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

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Leaving These Here





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

A Weird Alignment of the Planets; Ross Douthat Ed.

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

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

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

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

I wrote this, ten years ago:

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

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

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

Last Man Out

2021: Major General Chris Donahue.

1989: Lieut. Gen. Boris V. Gromov.

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

Karma Is......

.... a motherfucker.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 30, 2021

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

A DC-3 (or C-47) low pass:



It could have been an R4G, C-53 or C-117, for all that I know.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Caturday

Chip, staying frosty:

Friday, August 27, 2021

Laying These On Down, Here



Can the "Guardians" Be Any More Risible?

The Department of the Air Force has officially activated its Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM), the third field command of the U.S. Space Force. Brig. Gen. Shawn Bratton, who has been leading the STARCOM planning team since February 2021, assumed command of STARCOM in a ceremony held at Colorado’s Peterson Space Force Base on Monday. Five STARCOM deltas, subordinate commands made up of squadrons focused on specific tactics, were also activated during the ceremony.

"Starcom"? Really? They couldn't figure out a way to put "fleet" into the middle of that?

It's about what I would expect from the Console Jockeys Guardians who are serving the world's first military made up entirely of noncombatants, a service where the formal uniform might as well be a ball gown, elbow-length gloves, matching heels and a tiara.

Kids! Do you want the prestige of military service without the risk of ever being shot at? Then the Space Force is for you!

So August 13th Came and Went

And TFG still hasn't been reinstated. For that date was the latest drug-addled prophecy of the Pillow Dude.

Apparently, even TFG has bought into that crap.

Tony Norman nailed most of TFG's followers, the Trumpvangelicals:

Tired of waiting for Jesus to “come in the clouds” riding a white horse, surrounded by vengeful saints and wielding a literal sword with his tongue, America’s cult of Christian nationalists decided it made more sense to throw in with a charismatic character already on the scene — a godless vulgarian with a blazing orange tan and lying spirit who asks nothing of his followers except a willingness to believe big lies and to regurgitate those lies when called upon to do so.

No doubt that they'll come up with a new date for the reinstatement, much in the same way that the Rapture keeps being rescheduled.

Because It's Friday

Streamlined German steam:

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Owning The Trumpanzees


This ad ran in today's NY Times and probably some others.

The number works, and so do the options. It’s funny. 1-856-677-5266.

Kicking These Off, Here



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Well, Well, Well, Here Come the Consequences of Their Actions

Nine lawyers allied with former President Donald Trump face financial penalties and other sanctions after a judge Wednesday said they had abused the court system with a lawsuit that challenged Michigan’s election results in favor of Joe Biden.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker said the lawsuit last fall was a sham intended to deceive the court and the public, just a few days after Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state was certified.

“Despite the haze of confusion, commotion and chaos counsel intentionally attempted to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaintiffs’ attorneys have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way,” Parker said in the opening of a scathing 110-page opinion.

Pass the popcorn.

Dropping These Off, Here



Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to the Big House You Go

An organizer of a neo-Nazi campaign to threaten journalists and Jewish activists in three states was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison after apologizing for what he did and saying he’s a changed man.

He's a "changed man", all right. He's now got a felony conviction.

As in "Ye Olde Asshole"

Kanye West filed court documents Tuesday to legally change his name.

The Los Angeles Superior Court filing says the 44-year-old wants to get rid of his full name — Kanye Omari West — in favor of just his longtime two-letter nickname, Ye, with no middle name or last name.

Additional snark would be superfluous.

Fara älg kan bita


I am away for most of this week.

Try not to wreck the Internet while I am occupied elsewhere.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Patience for the Anti-Vaxxers Just Evaporated a Bit More

The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday, potentially boosting public confidence in the shots and instantly opening the way for more universities, companies and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory.

The Pentagon promptly announced it will press ahead with plans to require members of the military to get vaccinated amid the battle against the extra-contagious delta variant. Louisiana State University likewise said it will demand its students get the shot.

