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

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

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

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, October 31, 2021

What Do 9/11/01 and 1/6/21 Have in Common?

The FBI dropped the ball. Both times, there was plenty of warning about what was going to happen and the FBI blew it off. Trump was ginning up his supporters to stage his self-putsch over three months before, but in the Jedgar Building the snoring drowned out everythng.

The "fusion centers" had been lighting u from coast-to-coast, but the FBI and the Capitol Police were asleep at the switch.

Oh, but afterwards, they got switched on and went after every idiot who even breathed about doing something. Just like after 9-11.

When the Trump Party tries again to steal the country, we can't depend on the FBI to be alert. Their track record suggests as much.

Dropping These Down Here; Halloween Special











Caturday Tale

A few mornings ago, I went into the garage to toss away a few recyclables. Priss was there, as I opened the door to go back into the house. I bent down to pet her, and Chip squirted out through the little gap in the door into the garage. I immediately closed the garage door, so he couldn’t go outside.

Then I went into the house, took an empty water bottle, punched a hole in the cap, and filled it with water. I went back into the garage. Chip kept maneuvering around under the car so I couldn’t grab him.

So I started squirting him with water. Priss decided that she didn’t want any part of that noise, so she jumped up on top of a cabinet. I kept going around, squirting Chip as he was under the car. Finally, he jumped up on the workbench shelf where Priss sleeps at night. I grabbed him (by then, he was half-soaked), put him back in the house, and opened the garage door back up so Priss could come and go as she pleased.

I didn't see Chip for hours. He was sulking upstairs on his bed.

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

A few helos; the featured one is a S-64 Skycrane.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Truck Driver Shortage? Blame Jimmy Carter for That.

In the 1970s, truckers could make $30 an hour money. By 2018, that had decreased. When adjusted for inflation, it was close to a fifty percent cut. Carter deregulated trucking in 1980 and wages tumbled.

the thing is, everyone was pretty much aware that truck-driving had gone from being a solid blue-collar job to being grunt work that paid dogshit in comparison to the time away from home. Back in the day, there were no shortage of stories about how great it was to own your own tractor and basically be paid to see the country. You don't see those stories anymore.

Besides being a hard job that paid for shit, there was story after story about how the trucking industry was working to automate driving, as I've covered on here a couple of times. It should be no surprise that young'uns who were deciding on a career would look at trucking and say "nah".

So now trucking companies are offering huge pay jumps. But how long will that last?

Meanwhile, in the supply chain shortage takes, the Los Angeles-Lomng Beach Port Authority is going to start charging shipping companies for containers that were offloaded from the ships and then not promptly removed. I am of mixed opinions about that. If there is no space on the trains or trucks to haul them off, charging a C-note/container/day isn't going to make trucks or railcars materialize. It may make it cost-effective for the shipping companies to keep ships at anchor, as for a very large container ship, those fines would amount to nearly a million dollars a day, compared to a charter cost of $200,000/day in today's market.

Or, possibly, it may be an incentive to send the ships elesewhere. But the cost of longer voyages may make it a better deal for the ships to sit off the coast.

Why Not Charge Zuckerberg With Lying to Congress?

In testimony to the US Senate in October 2020, Mark Zuckerberg pointed to the company’s transparency reports, which he said show that “we are proactively identifying, I think it’s about 94 percent of the hate speech we ended up taking down.”

Turns out that was a lie.

Thanks to Haugen, we finally know the takedown rate, and it is dismal. According to internal documents, more than 95 percent of hate speech shared on Facebook stays on Facebook. Zuckerberg boasted to Congress that Facebook took down 12 million pieces of hate speech in Groups, but based on the leaked estimate, we now know that around 250 million pieces of hate speech were likely left up.

Charge his ass and let him explain to a jury how Facebook wasn't cooking the books on how it treated hate speech. If the government moves on this, I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that Zuckerberg will be taking up residence in his escape-estate in New Zealand.[1]
_____________________________
[1] I'm presuming that he has one and that he had it decorated to look like something out of Lord of the Rings.

One a Thief, Always a Thief (You Can Guess Who)

Former President Trump's new social network might be in hot water before it even launches. Mastodon, a free social media framework, alleges that Truth Social is passing open source software off as its own, and has given them 30 days to fix this. If it doesn't fix things by the end of next month, things could get messy.

