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

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Catching Up on Things (Including Bozo Rudy)

Hubble is OOC:

On June 13, the Hubble Space Telescope's payload computer stopped working, bringing the great instrument's operations to a halt. Several attempts have been made to restart – so far without success – and astronomers are bracing themselves for the possibility this is the end for the telescope that changed our view of the universe.

If they can't get Hubble to go back on line, it's not as though we have the capability to fly up there and fix it.
---------------------------------------
The Disgraced Asshole of Orange wanted to use the Feds to stop comedians from making fun of him.

“It’s truly incredible that shows like Saturday Night Live, not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of ‘the other side,’” Trump tweeted, long before he was banned from Twitter for inspiring a violent mob. “Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows. Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?”

It was, on its face, a ridiculous question and threat, as SNL is obviously satire, and therefore a form of protected speech in America that pissed-off commanders-in-chief have no authority to directly subvert. However, then-President Trump went further than simply tweeting his displeasure with the late-night comedians and SNL writers’ room. The internal discussions that followed, between the former leader of the free world and some of his political and legal advisers, once again underscored just how much Trump wanted to use the full weight and power of the U.S. government to punish his personal enemies.

According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the Federal Communications Commission, the court system, and—most confusingly to some Trump lieutenants—the Department of Justice could do to probe or mitigate SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers.

Autocrats, and wannabee autocrats, are notoriously thin-skinned. They know that their weapon of fear doesn't work very well if people are laughing at them. That applied, in spaces, to The Mangolorian.
---------------------------------------
Republicans are still pushing Jim Crow 2.0 voting laws and the party members in the Senate are going to do everything possible to ensure that those people have a harder time voting.

Every objective study of the 2020 election has found it to be a free and fair election, including, most recently, in Michigan:

State Senate Republicans who investigated Michigan’s 2020 presidential election for months concluded there was no widespread or systemic fraud and urged the state attorney general to consider probing people who have made baseless allegations about the results in Antrim County to raise money or publicity “for their own ends.”

None of that will tamp down the Big Lie of the Scrfer of Hamberders or those who are too afraid to do anything other than parrot his lies (which includes every Republican senator). They know that they can't win in a battle of ideas, that a majority of Americans doen't buy their schtick. So their sole road to power is to tilt the playing field, to keep as many of those who won't vote for them from voting.

It really is a modern version of Jim Crow.
---------------------------------------
Speaking of the purveyors of The Big Lie:

An appeals court suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York because he made false statements while trying to get courts to overturn Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential race.
An attorney disciplinary committee said in its motion to suspend Giuliani’s license that there was “uncontroverted evidence” that Giuliani had made false statements to the courts, the public and lawmakers as he pushed theories that the election was stolen through fraud.

You can read the 33-page motion to suspend Rudy's law license here.

There are four appellate courts in New York State, called "Departments". Each Department administers the discipline for the attorneys who practice within that Department.

Lying to judges is one of those things that can get arttorneys in real trouble. (Snacking on the client's own money is a big no-no.) Attorney discipline is sort of a universally-reciprocal thing, in that if an attorney is admitted in more than one state, or to Federal courts, being suspended or disbarred in one state is effective in all of them.

I don't think Rudy's likely to be standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign anytime soon. But Rudy now is feeling the full force of working for Individual-1: He got stiffed on his fees and his reputation is in tatters. Melania's Future Ex-Husband throws people to the side like used Kleenexes, and that's what's happening to Rudy.
---------------------------------------
Welcome to the 1970s:

The U.S. Navy has swapped more than 1,600 parts among its new Virginia-class submarines since 2013 to ease maintenance bottlenecks as components that are supposed to last 33 years wear out decades sooner.

Parts are being shuttled regularly among the nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines so that vessels in the $166 billion class built by General Dynamics Corp. and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. can return to operations, according to data from the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Congressional Budget Office
.

This isn't quite as bad in the 1970s, when the primary task of shipboard security watches was to stop the theft of parts and equipment by the sailors of other ships.[1] But the under-funding of spare parts and maintenance is a perennial problem. Building ships, tanks and airplanes is sexy. Congresscritters like that, because it's splashy and the jobs created can be pointed at. But buying repair parts isn't as sexy, so it gets underfunded.
________________________
[1] I'm not saying that I once told a lieutenant from another ship that if he didn't get off my quarterdeck, that I was going to shoot him. But I'm not saying that I didn't say that, either.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Too Much

Just Going to Leave These Here



Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Chinese COVID Vaccines Suck

The story is here.