All this means is that the people refusing because the vaccine was experimental or was authorized under emergency use provisions have lost their basis for refusal. More and more schools and employers will mandate getting the vaccine, or quitting. For those in the service, it will be get the vaccine or take an OTH discharge.

Making a Deposit, Here



Heckuvajob, Darth, Chimpy and Rummy

It was in the waning days of November 2001 that Taliban leaders began to reach out to Hamid Karzai, who would soon become the interim president of Afghanistan: They wanted to make a deal.

“The Taliban were completely defeated, they had no demands, except amnesty,” recalled Barnett Rubin, who worked with the United Nations’ political team in Afghanistan at the time.

Messengers shuttled back and forth between Mr. Karzai and the headquarters of the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, in Kandahar. Mr. Karzai envisioned a Taliban surrender that would keep the militants from playing any significant role in the country’s future.

But Washington, confident that the Taliban would be wiped out forever, was in no mood for a deal.

“The United States is not inclined to negotiate surrenders,” Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said in a news conference at the time, adding that the Americans had no interest in leaving Mullah Omar to live out his days anywhere in Afghanistan. The United States wanted him captured or dead.

If there was one characteristic most attributed to Dick Gheney, one of the Wingnut draft dodgers, it was hubris.

Now, twenty years, thousands of dead American and a trillion dollars or so later, all we have are ashes. Even if, down the road, we have to go back and bomb them flat, they won't give up (uness Pakistan has a total change of heart)\.

Heckuvajob, Chimpy.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Turboprop Noise

The Vickers Viscount:



There's not a lot of footage around, as the type went out of service in the 1990s (outside of Africa).

EEEEEEEEEEEEE (Maybe)


I might be offline for a bit, and not by choice. Since moderation is in effect, comments may be in limbo for a time.

Some repeating features are pre-loaded for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Henri's A'comin'


The latest NRL forecast shows it coming ashore near Brookhaven, NY and then onto the mainland near Westport, CT.

If you live in Litchfield County, CT, Bennington and Windham Counties in VT or in western MA, you may want to double down on your stormwater preparations. It would appear that Henri is going to go to the northwest up to the southern `burbs of Albany and then bang a sharp turn to the northeast. Which means that in those areas, you're going to have the storm pass by your area, twice.

Such a deal Henri has for you.

ETA: The forecasted track is starting to wobble back to the east. If you're in the southern half of New England or Long Island, stay frosty.

Trump and Miller: Evil Incarnate

The blood of every Afghani interpreter or assistant who is now murdered by the Taliban is on the hands of Trump and his Chief Nazi, Stephen Miller:

More than one person is telling this tale. Whenever the matter came up of resettling the Afghans who risked their lives to help our soldiers, Miller began spouting his racist nonsense. And Trump, who is as bigoted a person as a certain dead senator from North Carolina was, lapped it all up.

Many brave men and women are going to be murdered by the Taliban because Stephen Miller threw up every possible roadblock to getting them out of the country.

He is the face of evil.

Caturday

Chip is helping me surf the net:

Friday, August 20, 2021

People Are Crazy

Taking livestock dewormer to fight Covid.

You can't make this shit up.

Kicking These, Here



Republicans Carping About Afghanistan Can All Go Eat a Bag of Richards

Everybody on the Right seems to be forgetting that Trump set the stage for this debacle. It was Trump who chose to negotiate directly with the Taliban, cutting out the Afghan government. It was Trump who sent the strong signal that the Afghan government and the Afghan people were going to be thrown under the bus.

Remember this?

That's then-Secretary of State Pompeo meeting with Mullah Beradar in Qatar last September. That was when he sold out Afghanistan to the Taliban.

But see, this is what Republicans do. They make agreements to end feckless wars and then carp when their agreements are put into effect. It happened when Bush agreed to end American presence in Iraq and Obama carried it out.