In a post to the Mastodon blog, founder and CEO Eugen Rochko explained that the problem is not simply that Truth Social uses Mastodon, but that it does so while claiming ownership over the site's code. People inspecting the code of the pre-launch site last week found it was very clearly using Mastodon's code without acknowledgment.

"The terms of service included a worrying passage, claiming that the site is proprietary property and all source code and software are owned or controlled by them or licensed to them," he wrote. "Mastodon is free software published under the AGPLv3 license, which requires any over-the-network service using it to make its source code and any modifications to it publicly accessible."

That is classic Trump-grade shit. He likely cheated his way all through school, he cheated his way out of the draft, he cheats on his wives, he cheats at golf, he violates securities laws.

So there should be no surprise whatsoever that Trump is stealing someone else's source code and claiming it as his own.

But hey, the Christian Taliban loves them their wife-beating, sexual-molesting theiving Orange God.

Caturday

Winery cat:

Friday, October 29, 2021

Because It's Friday

Bulgarian steam:



That has to be the largest tank engine I've ever seen.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

META-Assholes... Metassholes?

An embattled Facebook Inc. is changing its name to Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short, to reflect what CEO Mark Zuckerberg says is its commitment to developing the new surround-yourself technology known as the “metaverse.” But the social network itself will still be called Facebook.

An assholish company by any other name still stinks. Changing the name won't change public perceptions, to which the Princess Sparkle Pony Mercenary Supply Corp., formerly known as Blackwater, can attest.

Pressing These Down, Here




Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Hypersonic Weapons: Not Buying the Hype

China recently conducted a “very concerning” test of a hypersonic weapon system as part of its aggressive advance in space and military technologies, the top U.S. military officer says.
...
“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system, and it is very concerning,” [Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] said on “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations” on Bloomberg Television.

“I think I saw in some of the newspapers, they used the term Sputnik moment,” he added. “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. So it’s a very significant technological event that occurred, or test that occurred, by the Chinese. And it has all of our attention.”

I'm not an aerospace engineer, so take what I am writing with an appropriate degree of skepticism.

I'm not buying the hypersonic missile hype. First off, the damn things are launched by a rocket. I think it's safe to presume that we have a continuous overwatch on China for such activity. If a bunch of large rockets are launched, we're going to be at a high Defcon before the second stages burn out.

Second, even if they actually work, they aren't exactly sea-skimming aircraft. They will be well up where radar can spot them. They are not exceptionally maneuverable, a missile traveling at 4,000 mph will have a turn speed of about 2 degrees a second.

Third, those things are gliders, so a lot of steep turns will scrub off their speed.

Fourth, if China does deploy these things, then I would expect that the reaction upon detecting a series of rocket launches will be for the silo covers on the Minuteman fleet to open up. They will be primed to launch. The chances of a Chinese strke taking out all 400 or so silos is rather small and even a ten percent launch of a retaliatory strike will devastate much of China, and that's before the SLBMs begin flying.

Which they will.

So forgive me if I hold the cynical opinion that the soon-to-be-proclaimed hypersonic missile gap is as much a military fundraising gimmick as was the "bombr gap" and the "missile gap" of the 1950s.

El Lardo de Mar-a-Lago is Not Above TOS Agreements

A federal judge has abused Commandante Bone Spurs of the notion that the law does not apply to him:

Former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit to get his Twitter account restored must be heard in a California court, not a Florida one, under a user agreement covering everyone on the social media platform, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami rejected Trump’s contention that because his Twitter account was suspended during his last days as president the California court requirement did not apply to him.

The requirement, known as a forum selection clause, was in force when Trump originally joined Twitter as a private citizen in 2009, Scola wrote in his order issued Wednesday
.

Another lawsuit by the King of Hamberders against YouTube was also kicked to California for similar reasons. I expect that his similar temper tantrum against Facebook will suffer the same fate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Caucus of Sedition

The insurrectionists of January 6th allegedly received help, including lotf of planning meetings, from Rep. Marrjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). Gosar reportedly floated the idea of blanket pardons for all concerned, which indicates that the above Congresscritters knew what was going to happen. Brooks was wearing body armor. Trump's Chief of Staff was "100% involved" in the planning.