Neither seems to be particularly effective. The Sinovac is particularly sucky.

Good luck getting honest data from the Chinese on it.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

Piasecki H-21 "Shawnee":



The H-21 was a 1950s-early 1960s era workhorse. Word I've heard is that they sucked in Vietnam, as the helo wasn't designed for hot-weather environments. It was replaced by the UH-1 and and CH-47; nobody looked back.

The one shown here is the last flyable example of the type. I haven't researched it, but it could be the only flying Piasecki helicopter left.

ETA: There are threee PV-18s, the earlier iteration of the helicopter, on the FAA's registry. There are several H-21s. That just means they exist and the FAA has them registered, not that they can fly.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Caturday

The prison visit:

Friday, June 18, 2021

Just Going to Leave These Here



Because It's Friday

There will be steam in the new "Nuking the Fridge, Part Deux" movie:



AKA Indiana Jones and the Temple of AARP.

The DoJ Did Stop the Attempted Theft of the Election

The WaPo has a long story about the pressure Trump and his toadies were putting on the Department of Justice to overturn the election. Among other things, Rudy the Clown was really pissed because the then acting AG, Jeff Rosen (after Barr tucked his tail and ran), told Rudy that if he had evidence of fraud, to take it to the FBI's Washington Field Office, like anyone else who would have evidence of crimes.

Mark Meadows, who was Trump's COS, also pressured the DoJ to look into the whacko claim that the Italians had used military satellites to steal the election.

What happened is that the Department of Justice refused to sign onto Trump's quasi-legalistic coup attempt. That left the Tyrant of Orange with the sole option of egging on his low-wattage supporters to attack the Capitol.

Which they did.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Juneteenth

The US will officially recognize Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in America, as a federal holiday after Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday.

Even some of the seriouosly batshit members of the Congress voted for it.

The Lightness of Blogging



Family obligations will keep blogging light for a few days. Regularly scheduled features are already cued up.

Feel free to surf the blogroll. If you live in states where reason and science prevail, go out and do something.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Wheels Keep Grinding, 1/6/21 Ed.

A Chicago cop was arrested for participating in the Trumpist Insurrection.

Six men, including a former police chief of some buttfuck town in southern California, were charged with conspiracy with regard to the insurrection.

As of three days ago, over 500 people have been charged.

Here's a tip: The Capitol building has its own cellular network, because the signals from outside towers don't penetrate well into the building. So, if you were inside the Capitol building or on its grounds on january 6th, if you had your phone with you, then the Feds know who you are and they will come for you.

By the way, this shows the insanity of the QAnon boobs who are blathering about trackers inside the vaccine. Almost all of those fools are already carrying trackers, and they are paying each month for the service.

The Dirksen Rule in Effect

("When I feel the heat, I see the light."-- Everett Dirksen)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene apologized Monday for affronting people with recent comments comparing the required wearing of safety masks in the House to the horrors of the Holocaust.

“I’m truly sorry for offending people with remarks about the Holocaust,” the Georgia Republican told reporters outside the Capitol, saying she had visited Washington’s U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum earlier in the day. “There’s no comparison and there never ever will be.”

Color me unconvinced. She's not sorry for saying it, she's sorry for offending people. And she hasn't completely got off the crazy train:

But the Georgia Republican declined to walk back other controversial statements she has made, including one in which she compared the Democratic Party to Hitler’s party, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

I'll be more impressed if Greene visits The Legacy Museum, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The National Museum of African American History and Culture to learn something about racism, Jim Crow and the struggle to gain the right to vote for minorities (and she can take Rand Paul with her). Then she can go over to the National Air and Space Museum and learn that there is no such thing as Jewish space lasers. After that, she can go over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and learn that the Earth is not flat and that it isn't the center of the Universe.

It's a sad thing that some Georgian Republicans have to be elected to Congress in orer to learn some basic facts about history and science.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Just Going to Leave These Here



For No Reason

James Thurber's story "The Little Girl and the Wolf"

One afternoon a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a basket of food to her grandmother. Finally a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food. "Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?" asked the wolf. The little girl said yes, she was. So the wolf asked her where her grandmother lived and the little girl told him and he disappeared into the wood.

