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

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Hinkle Tree Died Last Year

I picked up a compilation of Lewis Grizzard's columns from the library. In a column titled "Golf, or a Reasonable Facsimile Thereof," he mentioned a tree planted to stop a shortcut shot. It seems that a course had a dog-leg hole and one of the competitiors in a torunament, Lon Hinkle, realized that if he shot into the next fairway, he could aim straight for the pin and cut off some distance.

So he did and, in response, they immediately planted a tree there. Hinkle shot over it anyway.

The tree had to be cut down last year.

But that's the sort of thing that passes for excitement and scandal in the world of golf.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Arrgh, Eh?

Andy's 2018 Tweet Didn't Stand the Test of Time


I don't know if he's going to take his own advice.

Just Going to Leave These Here






Popping Terrorists

With a suppressed Beretta 71:


It looks neat, which is why I'm sharing it, but I haven't watched the thing entirely.

Your Sunday Motor Rotor Noise

A Mi-26:

Saturday, March 6, 2021

One Nice Thing Over the Last Seven Weeks

The news cycle hasn't been consumed by stupid shit tweeted, said or done by the president.

On another note, can someone please enlighten me as to the fascination that Americans have with the royal family of the third-rate core remnant of an empire? And don't tell me that "it's because they're royalty." Nobody seems to give a damn about the royal families of Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Thailand, Oman, Vietnam or Japan.

The Truth of the Matter, per Dr. Seuss

It was true then:
(H/T)
And it's still true.

The House GOP’s No. 3 leader recently urged Republicans to make clear they’re not the party of white supremacy. Two days later, one of their members spoke at a conference organized by a known white nationalist.

The whiplash between Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) plea and Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) public speech underscores just how tough it is for GOP leaders to rein in members who cater to the extreme wings of the party. As Republicans increasingly grapple with how — or even whether — to exorcise the most radical elements from their party, their leaders’ jobs won’t get any easier.

The House GOP has so far confronted no large-scale blowback from Gosar’s speech to the America First Political Action Conference, or from other incidents that link a few of its members to far-right imagery or rhetoric.
...
“I think the organization that [Gosar] spoke to is one that has expressed views that are clearly racist … This is not the kind of an organization or an event that other members of Congress should be participating in,” said Cheney, the House GOP Conference chair who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Funny thing: Kevin the Gutless, the House Minority Leader, was instrumental in stripping Steve King of his committee assignments two years ago when King, for the pasta bazillionth time, went full-on, sheet-wearing racist. But now, speaking in front of an assemblage of people who are proud to bruit about their racism and bigotry is OK for Republicans.

But it's not just the blatant racism that was on display and which Gosar implicity approves of. The conference was organized by one of the people who set up Trump's rally/coup on January 6th and who thought the Insurrection was a great thing. And, guess what? Steve King was there, too. Birds of a feather, etc.

If Gosar's going to go down that road, as he apparently is, he'll need some new clothes. Here are a couple of modest suggestions for Gosar's new business suit:

Tailors are standing by, Paul. Steve King can give you recommendations.

Caturday

Canny cat:

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Republicans Are Fighting for the Votes of Neanderthals



Beyond that, when Trump said blatantly racist and sexist things, guess who was silent? When Trump (and Limbaugh) made fun of people with disabilities, guess who was silent?

No points for guessing Little Marco.

But say something bad about a species of hominid that went extinct 40.000 years ago and the party of Q gets their panties wadded up.

Republicans are nuttier than a boxcar full of almonds.

Meanwhile, the number of people charged in the MAGA Insurrestion have climbed over 300.

The Day of the Covfefe?

Law enforcement was on high alert Thursday around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the iconic building again, two months after a mob of Donald Trump supporters smashed through windows and doors to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory.

The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that former President Trump will rise again to power on March 4 and that thousands will come to Washington, D.C., to try to remove Democrats from office. March 4 was the original presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to Jan. 20.

Online chatter identified by authorities included discussions among members of the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia group, concerning possible plots against the Capitol on Thursday, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Members of the Three Percenters were among the extremists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

I suspect that this "possible plot" is a mixture of wannabee loudmouths running their keyboards and gaslighting by jerkoffs who think that it's fun to try and get the Feds to overreact. As alluded to in the story, if there were thousands of people coming to D.C. for some bullshit, unless they all drove their POVs (and slept in them), there'd be traces of them coming.

But after the Insurrection of 1/6/21, it's hard to blame the cops for taking aggressive precautions.

What's going to happen, sooner or later, is that the Threepers and similar groups will be designated as terrorist groups and then the fun will truly begin.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Come to Texas: Our Electrical Grid Sucks and You May Not Die of COVID

Texas on Tuesday became the biggest state to lift its mask rule, joining a rapidly growing movement by governors and other leaders across the U.S. to loosen COVID-19 restrictions despite pleas from health officials not to let their guard down yet.

