internals don't have chips or dust. The timing is good and the trigger-pull is acceptable.

Even with paying the tax (Gunbroker now collects it), shipping and the transfer fee at my LGS, it was still below MSRP.

I bought it to have a current-production (ie, factory serviceable) revolver. The choice was to find a 3" Ruger GP.100 or a S&W 66-8. The 66 won out because I have all of the necessary accoutrements for it, but I'd have to buy all that kit for a Ruger.

If it proves out, my plan is to retire my older K-frames to range-toy status.

Range report to come.

Ivermectin Will Probably Make You Sterile

In over 90% of men who took it.

So, as far as the far-Right goes, this may be ultimately be a self-solving problem.

Meanwhile, the cranks who are in positions of power are giving this drug to people without their consent.

Dropping These Here

Back by popular demand, twice weekly.

The Pandemic of the Unvaccinated Continues

Infection rates are raging in the places that one would expect.

As Covid-19 cases surge across the US, particularly among unvaccinated Americans, hospitals have been pushed to their limits treating the influx of patients -- and five states are nearly out of ICU beds.

Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida and Arkansas have less than 10% left of their ICU bed capacity, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

It seems that the term "the pandemic of the unvaccinated" is not politically correct because it hurts the feeling of the unvaccinated. (Same with "pandemic of the dumbshits," I presume.)

Well, this is where a favorite phrase of the far-right comes into play: Fuck their feelings. This isn't about freedome, it's about responsibility to one's family, to one's community, to one's country. It's about duty, a word that has fallen far out of favor. It's about selfishness at a near-childish level. "I don't wanna, you can't make me, so there, nyaaah."

I feel bad for the kids who are catching Covid and winding up in the hospitals because the members of their family and their community are irresponsible. But as for the unvaccinated who are now clogging, the hospitals, and especially those showing up after ODing on Ivermectin? Sucks to be them.

ETA: The Rude Pundit has similar thoughts, though far better expressed.

A Thought About Texas's Abortion Law

You may have heard about liver donations. In that procedure, surgeons take out roughly half of a living person's liver and transplant that into a recipient. It's fairly major surgery with a recovery time of two to three months, or so.

It's probably a good thing that it's not just women who can be donors. For if that were the case, then I would fully expect Texas to pass a law requiring all women to be entered into a donation database and be forced to donate a portion of their liver in order to save another person's life.

Monday, September 6, 2021

L’Shana Tova 5782

May your name be written in the Book of Life.

Sunday, September 5, 2021


Imagine how a spelling bee would have worked in the Egypt of Rameses the Great.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

A Tu-95 passes overhead:

I have no recollection of seeing sonograms of a Tu-95 recorded by sonobuoys and/or submarines. None whatsoever.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

One Basic Legal Thought About the Texas Abortion Law

One of the first things that a law student learns about in civil procedure is the concept of "standing". To sue someone, you have to be the party that suffered injury of some kind. There has to be injury of some nature to you and the remedy that you're seeking, whether it's money, an injunction, or both, is one that a court has the power to award.

It's not a hard concept. If you are not affected by something, you can't sue for it.

The Texas law does away with standing. If you heard a rumor that someone had an abourtion, or their cousin drove them out of state for one, you can sue. Even if you have no connection to them, you can sue.

The proponents have claimed that this is nothing more than a "private attorney general" provision, which is allowed in Federal civil rights cases. But that is a lie, for even there, the person suing has to have standing. They have to be one (or one of the ones) who was injured by illegal conduct.

The elimination of standing opens the door to a lot of other things that could be addressed by just letting private citizens sue. If the motorcyclists going by your house have straight pipes on their hogs, you could sue the parts stores for selling them or the gas stations where they refueled. You could sue the guy down the street who won't mow his lawn. Sue the local tint shop for over-tinting car windows. Sue the local paper for making a product that contributes to litter. Maybe sue the cops if they violate the civil rights of some other guy.

If the Texas law fails, I expect it'll fail because of its elimination of the requirement for standing.

That the Fifth Circuit and the Supremes let this law go into effect show, to my mind, that when it comes to appellate courts, politics and ideology often hold sway over picky things such as justice.

