Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat


* "TOFF" = Treasonous Orange Fat Fuck, A/K/A Dolt-45,
A/K/A Commandante (or Cadet) Bone Spurs,
A/K/A El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, A/K/A the Asset.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Just a Crappy End to a Shitty Year

Betty White has died, less than three weeks from her 100th birthday.

New Years Eve Specials








Because It's Friday

A 600-hp stationary engine:



Think about the relative sizes of a 600-hp gasoline engine or a turbine.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Are Governments Going Full-Trump on the Pandemic?

The positivity rate of COVID-19 tests hit a new high point Tuesday of 14.98 percent as a winter surge of infections continued following the Christmas holiday.

According to data released Tuesday, 5,753 COVID-19 cases were found among 38,395 new COVID-19 tests, for a rate of 14.98, about four percentage points higher than the previous record set since the state launched broad testing efforts.
...
The surge in infections comes as the state nears a grim milestone, 500,000 positive COVID-19 tests. If the trend in new cases persists, Connecticut will hit 500,000 total coronavirus infections this week. But experts believe the true number of infections is much higher
.

The state governor, Toll-Booth Ned Lamont, has said that he has no intention of imposing another mask mandate. Some towns and cities have.[1] Lamont was aggressive in fighting the pandemic in 2019 and 2020. so one might wonder why he is now seemingly asleep at the switch. He's not alone, Pennsylvania has a positivity rate of over 15% with no mask mandate. What is going on?

I have my suspicions. I suspect that the various authorities have concluded that there is nothing more they can do to convince the anti-vaxxers to get their shots. There's no point in pushing large-scale mask mandates, for there is probably a nearly-perfect overlap between the anti-maskers and the anti-vaxxers.

So, given all that, they may have concluded that the time for mitigation measures is over. Better to let the virus burn through those who won't try to fight it, until they wind up in the hospital. Then we can get to herd immunity, get on with our lives and, if in the process, a few hundred thousand more unvaccinated people end up taking early dirt naps, them's the breaks of the game.
_____________________

[1] The CT Insider doesn't seem to care very much about the goings-on outside of Fairfield County.

CDC Goes Full-On Trump

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on Tuesday asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halve its recommended quarantine time for vaccinated people who contract Covid-19, saying the current isolation period could negatively affect the airline’s operations.

Bastian wrote to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky proposing a five-day recommended quarantine period for fully vaccinated individuals who contract Covid. The existing recommendation calls for a 10-day period of isolation.

“Our employees represent an essential workforce to enable Americans who need to travel domestically and internationally,” wrote Bastian, along with the airline’s chief health officer Henry Ting and medical advisor Carlos del Rio. “With the rapid spread of the omicron variant, the 10-day isolation for those who are fully vaccinated may significantly impact our workforce and operations.”

The CDC listened to Delta.

People who test positive for the coronavirus need to isolate themselves for only five days if they don't show symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. This cuts in half the earlier recommendation of 10 days of isolation.
...
The CDC has also updated its recommended quarantine period for people exposed to the virus. It says unvaccinated people should quarantine for five days, followed by five days of "strict mask use."
...
"The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society," said the CDC's director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement. "CDC's updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives.
"

And if you're sick and feeling better, rock on:

People whose symptoms are getting better may also leave their homes after five days so long as their symptoms are improving, the CDC said. People who have a fever should stay home until the fever clears up, the CDC added.

So the CDC thinks it's OK to run the risk of the virus spreading if people have the virus so Delta and the other airlines can get their planes in the air. Does the CDC really think that those who have had their quarantine shortened ew foinf ro wear a mask everywhere?

"Ecch, you're feeling a little bit better. Go forth and spread the virus."-- That sounds like something that the Trump Administration would have said.

At this point, I'd be more inclined to rely on either the World Health Organization than the CDC. The WHO also is politically influenced, but probably less than the CDC. The Dutch guidelines make more sense; ten days after diagnosis or exposure, five days after exposure if you have a negative test on day five.