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. But one thing is clear: Repub;icans have given up on democracy. If they can't steal an electrion through gerrymandering and Jim Crow-esqe voting obstacles, they are clearly ready to steal it by force.

I don't see Republicans giving up on their path of sedition. We may be one election away from losing our democracy.

My Guess Was Half-Right

I guessed that Springfield Armory was going to bring back the Browning Hi-Power and that it would be an imported clone.

Yes to the gun, no about it being an imported clone.

That it doesn't have the Hi-Power's magazine safety means that the magazines will drop free and the trigger's probably a lot better than a standard Hi-Power. (They can't call it a "Hi-Power", as Browning/FN trademarked that.)

Brownell's pricing them at $680.

Color me "intrigued".

ETA:

Proning These Out, Here




Monday, October 25, 2021

The Illegitimate Father of the United States of America

On this day, 261 years ago, George William Frederick ascended to the British throne, becoming King George the Third. In an country that was a constitutional monarchy, he insisted on acting as much as an absolute ruler as he possibly could.

It was his obstinancy, at every step in the way, that led to both the American Revolution and the defeat of the British Empire in the war. Up until the 1760s, England had let its American colonies run their own affairs, taxing their own citizens for internal reasons. Trade was made beneficial to the Empire by tariffs and shipping controls. But that wasn't good enough for King George, he insisted on the right to tax the colonists directly. Tariffs were imposed, not for regulating trade, but as naked taxation. As the disputes with the colonies intensified, King George supported measures to arrest people and try them in either Admiralty courts (denying the defendants the right to a jury) or to transport them to England for trial/conviction.

Once the war began, the King threw up every obstacle he could to reaching a conclusion other than on the battlefield. When his government recognized the futiity of continuing the war after the defeat at Yorktown and the prime minister (Lord North) sought to step down before losing a no-confidence vote, the King told Lord North that he'd abdicate and leave the country before conceding the loss of the American colonies. North had to politely point out to the King that England was not an absolute monarchy, that while the monarch reigned, he didn't rule, and he should shut the fuck up and read the writing on the wall.

Without King George, it's certainly plausible that the American colonies would have continued to govern themselves and grown towards becoming a British dominion. In that regard, it's also plausible that California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico would have remained part of Mexico and that much of what is now known as the upper Midwest would have stayed as Canadian territory.

It took another war to drive the point home to the British that the United States was an independent nation. By the time that the second war rolled around, though, the King was insane.

It would be over another century after that before the Department of War ceased having current war plans against the British and the British stopped planning for war with the U.S. The British government flirted with the idea of intervening in the American Civil War, but thought better of it.[1] While the Brits did allow the Confederacy to build warships in English shipyards, that bit of meddling cost them the equivalent of a over a third of a billion dollars in today's money in order to settle claims against the Empire.
______________________________
[1] For one thing, the British people had turned against slavery. Intervening on the side of a nation whose sole reason for existence was to protect chattel slavery would have been a very hard sell.
(Yes, I know, Southern Apologists keep trying to rewrite history and claim that the Civil War was a "noble cause" and that the war was not about slavery. They are full of shit.)

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Caturday

"I want out!!"

Friday, October 22, 2021

Happy Ruger Day!

That is all.

This Blog Might Be Coming Down. Maybe Yours, Too.

The Trumpists on the Supreme Court are considering whether to gut American libel laws.

New York Times v. Sullivan was a 9-0 decision that stopped Southern racists from using libel lawsuits to cover their evil doings. Even since then, the far-right has been fulminating against it, because a free press shining the light of day on their shenanigans is hateful to them.

So of course, now that the Trump camp of the GOP has a majority on the Court, they may seize the opportunity to eviscerate the Sullivan deicison, stare decisis be damned.

The Wheels of Justice Grind On

A New York jury convicted a former associate of Rudy Giuliani on Friday of charges that he made illegal campaign contributions to influence U.S. politicians and advance his business interests.

The verdict was returned in Manhattan federal court, where Lev Parnas was on trial for more than two weeks as prosecutors accused him of using other people’s money to pose as a powerful political broker and cozy up to some of the nation’s star Republican political figures.

One part of the case alleged that Parnas and an associate made illegal donations through a corporate entity to Republican political committees in 2018, including a $325,000 donation to America First Action, a super PAC supporting former President Donald Trump
.