And I am not saying this lightly. There was an aspect of Federal civil rights law that, at least in one Federal appellate circuit, the attorneys practing there could tell who would win by which judges were selected for the three-judge panel. For the pro-plaintiff side, the outcome was 80% or so reliable. For the pro-defendant side, it was 99.9% reliable. It just didn't matter what the facts of the case were if you were the defendant; if you got two or three of the pro-defendant judges, you won.

Ever since then, my opinion has been that if you rely the Federal courts to protect your rights, you will eventually be screwed.

What Mike Drew


It was raining, hard, but Chip was chill:

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Musings About Texas's Abortion Law

So Texas has empowered private citizens to hunt down women who have abortions or those who help them. Can anyone recall the last time that a government in this country so empowered private citizens to do anything like that? The only thing that comes to my mind is the Fugitive Slave Laws.

If you are a woman who gets raped in Texas, you have just been sentenced by the State of Texas to bear your rapist's chld. And if you choose the keep the child, the man who raped you will have parental rights and, basically, be fucking up your live for the next eighteen or so years. If your father or uncle rapes you, you will be forced to give birth to your sibling/cousin.

Here is the website for making anonymous tips: prolifewhistleblower.com. You should not use a VPN that generates a Texas-based IP address, in case they are throwing out non-Texan IPs. You should not give them names that sound real and that have addresses that show up on Goggle Maps. You should also not give them the names of daughters/wives of Texas Republican politicians who are of childbearing years. If they have a fax number, don't fax them sheets of black construction paper (and burn out their toner cartridges).

But you should come to grips with one fact of life: The only real difference between the Evangelical Right and the Taliban is that the Taliban beheads people. You can bet your paycheck that if the Evangelical Right had their way, they would do the same.

For now, if you have a choice between patronizing a business in Texas or in another state, choose wisely.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Prove the Charges and Then Throw the Book at Them!

Fifteen people were charged Tuesday in what the Manhattan District Attorney's office called a fake vaccine card conspiracy.

Among those charged is a woman who allegedly sold 250 fake cards on Instagram, believed to be among the first alleged seller of phony vaccine cards charged in the country.

Officials say 31-year-old Jasmine Clifford sold the forged cards over social media and worked with 27-year-old Nadayza Barkley to fraudulently enter at least 10 people into the New York State Immunization Information System database.

Thirteen people who purchased the cards -- all of whom are believed to work in frontline and essential-employee settings, including hospitals and nursing homes - were also charged.

Here's hoping that, if the charges are proved, that they all get hit with the maximum.

Another idiot, who faked her way into Hawaii with a forged vaccination card, is facing a year in jail. The story lists other idiots who were caught on entry.

Deadstick Is Gone

He was a frequent commenter, named Ralph Jones in the real world. His widow, Peggy, posted the details of his memorial service in a coment. So I am giving it its own post.

This is Ralph's widow posting under his account which I just ran into. I am sad to tell you that Ralph died back in January. We have finally scheduled a Memorial Gathering and Celebration of Life for him at the Owl Canyon Gliderport. Details are below. We don't expect anyone from out of town to risk their health by coming but anyone who is in the area anyway is welcome to attend. Details are below. There's lots of space to socially distance. Guidelines suggest that sharing food is not to dangerous but it's better if people bring their own paper plate and cups and forks etc. We'll have extra just in case. If you have any questions, I am available at toroandbruin@yahoo.com or by cell.

Margaret (Peggy) Jones toroandbruin@yahoo.com (303-919-3213)

Ralph Noble Jones Memorial Gathering and Celebration of Life

To be held at Owl Canyon Gliderport 4598 Hackamore Rd, Wellington, CO 80549

On September 11, 2021

Potluck picnic from 11AM to 12:30 PM

Airplane takeoff and scattering of ashes starts at 1:00 PM.

We plan to gather outside in front of the clubhouse,(on the side facing the runway). However, the clubhouse as well as the hangar, provides space in which to shelter if it rains.

Since the gliderport can be dusty or muddy, dress is definitely casual. Also, you will want to bring a sun hat.

Bring food and drink to share or to just eat, yourself, if you prefer to isolate more due to Covid.

Covid guidelines for potlucks suggest that sharing food is relatively safe but that everyone bring their own paper plates, cups, napkins and utensils. We'll have extra just in case.

We will follow the State of Colorado and Larimer County Covid guidelines, however they stand on September 11. We expect that guidelines will tighten up again this fall but will not have changed much as of mid September.