The case count has dropped, but it's still higher than it was last summer:
What the Dumbshit of Texas says is that people should act responsibly without state guidance. So they might as well have the Texas DOT paint over all of the lane markers, pull down the one-way signs on the highway, remove the speed limit signs and just tell people "drive responsibly". Because freedom and, if you want to drive at 150MPH on I-610, knock yerself out.

CPAC: Are They Nazis or Mentally Deficient?


When Hyatt built that stage and CPAC used it, they did Nazi any problems with it.

Hyatt got lambasted, of course:

Hyatt issued a press release that threw CPAC under the bus. They followed up with another press release, tossing CPAC further under the bus and also taking them to task for now following Hyatt's mask mandate.

Was this just a stupid error by CPAC? Or are they signaling who they truly are?

The Snubby Chronicles

That is a PDF book. My understanding is that everyone is free to share the link and read the book. If you want to quote the articles, you have to get permission.

ETA: That website has gone 404.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Republicans Love Them Some of That Good Old Jim Crow

Republicans in Georgia’s state legislature have introduced a flood of bills aimed at rolling back voting access after record turnout led to Democratic wins in the presidential contest and two U.S. Senate runoffs.

And Georgia isn’t alone. The Brennan Center for Justice, a public policy group, has counted more than 250 bills under consideration in 43 states that would restrict voting access.

Republicans have concluded that they cannot win a free and fair election in which it is made as easy as possible for every eligible voter to vote. They have given up on the idea of trying to persuade Americans that they have better ideas, better policies.

So they're concentrating on making it harder for people to vote. They're not even trying to hide their motivation.


That's really no different, except in degree, from the days of when their ancestors used naked terrorism to discourage Black people from voting. Republicans are demonstrating, from their actions, that they are the party of fascism. As has been nakedly apparent since 1/6/21, Republicans do not believe in freedom and liberty. Every Republican who has since said the Pledge of Allegiance has committed the sin of swearing a false oath.

By the way, anyone who says "but those people were Democrats" is deliberately ignoring the flip in the parties that occurred in the 1960s, following the enactment of several civil rights acts by the Johnson Administration. They're ignoring the blatant appeal to racism by Nixon, Reagan and Bush41. They're ignoring the flood of Southern white racists who switched parties (Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, et al). Comments that ignore those inconvenient historical facts will be treated as trolling.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Somebody mentioned in a comment, a couple of years ago, that their grandmother had been a cop who carried a .32 Smith and Wesson.

If that was you, look down on the right side, contact me. My email address is im the right-hand column.

Everyone else, carry on.

Cuomo Tells His Accusers to Lighten Up, or
A Big Difference Between the Democrats and the GQP

In a statement released amid mounting criticism from within his own party, [Cuomo] maintained he had never inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone. But he said he had teased people about their personal lives in an attempt to be “playful.”

“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” he said.

that's the traditional non-apology apology from politicians- "I'm sorry that you were offended by what I said/did," which is bullshit. It puts the onus on the other person for not giving the perpetrator a break.

But the big difference between Democrats and TFG's party is that very few Democrats are stepping up to back Cuomo. It is possible that nobody wants to get Cuomo's stench on them, especially after he got caught lying about Covid deaths in nursing homes. Cuomo has a tendency to be petty and imperious.

Cuomo's main sin is that he's not TFG. Cuomo hasn't done a single thing that TFG didn't do on at least a monthly basis.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Apropos of Nothing in Particular

What Ted Cruz and Other Criminals Have in Common

When critters are often pinched by the po-po, they don't consider that they might not have gotten arrested if they didn't do crimes. No, they blame their arrest on somebody snitching.

So it is with Flyin' Ted, AKA Cancun Cruz, AKA Carribean Cruz:

In an appearance on the conservative Ruthless podcast, Cruz got particularly salty about his Houston neighbors, who he appears to believe leaked texts from his wife about the planned trip. “Heidi is pretty pissed about that,” said Cruz when asked about the texts, which showed her complaining about her “freezing” home and trying to get others to flee the city with them. Cruz appeared to lay the blame for the leaks on his Democrat-supporting neighbors, saying the leak was a sign of “how ridiculously politicized and nasty” politics has become in the nation and, more specifically, on his street. “Here’s a suggestion, just don’t be assholes,” said the senator. “Treat each other as human beings, have some degree, some modicum of respect.”

That is just too rich. Rafael Theodore Cruz has built his career on being an asshole. It's widely known that Cruz is the most hated senator in the U.S. Senate.

It was a particularly asshole move for a public official to fly to Mexico when millions of his constituents were freezing in the dark. It adds to the assholery to whine about getting caught at it.

But that's what Cruz is: A professional, world-class asshole.

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

Fairey Gannet:

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Caturday

Another random kitten:

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Pandemicide

There is an argument to be made that TFG willfully allowed thousands and thousand of Americans to die because he was laser-focused on trying to overturn a free and fair election that he fucking lost.