When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother's house she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on. She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.

(Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.)

The Christian Taliban is Kerfuffling

This is an article about "conservatives" trying to take back the Southern Baptist Convention.

From my view, the Southern Baptists are among the reasons to ensure that your powder is dry. I have not a single doubt that they would eagerly use the power of the state to force their beliefs on everyone else.

It's worth remembering that the SBC's sole reason for coming into existence was to give a moral and religous justification for slavery. They were not exactly quiet about supporting Jim Crow laws. Their core DNA is the promotion and protection of white supremacy.

That's one thing about the SBC's brand of conservatism. It is all about keeping their foot on the necks of people that they deem to be inferior to themselves, viz, white men.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Friday, June 11, 2021

Once a Russian Stooge, Always a Russian Stooge


He's still earning his pay.

Because It's Friday

A steam-powered bus:



They ought to star this thing at a steampunk convention.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

One in Three

Doctors are seeing such cases around the world: About a third of COVID-19 patients go on to develop "long-haul" neurological or psychiatric conditions months after being infected, new research shows.

The findings suggest a link between COVID-19 and a higher risk for later mental health and neurological disorders, researchers report.

The new analysis of data from more than 236,000 COVID-19 survivors focused on 14 neurological and mental health disorders. It found that 34% of patients were diagnosed with such disorders in the six months after infection with the new coronavirus.

It just boggles my mind that there are people still willing to take a risk of contracting Covid.

In part, one has to wonder whether or not we have had a few hundred thousand people die and a million or more contract COVID because some old fat white guy was so vain that he was afraid that wearing a mask would mess up his spray-on tan.

Vaccine availability in this country is near the point where any adult who wants to be immunized should have been immunized. So those, from here on out, who end up in the hospital with COVID and whine that they should have taken precautions or should have gotten vaccinated should be given a Tough-Shit card and the key to the Weep Locker.

WØRD!

Just Going to Leave These Here



Time to Invest in Pitchforks and Tumbrels?

Once again, we are learning that the rich in this country are parasites: They reap the benefits of being Americans, become wealthy, but they pay nothing approaching their fair share int axes. They pay less of a percentage of their income in taxes than a Wal-Mart worker. In many cases, they pay less taxes than a burger-flipper.

ProPublica has the story.

It's not unusual for the ultra-rich to pay less then a tenth of a percent of their income in taxes. In some years, by their financial shenanigans, they'll make billions of dollars and pay not a penny of taxes.

Let's be clear: This is not a bug in the tax code. This is a feature. The rich have pretty much bought the politicians who enacted the changes to the tax code to make it possible for them to get richer on the backs of the wage-earning schlubs who actually pay taxes and who have little access to the tax breaks that the rich do.

I could snark about the fact that there is an entire political party devoted to fucking over workers and making the rich richer, but it goes beyond that. Two presidental administrations ago, we had an attorney general whose mission in life was to protect the greedheads who crashed the economy in 2008. And he did just that, for other than some low-level scumbags, none of the real bandits spent a minute in a courtroom.

My belief is that a democracy cannot survive when the rich are paying nowhere near their fair share of taxes.

Bezos the Pirate

Do you own an Amazon smart device? If so, odds are good that the company is already sharing your internet connection with your neighbors unless you’ve specifically told it not to.

On Tuesday, the company launched a program that forces users of many Echo smart speakers and Ring security cameras to automatically share a small portion of their home wireless bandwidth with neighbors. The only way to stop it is to turn it off yourself.

Amazon, which is a wealthy company that has made much of their money on the backs of their workers, to the point that "Amazon warehouse" is a modern synonym for "sweatshop", now seeks to make even more money by stealing your bandwidth.

If you have one of their devices, shut that shit off.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Sunday, June 6, 2021

A MR Democrat, Indeed

A key Democratic senator says he will not vote for the largest overhaul of U.S. election law in at least a generation, leaving no plausible path forward for legislation that his party and the White House have portrayed as crucial for protecting access to the ballot.

“Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,″ Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote in a home-state newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

He wrote that failure to bring together both parties on voting legislation would “risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.”