Guess Delta has no pull in the Netheralnds.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Layering These Down, Here





And a lagniappe:

Commercials and Rapist Capitalists

What with the shortage of new cars for sale and the stories I keep seeing of them flying off the lots, I have to ask: What's with all of the "sales events" commercials the car companies are running right now?

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

If you're wondering why meat prices are so high, it's not because the ranchers or the supermarkets are making more money from it. They're not. It's the meatpackers. Tyson Foods, Cargill, National Beef Packing Company and JBS have bought up and closed competing slaughterhouses. Over the last forty years, those four companies have gone from having 36% of the market to 85%. They squeeze the ranchers and the feedlots and then keep the savings for themselves.

120 years ago, they would be called "the beef trust". Maybe they're not conspiring, but they are acting in concert. None of the companies seem to seek to undercut the others. It's sort of an unvoiced, unspoken price-fixing scheme. Which means that they are price-fixing, but since they aren't discussing it amongst each other, they're not doing anything that can be proven.

But we know what is going on. It's extracting the maximum amount of money from the consumers and the producers to benefit the middleman. It's charging as much as the market can bear, which was evil when the railroads were doing it in the 19th Century and it's just as evil now.

One of the main functions of government should be restraining the unfettered greed of corporations. Corporations do not exist for the public good. They don't care about their employees, their customers, the nation, the environment, none of that. Corporations are amoral sociopaths, it is baked into the system. You need only look at a few tech companies (one of which stated, when it was much smaller, that its guiding principle was "do no evil", a principle that has been replaced by "let's make a shitload more money") to see that in action. The fuckery in the pharmaceuitcal companies, especially the huge price-hikes of older drugs, is another example.

Those greedy pigs need to be restrained, lest they ruin us all.

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Brits are Harsh!

I saw this headline:

Man found with crossbow at Windsor Castle sectioned

and thought "man, that's brutal. They just chopped that guy into pieces!"

But no. "Sectioned" seems to be a mental-illness hold.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise (sort of)

A pulse-jet powered ice-boat:


And a rocket-sled:

Love Your Republican Friends and Relatives, But Don't Respect Them

Pastor Pavlovitz has the truth of the matter.

Go read it. It's best not to try and grab a quote. But in short, the GOP has become a racist, corrupt, antidemocratic, authoritarian party and Republicans are happy about it.

In short, Republicans are not Americans. Their loyalty is only to their party, not to their country.

When a Republican pledges allegiance to the Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, they are lying like motherfuckers.

(I think I got this from here.)

Friday, December 24, 2021

The Shepherd, a Christmas Tale



I've set the time for the takeoff time of the Vampire.[1]

I wish you and yours a Happy Christmas. Please do your part to say safe and around for your friends and family.
__________________________

[1] Warbird nerds are aware that the DeHavilland Vampire was long obsolete as a fighter by 1957. It had been replaced by its swept-wing sibling, the Venom and by 1957, the Hawker Hunter.

Ho Ho Ho

From the best Xmas movie, ever.

Because It's Friday

It's snowing somewhere, at least:

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Color Me "Surprised"

A suburban Minneapolis police officer who said she confused her handgun for her Taser was convicted of manslaughter Thursday in the death of Daunte Wright, prompting tears from the young Black man’s parents and a jubilant celebration by supporters outside the courthouse who chanted “Guilty, guilty, guilty!”

The mostly white jury deliberated for about 27 hours over four days before finding former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter. Potter, 49, faces about seven years in prison under the state’s sentencing guidelines, but prosecutors said they would seek a longer term.

I thought that either Potter would get off entirely or she'd be convicted of second degree manslaughter. I thought the jury would buy that she absolutely didn't intend to shoot Mr. Wright and that they'd accept the chief's opinion that the shooting didn't violate departmental policy.

Guess that possible gig as a TV legal analyst is out of the question....

Just kidding about that.

Cementing These Down, Here







Foxes in the Henhouse

St. Clair County, IL – Ten out of 13 members of the Prairie Du Pont Volunteer Fire Department quit at a fire district board meeting on Monday night after a convicted arsonist was appointed acting fire chief.