TFG should have been charged with gross dereliction of duty. Maybe that's not something that the House wanted to impeach him on, but one thing is clear: History will not be so kind.

Nor will it be kind to the members of the Sedition Caucus.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Speaking of Republican Sex Criminals.....

Remember the Virignia Republican who was an admitted rapist, nazi and pedophile, who ran for Congress in 2018?

He continued to be up to no good, until he got arrested for kidnapping a 12-year-old girl. The Feds are dealing with him.

Blue on Blue, 1/6/21

A retired New York police officer who once was part of the security detail at City Hall was charged on Tuesday with assaulting a police officer with a metal flagpole during the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The former officer, Thomas Webster, served in a New York Police Department unit that provided security for the mayor, Gracie Mansion and City Hall, according to a law enforcement official. He retired from the force in 2011.

Mr. Webster, 54, a former Marine, surrendered to the F.B.I. on Monday and was charged with six counts relating to the attack on an officer from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., and his participation in the violent attempt to stop Congress from certifying the presidential election results.

A federal prosecutor said there were videos of Mr. Webster attacking the Washington officer, first with a metal flagpole that earlier had flown a Marine Corps flag, and then with his bare hands.

You know, of course, that if a demonstrator at a BLM protest had beaten a cop with a flagpole and then knocked the cop to the ground and tried to rip off the cop's gas mask, that the Usual Suspects on the Right would be losing their collective shit over it. But since this guy was fighting to overturn the election, as desired by their orange demigod, TFG, this crime won't garner much of a mention from the Right Wing Noise Machine.

Still, given that the perp ws a retired cop who was allegedly committing assault with a deadly weapon against a cop, I expect that the prosecutors are going to take this one as far as they can.

They're also arresting charter members of the Incel Woman-Haters Club.

Speaking of incels, the one who blew off all of one hand and part of another while making a bomb pled guilty to possessing a bomb. That story was buried by the coup attempt of TFG.

Sounds Bad for Tiger Woods

Golf star Tiger Woods suffered leg injuries Tuesday in a vehicle rollover in suburban Los Angeles and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. His condition wasn’t yet clear.

Woods was alone in the vehicle and had to be extricated from it, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. No other cars were involved in the wreck that injured the golfer.

Mashing up the legs of a pro golfer sounds kind of bad.

A mention of Tiger Wood's name always reminds me of this case, where a solo practitioner beat one of TFG's former law firms.

Cancun Cruz Now Loves Regulation!


This from a guy who probably has a poster of Ayn Rand on his bedroom ceiling.

Rick Perry hasn't gotten Ted's memo:

In a blog posted on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's website, Perry is quoted responding to the claim that “those watching on the left may see the situation in Texas as an opportunity to expand their top-down, radical proposals.”

“Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business,” Perry is quoted as saying. “Try not to let whatever the crisis of the day is take your eye off of having a resilient grid that keeps America safe personally, economically, and strategically.”

Rick Perry is either smoking crack or he is a dumb as everyone believes that he is. It is probably belaboring the obvious that "a resilient grid" is exactly what Texas does not have. Resiliency costs money. Preparing for severe weather events costs money.

The Texas energy grid has proven to be a catastrophe of very large proportions. Fixing it will take both increased regulation and spending money, two things anathema to Texas politicians.

So they'll just apply some band-aid type fixes, tell everyone that all is well, and hope like hell that they are in other jobs by the next time it comes crashing down.

A Half of a Million Dead

That's been the COVID-19 death toll in this country, so far. That's more than the American combat deaths in World Wars I and II. That's more than killing everyone in Winston-Salem, NC twice over. That's about the toll if everyone in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Newport News, VA; and Pasadena, CA all died. As the BBC observed, if there was a minute a silence for every individual who perished in this pandemic, it would take into 2022 before everyone who has died so far was honored.

It didn't have to be this way. The USA has been one of the worst-hit countries:

Much of the responsibility for this butcher's bill lands on TFG and his fellow-travelers in the Toxic Freedom and Liberty Caucus. TFG, instead of leading, used the pandemic as yet another tool to divide the country. TFG and his sycophants sought to turn mitigation measures into part of their batshit-crazed culture war.

The basic mitigation measures, wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing, were too much for them. Somehow, wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the virus became equated with tyranny for the followers of TFG.

Nowhere near as many people should have died from this. And if TFG hadn't turned the pandemic into a political warfare tool, if he had chosen to have the scientists and epidemiologists run point, if he hadn't pushed quackery and attacked everyone who disagreed with him and, if above all, he had shown just even a smidgen of human decency, he'd likely still be president.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Poison Gas as a Burglar Deterrent

No, this isn't a joke:



Something poisonous was found in an old safe a decade ago. Despite what the old articles say, the boobytraps in those safes were probably tear gas.

No way in hell anything like that would be installed today.

What Appointing Three Supreme Justices Got TFG

Absolutely nothing.