Manchin is high on his own supply. Voting legislation was intensely partisan in the 1960s, albeit between the Dixie segregationists refighting the Civil War and those who were committed to civil rights. There is no way that the Trumpist GOP is going to back voting rights. They've openly concluded that their path to power is to make it harder for poor people, working people, city dwellers and minorities to vote. If that doesn't work, they're making it easier to throw out election results if they lose.

That Manchin is immune to that reality is proof positive that he is not playing with a full deck. And,for that matter, neither is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

On Its Way to the Supremes

A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, calling it a “failed experiment” that violates people’s constitutional right to bear arms.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled on Friday that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.

This case will end up at the Supreme Court, unless the 9th Circuit sustains the ruling and California declines to appeal in order to avoid having the Supremes rule on it.

Just Going to Leave This Here



Antifa Invaded France



That war was against fascism:



There was a lot of very hard fighting to do and the invasion could have failed. Gen. Eisemhower wrote a short speech to give if the landings failed

But they didn't fail. The Normandy Invasion wasn't a turning point, that happened in the West when the British denied air-superiority to the Germans in 1940 and, in the East, when the Soviets turned back the Germans and their Axis allies. The d-Day landings were, though, one of the nails in the coffins of the fascist regiemes then existing in Europe.

Sadly, fascism isn't dead. Not by a long shot.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

F-100, aka "the Hun":



Saturday, June 5, 2021

Just Going to Leave These Here



Don't Worry, MAGA Insurrectionists, Your Boss's Boss Has Your Back

Putin reiterated that Russia rejects accusations of interfering in U.S. presidential elections, and he spoke critically of the U.S. response to the Capitol attack, which took place as Congress prepared to certify that Biden had defeated then-President Donald Trump in November.

“They weren’t just a crowd of robbers and rioters. Those people had come with political demands,” he said.

Those "political demands," in case you've forgotten, were to overturn the results of the 2020 election as well as to hang both Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi.

Those "political demands" involved beating cops with bats and poles, forcibly stealing their equipment, breaking ane entering the Capilot and offices therein, smearing excrement, and defiling the halls of Congress with the Flag of Traitors from the 19th century,

It would seem reasonable to presume that if those fun-loving "political protestors" were to skip bail, that they would find a home and a job (presumably as language instructors for the FSB) in Russia.

Caturday

Chip, looking goofy.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Just Going to Leave These Here



Because It's Friday

A steam truck pulls out of the driveway:



Seems kind of sprightly!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Heh.


Apparently, this is the brain-child{1] of Mike Lindell, former drug-addict and pillow hawker[2] and Sidney Powell, Lawyer for Q.[3]

Good luck finding evidence that Republicans, such as Moscow Mitch and Miss Lindsey, have denounced this particular Trumpist fantasy.[4]
_________________________________
[1] To use the term loosely.
[2] And noted public lunatic.
[3] And soon to be former lawyer, if there is any justice to be had.
[4] Or, for that matter, denouncing Traitor Flynn's call for a military coup.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving Is Run By a Bunch of Tired Old Racists

Prove me wrong.

President Biden’s White House basked in praise from allies in its early days when it pledged to look for ways to “speed up” the process of putting abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson, who owned enslaved people and forcibly relocated Native Americans.

But four months after taking office, there is little evidence that the administration has taken any steps to accelerate the schedule set out years ago by a small agency within the Treasury Department.
...
But removing the portrait has proven much easier than accelerating the actions of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a unit of the Treasury Department, which critics say displays scant interest in transforming the currency.

The intractable bureaucrats are bleating about they'll have to redesign the entire bill. That's bullshit, all they have to do is replace the portrait. They can redesign the damned thing later.

Once you strip out the bullshit, the only reason left standing for them not to replace the portrait is the only one that makes sense: Bigotry, whether it is racism or misogyny. Or both.

Guess Which States Are Run by the Donnie Party


It shouldn't be hard to guess.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Parenting Tip: When Your Kid Has an Amazingly Stupid Idea, Just Say No.

Or you could be the one who winds up in jail.

Police say a 10-year-old boy approached his father with an unusual request: Could he take him to do a drive-by shooting in Opa-locka with a paint gun? The father, 26-year-old Michael Williams, agreed, detectives say.

Williams’ van pulled up to the house on the 2300 block of Rutland Street, and the boy began to shoot paint balls into the crowd, where some other young people were gathering in the front yard. But the resident, Gregory Barns, believed “he and his family were under attack” — and squeezed off one round with a real gun, wounding the boy on Sunday night, according to police.