Why is this so? It's because the word of Republicans is of no value. Trump embodied this to a T; he never made an agreement that he wasn't willing to break. But international agreements aresomething that are negotiated after time-consuming negotiations. They govern the conduct between nations. If the word of nations cannot be trusted, then what is left to govern international relations?

We've tried the Rule of Force before. That wasn't such a great thing when disputes were settled with spears, swords and catapults. It's a horrible idea in the era of nuclear weapons and ICBMs.

Yet that is what apparently think we should go back to. Because, to them, international agreements are of no value.

(And anyone who thinks that the outcome would have been different if Trump was still president needs to lay off the opium pipe.)

Henri: This Could Be “Interesting”.

Hurricane Henri:

The forecasted track keeps drifting to the west. If you're in eastern MA, RI, southeast CT, southeast NH or coastal ME, start battening your shit down.

If you're to the west of that, stay frosty in case Henri shifts westward.

Because It's Friday

UP Big Boy 4014:

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Mo Brooks Expresses Sympathy For Another Terrorist

This is what that "worthy" had to say about today's bomb threat at the Library of Congress:
Imagine, if you will, that after one of the arrests of a moronic Muslim back when the FBI was setting up all of those entrapment stings, a prominent Democrat said something along the lines of "I understand citizen anger against American Imperialism"... the Right would have lost their collective minds.

But, as we all know, things have been different for a very long time when the terrorists are right-wing white people.

Depositing These, Here



One Doctor to the Unvaxxed Covidiots: "Hit the Bricks."

An Alabama doctor is taking a bold stance in the efforts to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.

Dr. Jason Valentine, a physician at Mobile’s Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health, posted a photo on his Facebook page showing him posed next to a sign that says “effective Oct. 1, 2021, Dr. Valentine will no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The story quotes the letter that the doctor sent to his patients.

If you need an ICU bed in Alabama because you were, say, in a bad car crash, well, you are just shit out of luck:

As of Tuesday, Alabama was out of intensive care unit beds, but the number of inpatients needing ICU treatment continues to increase.

“We’ve never been here before. We are in truly now in uncharted territory in terms of our ICU bed capacity,” said Alabama Hospital Association President Dr. Don Williamson.

He says ICU capacity levels have been reached across the state with at least 11 additional patients now in need of ICU treatment. Some are being treated on gurneys in hallways or in emergency rooms, Williams stated.

“There were 1,568 patients today who need ICU beds, and there are only 1,557 designated ICU beds in the state today,” Williamson said. “In the Montgomery area, we have eight more patients who are getting ICU care than we have designated ICU beds here.”

Alabama is in this mess because Alabama is apparently near its capacity of idiots.

Thanks to this pandemic, the Deep South is doing a great job of reinforcing every stereotype that Southernors have complained that Yankees hold of them.

Heckuva job, all y'all.

ETA this:

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Dropping These Off, Here



Antivaxxers Plumb the Depths of Derp and Dumb

Those morons now believe that they'll be able to retire by selling unvaxxed sperm.

Meanwhile, ICU beds are filling up about where a casual observer would expect them to:

DumbSantis and his compatriot-in-death, AsswipeAbbot, have been screaming for help. They want more ventilators, more nurses, and so on. Their fellow fool in MS wants the USNS Comfort to come help.

But the one thing they all have in common is that, when it comes to asking their citizens to do their part to slow the spread of the pandemic, all of them are aggressively opposed to doing anything.

This would be my response to them:



I remember a time when "conservatives" would say about poor people that they need to help themselves, that they have to stop making the same mistakes. The same applies to the "nobody's gonna tell meeee to wear a mask or get a vax, muh rights!"

Fuck all of those guys, including that dumbshit cardinal from STL.

Hell Gains Another Resident

John Rizzo, the CIA lawyer who approved the use of brutal torture, has died.

Monday, August 16, 2021