Due to construction on I-70 this summer, driving time from the center of Denver to Owl Canyon has sometimes been closer to 2 hours rather than the usual 1-1/2 hours. In September, please consult Google Maps for current information.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Leaving These Here

With that, I think I'm going to suspend this feature.

A Weird Alignment of the Planets; Ross Douthat Ed.

One of Ross Douthat's opinion pieces was published in the Times today. It's a rare piece in which I find myself in full agreement.

I should quote extensively from it, but fuck that. Go read the entire thing.

This morning, I was musing to a friend that when the Soviets left, the government that they left behind endured for several years. The one we tried to establish folded and fled almost two weeks before the last C-17 left Kabul.

Afghanistan was Vietnam-lite. Adjusted for inflation, it probably cost as much. We did lose a lot fewer soldiers, but we had far better technology and could do more things with fewer soldiers. Over the years, the pronouncements from Central Command and from the various names of the command in Afghanistan were filled with the same sort of misleading bullshit that MAC-V used to hand out. In both wars, reporters could easily go out and send back reports that showed that the press releases from the commanders were at best, highly optimistic, or cynically, self-serving lies. (Here's one example.)

I wrote this, ten years ago:

In no small measure due to the fecklessness of the Bush Administration, we are locked into a land war in one of the most inhospitable and inaccessible places on the planet. In Year Ten of the war, the best that the commanders can say at the Five O'Clock Follies is that "tangible progress" has been made. Many more American fighting men and women will be killed and maimed. At least another trillion dollars will be spent. There is no end in sight for this war.

Trump made a horrible deal with the Taliban, but at least he had the courage to go against the forever war national security establishment and set in place the end of the war, even though he and his administration made every attempt to make it harder for our in-country allies to leave. Biden may not have liked the deal and the ending could have been handled better, but he brought it to a conclusion.

And rest assured, we are not done paying for this war. We will be paying veterans' benefits and survivors' benefits well into the 22nd Century.

Last Man Out

2021: Major General Chris Donahue.

1989: Lieut. Gen. Boris V. Gromov.

The Soviet Union lost several times more soldiers than we did. On the other hand, it only took htem nine years to figure out that trying to control Afghanistan was an errand for idiots; it took us almost twenty years.

Karma Is......

.... a motherfucker.

A 30-year-old Texas man who earlier this summer organized an anti-mask rally has died after catching COVID-19, his pregnant wife announced.

Caleb Wallace died Saturday after weeks on a ventilator at a San Angelo hospital, the San Angelo Standard Times reported.
Wallace was a known mask opponent and founder of the “The San Angelo Freedom Defenders,” the Huffington Post reported.
When he first fell ill in late July, Wallace initially refused to get tested or see a doctor because he didn’t want to be part of COVID-19 statistics, the San Angelo Standard-Times reported, so he self-treated with Ivermectin, Vitamin C, zinc aspirin and an inhaler.

Soon, he had no choice but to seek medical treatment and was hospitalized.

The dead guy was apparently a member of a local milita group that is active in spreading anti-vaccine propaganda. He swallowed all of that bullshit, whole, including the crank treatments for Covid.

It didn't have to be this way, but the far-Right media seems to be happy to keep seeing the members of their base going into graves.

They Don't Have Those Things in Stock at Amazon; NO,LA Ed.

A major electrical transmission tower has collapsed, leaving Orleans Parish completely without power.

An official in Jefferson Parish says a transmission tower that provides power for New Orleans and the east bank of the parish has collapsed into the river near Bridge City. According to the parish’s Emergency Management Director, cables strung across the Mississippi River are now in the water...

That's not going to be a rapid repair. RUMINT is that locals are being advised that it may be two months before everyone has power back.

Even if you have solar or hand-crank power for your cell phones, the cell companies are going to be hard-pressed to keep the generators for the cell towers supplied. Even if you have a landline, eventually the switching system is going to run out of power. While I don't know for sure, it's probably a good bet that the "efficiency experts" have long ago eliminated most of the power backups that the old Bell System pointed to as a source of pride.

It may be that if you need to communicate with someone in the affected area, you're going to have to send them a letter, unless they know an amateur radio operator in their neighborhood (whose antennas stayed up).

ETA: Aaron said that Murphy came through the storm OK.

Monday, August 30, 2021