A wise person would have invested in popcorn futures.

Another Group of Whackaloon Conspiracy Theorists

Birds Aren't Real. It seems that they believe (or say that they believe) that all of the birds were replaced by CIA surveillance drones. Robots make edible eggs and the bird shit on your car is a liquefied tracking device.

Which isidea a pretty stupid , since almost every adult has been persuaded to carry around a tracking device and pay for the privilege of doing so.

Their primary reason for existence seems to be to sell merchandise to gullible morons.

Capitalism, baby!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Jail Matt Goes (maybe)



Pass the popcorn, Steve.

Because It's Friday

German steam, maybe.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Can We Now Stop Talking About This Fucking Case?

The FBI on Thursday identified human remains found in a Florida nature preserve as those of Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the death of girlfriend Gabby Petito while the couple was on a cross-country road trip.

Far too much attention has been paid to this case because the victim was a pretty, long-haired, blonde white woman. Somebody could have murdered a dozen Black women and gotten far less press attention.

Smoothing These On Down, Here




Savor the Irony; 2020 Election Ed.

The Lt.Gov. of Texas just paid out a $25,000 bounty to a poll worker in Pennsylvania for uncovering a single case of voter fraud.

The fraudster was a Republican.

A New Hi-Power?

Maybe.

The two clues are the photo of John M. Browning, Jr. on the top shelf of the workbench and the time shown on the clock next to the photo.

My guess would be that if Springfield Armory is going to "bring back" the Hi-Power, it's going to be a Turkish or Indian clone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Toyota Rule in Effect; SCOTUS Ed.

EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW is the motto of the Supreme Court of the United States, but more than 60% of Americans today believe the decisions of the court are based more on the political leanings of justices than the Constitution and the law, according to the newest edition of the Grinnell College National Poll (Grinnell-Selzer).


The percentage of people who believe that the Supremes are political is better than twice those who believe that the Court follows the law. And well, no fucking shit. Mitch McConnell didn't play fuck-fuck games with the Supreme Court in order to ensure the appointment of justices who were dedicated to following the law. The Republicans didn't refuse to confirm oodles of judges during the latter years of the Obama Administration because of a concern that President Obama's nominees wouldn't follow the law.

No, the Republicans did what they did because they wanted to pack the Supreme Court and the rest of the judiciary with judges who are politically aligned with them. They were not exactly silent about their aims in this regard.

Guess what, Gentle Reader? The American people paid attention to that. And so, the American people now believe that the Supreme Court doesn't operate on the basis of right or wrong, or what the law is, but what is politically expedient for the Republican party.

The Republicans wanted a court that followed their political whims and the majority of the American think they got it.

Toyota.

H/T

Facebook is Toxic, So...

...Zuckerberg is going to try renaming the company to some bullshit name.

Might I suggest "Enron" or "Notional Assemblage of Zuckerberg's Ideas".

A Piss-Poor Excuse for a Human Being


General Powell served this nation for decades. He sought no personal riches for his service. Yes, he made a major mistake with his presentation of the bogus evidence for war with Iraq, but he admitted that it was a mistake.

Contrast that with the Orange Goober of Mar-a-Lago, a man who dodged the draft with an allegedly phony medical deferment and whose sole turn at public service was focused on enriching himself and his family, ending it in trying to carry out a self-coup to stay in power.

It has been a sad commentary on the Republican party that they are so willing to destroy our constitutional form of government in their naked desire for power. They have been placing their party ahead of their nation. And as long as people continue to vote for those gutless wonders, the fate of our nation as a democracy is hanging by a thread.

It's Capitalism, Baby

Overworked nurses, who are not being paid well by their hospitals, are quitting and working as traveling nurses. As one nurse put it, after aher facility rewarded the nurses with free pizza: "There is a difference between knowing my calling and knowing my worth."

Hospital CEOs are not an underpaid lot. Konowing that, when a nurse feels as though she (or he) is being taken advantage of, hitting the road can be lucrative.

In the labor market in general, a lot of chickens are coming home to roost. Keeping the squeeze on workers, pulling out more productivity without paying for it, and then handing buckets of cash to the C-suite occupants, is not sustainable.

And it should not be. And it would seem that the reckoning is coming for a lot of companies that have been treating their workers like ore to be mined and then the tailings discarded.