In a significant defeat for former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records to a New York state prosecutor.

It was apparently a short order, part of a list of summary orders, with no explanation why it took them four months to get around to it.

As I undertand it, that means that Trump's accountants have to turn over his tax records.

Stand byyy for indictments.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

That Tweet From Caribbean Cruz Didn't Age Well

Ted Cruz, who fled to Mexico from Texas because of ice, had this to say two years ago about Texas's energy grid:

This is the system that Cancun Cruz thinks is a model for everyone:

As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state.
...
[ERCOT president Bill] Magness said on Wednesday that if operators had not acted in that moment, the state could have suffered blackouts that “could have occurred for months,” and left Texas in an “indeterminately long” crisis.

And facing very large power bills:

According to the Dallas Morning News, some Texans have been hit with power bills totaling as much as $17,000 for only a few days of electricity, many times more than the usual cost of power in Texas.

That's a bit of an understatement. "Many times" is about "10,000 times".

Still, Texan-style grid reliability and all of the rest is what Flyin' Ted thinks we should have the benefit of.

Heaven forbid.

Not the Jet Noise That They Were Hoping For

A UAL 777 suffered an uncontained engine failure soon after takeoff, raining parts down on a Denver suburb.



But the engine itself seemed to keep turning and burning.

No word if the pilots had to be seen by medical professionals to extract some of the seat cushioning from their butts.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Concorde at JFK.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Just Going to Leave These Here







Modern Defensive Revolvers

Darryl Bolke makes the case for them.

On another note, Mr. Bolke is allegedly working on a coffee-table book about 20th Century police revolvers. It'll be on my buy list when publication plans are announced.

Caturday

Bella is taking a break from bird-watching.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Texas Power Problems: The Republicans’ Wholly-Owned Disaster

In surfing around, it seems that there are, essentially, three eletricity networks. The eastern one covers the area east of the Rockies, the western one covers the area west of the Rockies. The third network covers Texas.

It seems that Texas didn't want to have to follow any Federal rules about how power is generated or distributed. They didn't want to have to bother with emergency preparedness or backups. All that shit costs money, you see.

What little regulation the Texans did was scrapped at the behest of Enron (maybe you've heard of them) during the governorship of George W. Bush. Texas went to basically allowing anyone to buy power from anyone, which, naturally, pushed both prices and profitability down. Lack of reasonable long-term profitability meant that there was no incentive to invest in anything that couldn't make cash tomorrow. The Texas utility system because a quick-buck casino.

Winterized power plants, natural gas distribution facilities, switching gear and the like? All that costs money, pal. So they didn't do it. Cheap wind turbines went up because, in places where the wind is reliable, they are a low-cost way to generate power. A cold snap ten years ago did to texas pretty much what is happening now, but other than reports suggesting that maybe something should be done, Gov. Perry did nothing.

The Republicans have controlled Texas for the last twenty-five years. They may bleat about the wind turbines and the Green New Deal being a problem for them, but what happened in Texas was as a result of their choices. Both Bush and Perry pushed the use of renewables. Renewables were not the reason why the pipelines and generating plants were knocked off-line by cold weather.

The reason was greed, pure and simple.

Because It's Friday

Chinese steam, narrated in German.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ramping Up the Investigations of The Former Guy

As the Manhattan district attorney’s office steps up the criminal investigation of [The Former Guy], it has reached outside its ranks to enlist a prominent former federal prosecutor to help scrutinize financial dealings at the former president’s company, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

The former prosecutor, Mark F. Pomerantz, has deep experience investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases, bolstering the team under District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. that is examining [TFG} and his family business...

This could be good. Pass the popcorn.

In case you don't know who TFG is.

In other legal news, TFG and his minions are being sued under the Ku Klux Klan Act for, among other thngs, their roles in the Insurrection of January 6th.

Perseverance Mars Rover

Touchdown on Mars confirmed!

First pictures are coming in.

Ted "Cancun Cruz" Flees Texas

When danger reared its ugly head, Cancun Cruz turned and fled.

Sen. Ted Cruz flew to Cancun, Mexico, with his family this week as Texas dealt with a winter storm that left millions without power, Fox News has confirmed.

Photographs of Cruz, R-Texas, at an airport began circulating on social media late Wednesday, with people alleging that the senator had left the state for Cancun amid a major crisis. A Republican source told Fox News that the allegations Cruz was traveling to the Mexican city are true.

It's pretty clear that the average U.S. Senator isn't a leader of much of anything. If it's not grandstanding to boost his cred among the neo-Confederacy, Cruz seems to be incapable of doing anything. And maybe it's unfair to expect Flyin' Ted to consider staying home in Texas to show that he empathizes with his fellow citizens.

For Cruz, it's not "we're in this all together", it's more "Imma gonna get outta here!" If Texas was the RMS Titantic, Cruz would be shaving his beard and trying to find a dress that fit, so he could sneak onto a lifeboat.