I guess the fact that the Chief Arsonist is the son of the county's emergency management agency made no difference whatsover.

In a pig's eye.

QAnon People Still Are Nuts (and the Trumpers Are Not Far Behind)


They are all crazier than the people whe are living in padded rooms.

Insanity still is prevalent in pro-Trump counties:

We have had hundreds of millions of people vaccinated around the world, maybe a billion or more, and nobody's growing third-eyes or ginormous testicles... even among those who took the cheap-jack vaccines rushed out by the Chinese and the Russians. But the antivaxxers keep on lying and dying.

That's one man who didn't need to take a dirt nap, but he is now. likely because he listened to all of the antivaxx propaganda being spread by the Right Wing Noise Machine. But you can bet your ass that the vaccine-haters will rush to gobble down Pfizer's new pill if they get sick. Maybe we should start letting the Qidiots know that since the pill is made by the same company that makes the vaccines, that Bill Gates's microchips are also in the pills.

Plague Ships

Royal Caribbean International said Wednesday that 55 passengers and crew tested positive for the coronavirus on a cruise, just days after revealing 48 people on another ship were involved in an outbreak.

The latest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, will skip its scheduled stops in Curaçao and Aruba on the eight-night Christmas voyage.

There's no telling if any of the "fully vaccinated" passengers or crew had forged vaccine cards, or if these are all breaktrough infections.

Anyway, it should be clear by now that even if you are so done with Covid-19, the virus isn't quite done with you. Going into a somewhat confined environment with a few thousand other people for days on end is a fairly foolish thing to do.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Dropping These Off, Here






Phishing Warning

I have been getting texts that have asked me to verify my adddress to ensure that a shipment arrives properly and which contain links. I've been deleting them immediately.

You should, too. They are scams.

You should also advise those that you know who may fall prety to such criminal bullshit.

Monday, December 20, 2021

How Big of a Self-Important Asshole Do You Have to Be in Order to Do This?

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin all but delivered a death blow to President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion domestic initiative, throwing his party’s agenda into jeopardy, infuriating the White House and leaving angry colleagues desperate to salvage what’s left of a top priority.

The West Virginia senator’s announcement that he could not support the bill, delivered on “Fox News Sunday” after only a cursory heads-up to the president’s staff, potentially derails not only Biden’s “Build Back Better Act,” but sparks fresh questions over passing voting rights legislation and potentially other significant bills that would require his vote in the 50-50 Senate
.

Let's recap: Manchin went on the other party's propaganda television network to shiv the leader of his own party in the back.

Politics is a game of "I'll do unto you like you did unto me." Manchin may find out that, as time goes on, he'll be on the receiving end of a whole lotta doin'.

I'm dusting off a tag that I formerly used for another back-stabbing Democrat and applying it to this one.

ETA: Traitor Joe is claiming, now, that he sank the bill because Biden's staff was mean to him. Poor widdle snowflake got his feewings hurt. How does anyone with such a thin skin survive in politics? Oh, right, see, El Supremo Disgusto de Queens/Mar-a-Lago.

Red Covid Strikes Again

State Senator Doug Ericksen, a Republican who had led efforts to oppose Washington State’s Covid-19 emergency orders and vaccine mandates, has died after his own battle with the illness. He was 52.

There's no word as to whether or not he was vaccinated, but the signs point to "no".

Meanwhile, the Orange Demi-God that he worshipped has gotten his booster shot, much to the displeasure of his adherents. Of course, he got it off-camera, because he's a vain douchebag (and because it'd upset his base of QAnon-espousing dimwits).

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

P-47 Thunderbolt


There are two WW2 airplanes that I wish I could have flown: A P-47 and a Spitfire.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Why the French Used Revolvers

An interview by Gun Jesus (Ian McCollum) with Christian Prouteau, the founder and first leader of GIGN.



There are a lot of interesting points to consider, including one for reloaders.