Superman vs. the Republicans

Are you upset because Superman's motto has been changed and/or because his son is bisexual?

Here are a few helpful hints:
  1. Remember, it's a fucking comic book.  It's not a depiction of real people.
  2. You don't have to buy the fucking thing.  Nobody is holding a Tokarev to your head and making you buy, let alone read it.
  3. If the comic book upsets you, get a life.  Go for a hike. Find a job.  Volunteer.  Or seek professional help.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Profiles in Cowardice

Sen. Tuberville (Gutless-AL) has no regrets about putting loyalty to Trump ahead of the nation whose Constitution he had just taken an oath to protect.

Frankly, I am not surprised that a politician from Alabama would do anything else other than fall in behind a nakedly-racist white supremacist party leader. Tuberville may be trying to chart a not-fully MAGA course, but the die was cast when he cast his vote to support the Insurrection.

But sedition to the United States is an old Southern tradition, isn't it?

Plopping These Down, Here




One of the Worst Backup Guns Ever

Gun Jesus goes larping at a BUG match:



I don't know if a wise person would trust this gun much beyond bad-breath range.

And Yet, They Wear Body Armor

It's a strange thing. Cops will wear body armor to mitigate the chances of being shot dead, but against the number one killer of cops over the last two years, they prefer ignorance.

The Officer Down Memorial Page that has been tracking law enforcement COVID-19 deaths nationwide finds that 473 officers have died from the infection since the pandemic started. That is five times the number killed by gunfire.
...
They document 228 police killed by COVID this year, compared to 48 gunfire deaths; last year there were 245 police COVID deaths compared to 45 by gunfire
.


But their idiot union presidents are eager to see their members die of Covid so they can mkae the point that the cops are above the law, above the rules.

The head of the Chicago police officers union has called on its members to defy the city’s requirement to report their Covid-19 vaccination status by Friday or be placed on unpaid leave.

Here's the thing: The cops may believe that they are above the law, that they get to kill people with impunity and then cover it up (and fire the whistleblowers) and beat up women half their size for no good reason, but the virus does not respect their badges. Not taking the best precaution available against a deadly virus because of Trumpist-grade politics is the stuff of morons.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

What, No Automatic $10,000 Bounty in Texas for Cop-Killers?

A Harris County Precinct 4 constable deputy was shot to death and two other constable deputies were wounded early Saturday in what authorities are calling an ambush at a north Houston nightclub.

So where is the bounty for all comers to find the killer?

The Day That Dan Rather Saved Thousands of Lives

It was September of 1961. Hurricane Carla, which was a massive hurricane, was in the Gulf of Mexico, heading for Texas. A young television reporter, Dan Rather of KHOU, took a camera to the U.S. Weather Bureau's office. There, the camera filed the storm on their new radar console. Rather had the brilliant idea of overlaying a transparent map of the Texas coast on the radar display.

With that, everything changed. Weather warnings, which people tended to regard as so much blah-blah-blah, were instantly understandable. Between 300,000 and 500,000 people evacuated ahead of the storm.

Hurricane Carla was one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes to make landfall. Wind gusts reached 170mph, It was far more powerful than the Galveston hurricane of 1900. That hurricane killed around 8,000 people. Carla killed less than fifty.

Some of the credit for the much lower death toll belongs to Dan Rather, who found a new way to tell the story.

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

PBY:



Cruising at Cessna 172 speeds, they'd fly over 2,500 miles,

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Tucker Carlson Has The. Most. Punchable. Face. on. Television.
Prove Me Wrong.

I'm not advocating violence against the various imbeciles on television.

But if there was an election to see who would get punched. Tucker's got my vote.

In Texas, Lessons in Astronomy Must Also Offer the View That the Earth is the Center of the Universe

That would align with this:

A Texas school district administrator told teachers that if they have books about the Holocaust in their classrooms, they should also have books that offer “opposing” or “other” viewpoints on the subject.

Gina Peddy, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, which is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, issued the directive last week during a training session about which books teachers can have in their classroom libraries. A staff member secretly made an audio recording of the training session and shared it with NBC News, which broke the story.