Also: "Carribean Cruz".

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Radio Rwanda Has Lost a Host

Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who ripped into liberals and laid waste to political correctness with a gleeful malice that made him one of the most powerful voices in politics, influencing the rightward push of American conservatism and the rise of Donald Trump, died Wednesday. He was 70.

A remembrance:

Limbaugh trafficked in hatred and bigotry for decades. It may not be proper to exult in the death of any man, but his golden microphone is now silent, and as far as I'm concerned, well, I'll settle for paraphrasing Bette Davis: "You should never say bad things about the dead, only good. Rush Limbaugh is dead. Good.”

Or, if you will, Clarence Darrow: "I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Part of Me Would Wish That President Biden Tells That Extortionate Thug To Go Fuck Himself

In exchange for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Philippines should get something like $16 billion that Pakistan had received in counterterrorism assistance from the United States from 2001 to 2017, Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines received only a total of $3.9 billion from the United States in the same period.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the US government must pay if it wanted to keep the VFA, an agreement signed in 1998 that allows American troops to come to the Philippines for joint military exercises with Filipino troops and humanitarian missions.
...
Extortion? Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday scored the President’s remarks demanding that the United States cough up money in exchange for the VFA. She warned that such statements could be misconstrued as extortion.

“It’s embarrassing,” Robredo said in her weekly radio show. “It’s like extortion. [It’s like we’re crooks] — if you want this, pay up.”

There's a bit of a distinction between Pakistan, which is next to a hot war zone and has been for nineteen years, and the Phillipines, which isn't. This smells like Duterte is trying to leverage concern for Chinese influence to get more money from the United States. Or, more sinisterly, he's got a deal with China to make it not with the American's while to stay in the Phillipines.

Which is something that I'd not put past either President Duterte or President Xi. And if Duterte can somehow manage to break Phillipine democracy so he can be Presidente for Life, he'll do that.

Just like El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago.

Tip For Florida Man: If You're Going to Do Crime, Don't Give the Cops Reason to Stop You

Especially if you're a suspended lawyer.

Miami lawyer whose pants caught fire during arson trial arrested on cocaine charge

If You Live in Texas (and other places), Don't Plug in Your Tesla

Griddy, which sells electtricity from the wholesale spot market, is begging its customers to go elsewhere.

This is why:

The spot price of wholesale electricity on the Texas power grid spiked more than 10,000% on Monday amid a deep freeze across the state and rolling outages among power producers, according to data on the grid operator’s website.

Real-time wholesale market prices on the power grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) were more than $9,000 per megawatt hour late Monday morning, compared with pre-storm prices of less than $50 per megawatt hour, according to ERCOT data.

To convert those to home numbers, that's a pre-storm price of five cents a kilowatt/hour and $9 KW/hr yesterday.

So, say you have a Tesla Model S. Those take about 100 KW/hr of power to recharge. Last week, if you had plugged it in, that cost you five bucks or so for a charge. But if you had plugged it in yesterday and you have one of those spot-power providers, that recharge set you back $900 or better.

A lot of conservatives are blaming this on closing coal-fired power plants. But they're very conveniently forgetting that one of the reasons that those plants closed was that they were not economical to run. Oh, of course, the state could have subsidized them so they would be cheaper to run, but there's a word for that: Socialism.

Also, remember when conservatives were poking fun at California for having rolling blackouts? Guess what they've been doing in Texas.

Monday, February 15, 2021

F-35 Turkey

F-35, the airplane that keeps on giving.

F-35 fighter plane engines are in short supply, with the solution months away, causing the Defense Department to reduce its schedule of exhibition flights and to start planning for a shortage as soon as 2022.

The Defense Department's F-35 office has advised that about five to six percent of the U.S. F-35 fleet could be without useable engines by 2022, and up to 20 percent of the plane's fleet could be sidelined by 2025.
...
Additionally, overheating issues in F-35A engines have caused premature cracks in turbine blade coatings, causing shortened engine life and leading to backlogs at already overwhelmed repair facilities, Bloomberg News reported.

One has to wonder whether or not the Air Force shoulc be forbidden from contracting for anything more complex than a set of safety scissors. They shouldn't be in the business of designing and contracting for airplanes, just as the Army shouldn't be in the business of designing and contracting for rifles.

But the Army, at least, has over two centuries' worth of experience at fucking up that process. The Zoomies have a ways to go.

This Couldn't Have Happened to a More Deserving Bunch

One could say "paranoia will destroy ya."

As federal authorities crack down on the far right after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the movement’s leaders have found new sources of suspicion: each other.

In the Trumpist “America First” movement and the far-right paramilitary group the Proud Boys, alliances are fracturing as extremists brand each other as potential informants. Now racist live-streamers are accusing their former comrades of attempting to turn over followers to law enforcement, while Proud Boys chapters are splintering from the national organization over similar fears.