Williams has now been charged with child neglect with great bodily harm, saying he “acted recklessly by agreeing to conduct a drive by paint ball shooting,” according to an Opa-Locka police report made public on Tuesday.

The boy suffered a further injury after losing his balance and getting run over by the van, according to the police report.

Fucking moron of a dad.

The Dotard of Mar-a-Lago Is Becoming Increasingly Unhinged


That is just nuts. Those who believe it are insane. We are in for some tough times in this country, as thw white supremacists are likely going to commit more and more acts of violence because they think that their Orange Overlord wants them to (and when he gets back in, they'll be released from prison). If you run or work in any sort of liberal or union organization (other than apoolice union), you had better have a plan for the day when some nut walks in with a gun for a firebomb and tries to kill people.

Meanwhile, authoritarian police fascists keep doing what they do:

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Brian Buglio, age 45, of Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania, was charged in a criminal information on May 27, 2021, with a civil rights violation.

According to Acting United States Bruce D. Brandler, the information alleges that Buglio, the Chief of Police for the West Hazleton Police Department, threatened a private citizen with criminal charges, in retaliation for social media posts created by the private citizen that were critical of Buglio and of the West Hazleton Police Department.

One would presume that the Bill of Rights cuts no ice in West Hazleton, PA. Chief Buglio has chosen to plead guilty.

DeJoy's Cabal of Liars

Everything that is sent to me or that I send out through the mail has USPS tracking numbers. Formerly, I'd only pay attention if they were late. But recently, I've been watching all of them.

What I've been noticing is that the Post Office gives an expected delivery date; everything is arriving a day early. I sent something off to a friend half-way across the country by Priority Mail. The expected day of delivery was stated to be four days out.[1]

My suspicion is that DeJoy has rigged the system so he can claim that 99.44% of packages are arriving on-time. Which just goes to show that he must have gotten his MBA from Trump University, where cheating is a virtue.
__________________
[1] You may recall that Priority Mail once was a two-day service.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Just Going to Leave These Here



When Money's Involved, There's Always a Workaround

Gov. DuhSantis is trying to find one between his stupid-ass law banning vaccine passports and the cruise industry, which is following the Feds and requiring that everyone be vaccinated.

If you click through and read the article, it says that the Governor of Floriduh is going to claim that the cruise ships are actually in international waters, so Florida rules don't apply.

That's news to every other coastal state, which asserts state sovereignity right out to the limit permitted by Federal law. If you're on a boat just off the coat of Florida and you kill somebody, the state of Florida will happily line you up for a lethal injection.

The cruise industry has made it clear that if need be, they'll take their business to another state that doesn't feel the need to act the ass. Which would cost Florida a lot of money. And since the first rule of politics is "money talks", DumbSantis will try to craft a way to get around his stupidity that doesn't involve betraying the MAGAMorons or looking dumber than he already is.

(H/T)

Monday, May 31, 2021

100 Years Ago

The good white citizens of Tulsa, OK, burned "Black Wall Street" to the ground, displacing thousands of Black residents and murdering about 300.

Many of the killers were given guns by the city and deputized. Airplanes dropped flaming balls, soaked with turpentine, to help burn everything down.

Nobody was ever held to account. None of those who lost homes, possessions, properties or businesses were ever compensated for this blatant act of state-sponsored terrorism.

Michael Flynn is a Traitor

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said there is "no reason" a coup could not happen in the United States.

During a right-wing conference in Dallas called the "For God & Country Patriot Roundup" over the weekend, the former White House national security adviser was asked by someone in the audience, who identified as a "simple Marine": "Why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?"

After cheers erupted in the crowd, as shown in clips posted to social media, Flynn replied, "No reason. I mean, it should happen here."

Flynn is a traitor and an embarrassment to the uniform that he once wore. One of two things ought to happen to Flynn. Either he should be frog-marched onto the next direct flight to Moscow, or he should be recalled to active duty and court-martialed for conduct unbecoming. Any retired military officer who advocates for a coup has betrayed his oath.

And as far as Trump's attorney, Sidney Powell, she probably should be in a locked ward somewhere. For she has gone batshit crazy, she's lost any grip on reality that she may have once had.

Just Going to Leave These Here