In the recording, Peddy told the teachers to remember a new Texas law that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. She said: “And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”

There are lots of things that there are "alternate views" of that have no basis in reality. The Moon landing was faked. the Earth is flat. The African slaves were guest workers. There were Irish slaves in the American colonies. 9-11 was an inside job. Jewish space lasers control the weather. Chemtrails. Paul McCarthy died in 1966. Jade Helm was a rehearsal for invading the United States. the COVID vaccine has microchips so Bill Gates can track everyone. But just because some part of the population believes somewhackaloon ideas does not mean they should be taught in schools as alternative views.

This is all because Republicans are having a cow over the idea that schools should even mention the fact that the European settlement of the Americas meant the near-extirpation of the people who were already there, or that the economy of the South was built on slave labor.

Caturday Videos



Friday, October 15, 2021

Because It's Friday

German steam:



Three-cylinder locomotives (other than Shays) weren't popular with American railroads because they were harder to maintain.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


I'll be rather lax about checking in for the next few days. If it seems that your comments are stuck in Moderation Pergatory, please be patient. I'll eventually get to them.

I'm sorry about that, because it will disrupt the give-and-take. But needs must.

Funny Thing

When President Biden said the he was going to use OSHA to require large employers to have their workforces vaccinated, well, the Right had a frigging cow. "Infringing on the freedoms of private emplouyers", and shit like that there.

But are they having a similar hissy fit about Gov. Abbott (TX) interfering with private businesses by ordering employers not to mandate vaccines?

Signs point to "no".

Tossing These Off, Here




Gee. Another Republican Congressman is, at His Core, a Neo-Nazi.

Congressman Paul Gosar tweeted a link on Wednesday to a website that routinely publishes the work of neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and Holocaust deniers.

It was the Republican from Arizona’s latest plunge into the world of far-right extremism, having previously palled around with militias, spoken at a conference organized by a white nationalist, and repeatedly promoted the work of another Holocaust denier
.

This is no surprise, or it should not be. The Republican party has been veering from being a center-right party to becoming a far-right/white supremacist/neo-nazi party. It's comprised of outright Nazis and the like, like Trumpand Gosar, to toadies who have no principles or spine, like Scalise. McCarthy, DeathSantis, and Abbott.

SiG P365

A review.

I'm not in a mood to replace my Shield, but if I was, I might look at the P365. And like BP, I prefer having a manual safety on striker-fired guns.

You Can Stop The Cops From Doing This to You

Say that you're walking down the street and that two robbers hit the cellphone store across the street. One of the robbers is shot, they leave the store and the bullet-catching robber goes to the ER. Then, two days later, the cops contact you and ask if you saw anything.

How did they know you were there? They did a "geofence warrant" and asked Google for information of anyone nearby the scene of the crime. Bet you have Google Maps or Waze or any other app that uses Google Maps on your phone. Most people do.

You can avoid that happening, if you choose. One way is to shut off location services. A more user-friendly way is to ensure that your apps use location services only when they're open on your phone (you do routinely closebackground apps, don't you).

(H/T)

More (presumably) Republican Election Fuckery in Georgia

Officials in Georgia’s most populous county, where election operations are already under review by the state, have fired two workers accused of shredding paper voter registration applications, according to a county statement released Monday.

Preliminary information indicates that the employees checked out batches of applications for processing, and they are alleged to have shredded some of the forms, the Fulton County statement says. Fellow employees reported the alleged actions to their supervisor Friday morning, and the two employees were fired that day.

Given that Fulton County tends to go Democratic, it's probably a reasonable guess that the two morons who were shredding voter registration applications were die-hard Trumpanzees.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Heh.

Stand By For Some Stunning Hypocrisy; Covidiot Ed.

Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill for treating COVID-19 in what would add an entirely new and easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal against the pandemic.

If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration — a decision that could come in a matter of weeks — it would be the first pill shown to treat the illness. All other FDA-backed treatments against COVID-19 require an IV or injection
.

They're applying for emergency-use authorization, the same category that the anti-vax covidiots have been yammering about.

The pill works by mRNA modification methods, another thing that the "we prefer to die from Covid" clowns have been screeching about.

But you can bet your ass that they'll rush to take a not-fully-approved pill over a fully-approved vaccine, in the same way that they've been pounding down horse paste.

When Did They Start Making Slipcovers for People?

Kim Kardashian's monologue on SNL last week, she was dressed in what appeared to be a full-body slipcover:

She was, by far, not the worst host they've ever had. Especially when you consider that the Kardashian gig is little more than being famous for no gorram good reason.