But there is good cause for them to be paranoid. Guys involved in those groups can either go to work for the Feds or run the risk of being scooped up in an investigation when the FBI arrests the Incompetent Loudmouths of the Month. One guy, possibly an informant himself, will suggest that the group take some sort of direct action that will, inevitably, lead to indictments and arrests.

The smart ones who don't want any part of it will change their email addresses, get new cell phones, change their watering holes and be very diligent in not having anything to do with any of those in the groups.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

A Valentine's Day Card to 42 Senate Republicans

New Webley?

In .32 Long:
Supposedly, they'll be imported eventually for about $1,300.

It'd be nice if they sold them in .38 S&W; then all you'd need is a white suit, a Panama hat, a shoulder holster, and you could walk around like the dude in the opening sequence of The Wind and the Lion.

Either way, it'd satisfy your need if you're jonesing for a late-19th Century British revolver. I'm not going to cast shade on that, look how many Colt SAA clones are still being made (and sold).

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Following the real F-104 a couple of weeks ago, here are some 1/3 scale models.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Moscow Mitch is the Most Cowardly Man on the North American Continent

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell excoriated Donald Trump on Saturday for being “morally responsible” for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and suggested he could face future criminal liability, but said he voted to acquit him at the impeachment trial because lawmakers had no jurisdiction over a former president.

First off, McConnell could have begun the trial on his watch as Senate Majority Leader, when Trump was still in office. He could have called the Senate back into session. It was his choice not to do it.

Second, if he truly believes that Trump was responsible, he had the power to fucking do something about it. But hell, he's a coward and the last thing he wants to do is take a stand for anybody other then the rich and corporations, so he didn't.

Punting to the criminal justice system was nothing but proof that there is a foot-wide yellow stripe down his back. McConnell is happy to run his mouth, but that's all he does, now.

McConnell will have to ooze along the ground, leaving a trail of slime wherever he goes, because one thing is certain: He has even less of a backbone than did his predecessor as majority leader.

Paxton is Probably Mad at Trump

Paxton stuck his neck out for Trump, with his bullshit case to overturn the election. But that went nowhere, so Trump didn't pardon him.

And now the FBI is digging deeper into his ass:

The FBI is investigating renovations made to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s million-dollar home as part of an ongoing probe into allegations that the state’s highest-ranking attorney illegally helped a wealthy donor, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

It doesn't mean that this is going to go anywhere. But it sounds as though it's got legs.

Pass the popcorn.

That Whirring Sound is Bill Lear, Spinning in his Grave

The Learjet, which became synonymous with lifestyles of the rich and famous, is about to fade into aviation history.

Canada’s Bombardier announced Thursday that it will stop production of the Learjet later this year to focus on more profitable planes.

Time was that every small jet was called a Learjet, just like all small airplanes are Piper Cubs, all revolvers were Colt Peacemakers and all autopistols are Glocks.

I think it's a boneheaded move. Learjet still has a lot of name recognition. On the other hand, Bombardier sounds like the guy sitting in the glass noise of a B-29.

Ship; Sinking; Rats Leaving a

Nikki Haley is distancing herself from Trump.

“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

Yep. Attempting to carry out a self-coup really did let the party down.

The Politico article is worth a read. Haley seems to be one of the few Republicans to say, out loud, that the fact that ther party rarely wins the popular vote total is a problem for the party.

But her comments about Trump reek of opportunism. It seems as though Haley was like someone who was watching a kid play with matches inside a hay barn, in that it was only after the barn had burned to the round, did she say "maybe that wasn't a good idea to be doing that." When there was a chance to talk to Trump, to be straight with him, and to try to get him to understand that he was wrong, Haley kept quiet. Haley seems to be making a bet that the party is going to move away from Trump and that she wants to be in the forefront of that. Not because it's the right thing to do, but because the tide is going to flow that way and she wants her boat to be well-positioned to take advantage of it.

The bottom line seems to be that Haley is, at her core, an opportunist. She was the governor of South Carolina when a white supremacist slaughtered Black people in a church. She used that to push to remove the Flag of Treason from the state flag... whether it was the right thing to do or because Haley saw a chance to make a national name for herself is unclear.

She clearly has felt the sting of racism and bigotry in her own party. But in order to advance herself, she signed on with the administration of a president who has a lengthy track record of being both racist and misogynist. As a result, no matter what she now says about Trump and the 1/6/21 Insurrection, when there was a chance to speak truth to power, Haley spurned it.

The stench of Trump, the stench of the Insurrection, those are on Haley.

Caturday

Priss's bed now has a fleece lining around it.

Friday, February 12, 2021

The Czech Pony

CZ has aquired Colt. It's a little more financially complicated than that, but that's the essence of the story.

On the one hand, it's a foreign company taking over a historic American company.

On the other hand, it's hard to see how CZ could run the place any worse than the endless parades of chuckleheads who have "managed" Colt for many decades.