For Clowns Like El Caudillo de Mar a Lago, It Always Gets Back to Blaming the Jews


Donald Trump is an antisemite at his core.

Trump seems to think that his support for Israel means that he can't be antisemitic. That, of course, is bullshit. Trump is supporting Israel because, and only because, his base among the Christian Taliban support Israel. The Christian Taliban supports israel, not out of any love for the Jewish people, but because they believe that the existence of Israel is a prerequisite for starting the "end times", the crap that Christians have been espousing for something like 1,800 years or so. Century after century, they continue to believe that it's just around the corner. They make Cubs fans look like dilettantes.

Anyway, once you decouple the Christian Taliban and Trump's support for Israel, it becomes obvious that they are almost as antisemitic as the neo-Nazis... "the Jews control the mainstream media," "the Jews control the banks," "the Jews control Hollywood," "the Jews have space lasers"... all the whacko shit that they have been espousing for centuries.

That Republicans and conservatives turn a lind eye and a deaf ear to this speaks volumes to their cowardice and lack of moral fibre.

The thing is, every so often, those assholes explode into pogroms or worse. Which is why every Jew should have a passport and a decent firearm.

Do What?? The Secret Service Uses Russian Rifles?

It was probably the rifle of the detail assigned to protect TFG's family:



My guess is the people involved in both creating the ad and approving it know fuck-all about guns.

Caturday

Recharging the ol' solar cells:

Friday, December 17, 2021

Because It's Friday

German steam (presumably):

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Leaving These Off, Here




EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


Comment moderation will be slowed for the rest of the week, as family obligations will take precedence. Feel free to drop them, though. And surf the blog roll. Some good stuff, there.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Coffee That Will Kill You

A Couple of Things

It seems that trying to hinder Congress from certifying the vote or trying to fuck with the outcome of an election are Federal crimes. That may be why Mark Meadows is refusing to testify and why Jeffrey Clark took the Fifth.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican co-chair of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, surprised many last night by reading important text messages sent to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows during the deadly riot. But what the Wyoming congresswoman said next was just as notable:

"Mr. Meadows's testimony will bear on another key question before this committee: Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress' official proceeding to count electoral votes?"

What this means is that, independent of the January 6th Committee's work[1], there is a possibility that the instigators of both the Insurrection and those who attempted to persuade election officals to alter the vote count may be charged.[2] The DoJ may be letting the Committee take the lead and do a lot of the shoe-leather work for them. But, in the coming months, things might get a little interesting for Meadows, Clark and maybe even Sir Donald of Hamberders.

(H/T)
---------------------------------
I DQ'd out of a defensive pistol match last month. I don't shoot those matches with an eye towards winning; I shoot them to practice with guns that I may carry and with holsters that I would use for that purpose. The gun in question was a S&W 3rd-generation compact 9mm, the holster was a pancake-style job that holds the gun in reasonably close to my body. Retention is with a strap over the hammer and the holster itself is reasonably thin.

The fact that the holster was at an "FBI cant" bothered the range safety people, as it meant that the muzzle pointed a little behind me. That it was leather without a reinfoced mouth meant that I had to ensure that the lips of the holster were spread apart so I could insert the gun. The RO said I muzzled my finger and disqualified me. I don't know as I did, but it was the RO's call. No whining allowed. It was suggested that if I wanted to keep shooting those matches, that I get some zero-cant kydex belt holsters. Fortunately, those can be had cheaply and, as the holsters will be range-only, cheap is good.
---------------------------------
Much is being made about the rank hypocrisy of Rand Paul, in asking for post-tornado aid for Kentucky while having repeadly voted against aiding other states after disasters. He reminds me of some Christian Talibanistas I've known in the past who were against divorce, or they were until their own marriages fell apart. Paul can quibble and deny that he's a hypocrite, but shit, everyone with an IQ much above freezing knows that he's a lying hypocrite.
_____________________________
[1] Never forget that the Republicans held hearing after hearing about Benghazi and yet have been stalwart in trying to avoid any accountability for the Insurrection.
[2] Looking at you, Miss Lindsey.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021