Oh, the right-wingers love to blame Colt's unions, but that's bullshit. One doesn't have toxic labor-management relations without idiots in management who have no clue how to lead and motivate people. It gets worse when you toss in B-school bozos who treat people like interchangable parts.

I've heard decent things about Colt's new Python. But truly, if you're going to drop $1,800 or more for one, a better move might be to double up and get a Korth Mongoose from Nighthawk.

Because It's Friday

A WWI trench locomotive:



As I've mentioned before, steam locomotives were not favored for use on the light-gauge railways that supplied the Western Front. German observers in balloons would spot the plumes of steam and smoke and then call down artillery fire. So gasoline locomotives were quickly pressed into use.

Pandemic Humor

This is pretty funny. If you go on Twitter and click the hashtag, you'll find a lot of them.









Thursday, February 11, 2021

A Very Good Point About the Conspiracy Fabulists

Stop calling them "conspiracy theories."

They are no more "theories" than are magic dragons, flat Earths, midichlorians, or the millions that a Nigerian prince promised to send you.

You ought to go read the entire thing. He makes a very good point.

I will do my best not to use the term again.

Grinding Down the Proud Boys

It is past time for the Proud Boys to be designated as a terrorist organization:

The Justice Department unsealed conspiracy charges against five people associated with the Proud Boys on Thursday in the latest and largest move against the far-right group's coordinated role in the insurrection last month.

In a criminal complaint, an FBI agent described how the group "moved closely to each other" inside the Capitol on January 6 and wore pieces of fluorescent orange tape affixed to their clothing or gear.
Some are accused of leading crowds of rioters as they pushed through multiple police lines and made their way through the Capitol grounds. They all wore tactical-style gear, including helmets and gloves. One had a wooden club or ax handle that was initially disguised as a flag.
...
The conspiracy charges are likely to grow. In a footnote in the affidavit, the FBI agent said they believe more people may be involved in the conspiracy and that an investigation is ongoing.

The further that the FBI digs into this, the worse this is going to get. This entire stinking mess has to be dragged out into the light of day.

The incitement by Trump of this has been well documented. And it's interesting that a lot of the defendants are arguing that they only did what Trump told them to do. But that's not going to get them very far.

Meanwhile, another lawyer has been arrested in subsequent bullshit:

A Pennsylvania lawyer threatened to kill Democrats in the U.S. Senate and was on his way to Washington, D.C., with firearms and a “large amount of ammunition” when he was stopped by state police, federal prosecutors said Wednesday in announcing charges.

Kenelm Shirk III, 71, of Lebanon, was indicted Feb. 3 on a charge of threatening to murder a U.S. official. He pleaded not guilty at his initial court appearance and was locked up pending trial. His lawyer said Shirk had no intent to kill anyone.
...
After his arrest, Shirk was taken to a hospital for an emergency mental health evaluation. One nurse told police that Shirk threatened to kill his ex-wife, “but not today.” He also made a comment that he had to get up early enough to “beat traffic” and make it to government officials’ houses before they left for work in Washington, the nurse said.

This is that fool:
What is it with these older white dudes who believe that they have the right to kill people because their side lost the election?

The Saddest Thing About Trump

I've been aware of him for over thirty years. he always seemed to be a huckster, a con man. He would start businesses, cheat his partners, fleece the rubes, take out all the cash he can, and then the business would collapse. Trump Airlines, Trump's Atlantic City casino (being imploded this month), Trump steaks, Trump University, his run for the presidency in 2016... all cons.

But now it seems that he has become the most pitiful of con men: One who believes his own con.

On another note, I recently read The Cleveland Creep by Les Roberts. In the story, the protagonist remarks on someone who was wearing a long, solid red tie and muses that he must have been taking fashion tips from Donald Trump. The book was published in 2011.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Truths and Consequences

First, some truths:

Is there anyone disputing that this is not the truth:

This is also true, but not the whole truth:

The whole truth would be that "the jury includes his co-conspirators and people too cowardly to do what they know to be the right thing."

And that is the truth. We send men and women in our armed forces into harm's way and have for every single day of the last nineteen years, but some senators are too, oh, too afraid of being defeated in their next election to stand up and be counted. The Founders of this country pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor; our current senators cannot muster the courage to risk losing their jobs.

One thing is certain: History will take note of what they do. Will their descendants be proud of them or not mention them.. it's their choice.

Now for the consequences:

A Georgia prosecutor said Wednesday that she has opened a criminal investigation into “attempts to influence” last year’s general election, including a call in which President Donald Trump asked a top official to find enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

I have little hope that Teflon Don is going to be held to account for this. If anyone else had tried to pressure election officials to change the count, they'd already be in custody.

But not Trump, the master criminal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Covid Policy

Assume that person A went to an indoor restaurant or some party and contacted Covid.

Assume further that contact tracing showed that person B, who was following protocols, got Covid from person A.

Is there an argument to be made that person B should have the right to hold person A accountable for transmitting a loathesome disease?

Is there an argument to be made that, if person A gets Covid really badly, that they get triaged off to the side ("here's your morphine drip and a pulse monitor, we'll come in when it stops beeping")?

Right now, other than moral condmenation, there is no mechanism to hold people who spread the disease by their gross negligence. Maybe there should be. And maybe if there was, things might not be as bad as they've gotten.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Modern Stupidity

A man was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Nashville business Friday night after a robbery "prank" for a YouTube channel went wrong, according to police.

When officers got to Urban Air in the city's Hermitage neighborhood about 9:20 p.m., they learned Timothy Wilks, 20, and a friend approached a group of people, including David Starnes Jr., with butcher knives as part of the prank.

Starnes, 23, told detectives he was unaware of the prank and shot Wilks in self-defense, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said Saturday in a statement.

Frankly, if I was prosecuting things, I'd push for felony murder charges against the "friend". Nobody should be put in the position of shooting someone in a self-defense situation that turns out to be a prank. The shooter is going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life, because some stupid punks wanted to make a prank video.

Less dangerous:

A Louisiana woman has sought medical treatment after mistakenly using Gorilla Glue spray adhesive in place of actual hair spray.

She's probably going to need to shave her head and get it over with.

Ah, the Irony of Conservatives

The members of the QAnon Party are claiming that Trump's current impeachment is unconstitutional, so they are using a technicality to avoid having to judge what Trump did.

Top Republican senators argued on Sunday that the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump set to begin this week is not constitutionally legitimate — and one even tried to suggest that Democrats might be to blame for the storming of the US Capitol.

That is really too rich. For as far back as I can recall, whenever a criminal defendant wins because the cops did an illegal search or failed to Mirandize the defendant or, at times, tortured or abused the defendant in order to obtain a confession, it has been the conservatives who have been screaming blue bloody murder at how that defendant got off on a technicality.

Which is exactly what they are doing now: Seizing on an imaginary technicality to avoid having to hold Trump accountable to unleashing a mob on the Capitol.

Never forget that, as the mob was going into the Capitol, Trump said that Mike Pence was a coward for doing his duty under the Constitution.

Never forget that, as the mob stormed the Capitol, Trump refused to issue orders to send in the D.C. National Guard, but he had no problem in using the National Guard to attack peaceful protesters so he could hold an upside-down Bible outside of a church.

Never forget that Trump watched the insurrection eagerly and delightedly on TV and dodged pleas from friends and allies to call off his mob.

Never forget that Trump waited until it was clear that his autogolpe had failed before he sent out a tepid tweet telling the Insurrectionists to go home, then he put out a video statement that repeated his lies about the election before telling the mob to go home and that he loved him.

Never forget that Trump's video was so full of lies about the election that it was almost immediately taken down by every non-Russian sponsored platform.

But all of the above is what the Senators from the Party of Q wish us all to forget.

Never forget what happened on January 6, 2021. Never forget those Senators who are covering it up.

And as far as Ron Johnson goes, with is disgusting insinuation of blaming a victim:

That seditious breathing, hairy, ugly bag of mostly water can go fuck himself, along with everyone in Wisconsin who voted for him.

If you agree with Johnson, you are free to bugger off.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The precious and irreplacable F-22:

Saturday, February 6, 2021

A Giant Goes West

Millie Hughes-Fulford, astronaut and UCSF scientist, dies at 75.

She was the first scientist to do biomedical research in space. Among other things, she was a leading researcher in the problem of bone loss during extended spaceflight.

If humanity ever flies to Mars, it will be standing on the shoulders of the research done b Dr. Hughes-Fulford.

Yeah, Sure, It Was Just a Coincidence

Fox Corp’s Fox Business Network has canceled “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” a weekday program hosted by the business journalist and vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, the company said on Friday.

News of the cancellation came one day after Dobbs, 75, was named as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed by voting machine maker Smartmatic, which argued that three Fox hosts, including Dobbs, falsely accused the company of helping to rig the election against Trump.

One of the other defendants was Fox News itself. Smartmatic is seeking $2.7 billion, which was probably enough to get that withered alter kocker who owns the company. This doesn't seem to be a lawsuit that is going to easily go away.

Meanwhile, noted rich lunatic Mike Lindell bought airtime on Trump TV OAN to run his three-hour alternative-reality propaganda screed claiming that Martians or the Centauri stole the election. The network ran a "Oh Lord, please don't sue us" disclaimer before it. As the linked story and others have noted, the disclaimer got more attention than the torrent of bullshit following it. Because the legal fact of the matter is that third-party advertising (which is what Lindell's screech-fest was) opens the people airing it to such lawsuits.

So, is OAN going to find itself being sued to the gills over this? If you were going to bet whether or not OAN is going to be sued for airing it, I'd not put serious money on "no", not without getting really good odds.