On This Columbus Day

Discover your turn signal and how to use it properly.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Kevin McCarthy Has the Backbone of One of Those Inflatable Tube-Men Outside of a Car Dealership

Trump isn't Hitler, he likes rich Jews. But he's singing from the same hymnal.


Maher has a point. You don't have to go far to find people who truly believe that the remedy for the fact that The Manchurian Cantalope lost is to declare civil war and start killing people who don't look like them.

Who has an investment in causing such chaos? Russia, for one, as a weakened U.S. gives them more chances to bring Europe to heel. China, for another, which will probably use American distraction as the opportunity Xi is looking for to take Taiwan. Which may or may not result in a wider war that will do fucking wonders for the global economy.

How do we avoid this?

it's pretty clear that we can't trust Republicans to be rational, let alone patriotic. They're selling their souls in service of Their Big Lie. If they can gain control, they're more than happy to pull down the country around our ears to do it. They'd rather preside over a smoldering pile of ashes than be on the sidelines for a prosperous country.

The Democratic party needs to fully come to grips with the idea that Republicans have become amoral street-fighters who only care about power. They are unwilling to play by the rules of a free democracy: If you lose an election, come back with better ideas and sell those to the electorate. No, their plan is if you can't win it, steal it.

The Democratic party had better realize that this isn't 1996 or 2004.

But I have zero confidence that the same people who thought that Hillary Clinton was the best choice in 2016 can recognize the danger the country faces, let alone come up with a coherent plan to avoid the danger at hand.

Virginia Beach is a Good Old Racist Town -- Prove Me Wrong

Jannique Martinez says that since July, her family has had to endure recordings of loud, screeching monkey noises and recordings of racial slurs directed toward their Virginia Beach, Va., home every time they leave or enter their residence.

Martinez — who is Black — claims her neighbor has set up motion sensors to detect the family’s movements and harass them. But police, citing no physical confrontation or verbal threats, have said there is nothing they can do.

This week, following national news attention, Martinez said the loud noises coming from her neighbor’s home have finally stopped. But, she says, the neighbor continues to display dizzying strobe lights.

I'll bet that if the neighbor of one of their cops did the same to one of the city's police officers, they'd figure out a way to deal with it, right fucking quick.

The cops, apparently, are saying "no problem, here The perp seems to be some aging unemployed white dude who lives with his mother:
No bet as to whom this asswipe voted for.

This bullshit has been going on for years and now, only with it gaining traction on news media, is the city mulling over what they can do about that racist prick.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The seat cushions of this RC-135 may need steam-cleaning:

Friday, October 8, 2021

Because It's Friday

Plowing with steam:



Personally, I feel those steam tractors are best viewed at a distance.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

I am Shocked, Shocked, to Learn That Facebook Puts Profits Ahead of People

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday finally addressed the series of claims made by whistleblower Frances Haugen, denying that the social media company prioritizes its profits over the safety of its users.

“At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook profile. “That’s just not true.

Well, it's pretty clear that The World's Richest Android has a lying module installed in his central processor. Putting profits ahead of people and public safety is what corporations do. Companies are amoral constructs, only slightly constrained by law and public opinion. The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has been whitelisting some accounts of celebrities and other VIPs to flaunt Facebook's rules on false, sexually suggestive, offensive or other prohibited content. Supposedly, what was supposed to happen was that their posts were allowed and flagged for review by higher-ups, but in practice, that didn't happen until there was a public blowout.

So they got away with saying stuff that, if you or I posted it, we'd end up in FB Jail.

When you think about how online services work, that just makes sense. It's all about the eyeballs, page views, clicks. The more people who look at things, the more they see the ads of FB's customers and the more money Zuckerberg takes home. If there is a controversial comment that gets people mad, or upset or responding and looking at other things, FB makes more money.

This current flap is about Zuckerberg and Facebook, but let's be real: Amoral, unethical and even criminal behavior is what companies will, by and large, always do if it makes them more money.

Let's list a few, shall we?
  • Ford choosing to defend lawsuits instead of fixing the "exploding Pinto" problem.
  • Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family aggressively working to flood the country with opiods.
  • Big Tobacco
  • Exxon and other oil companies having hard data forty years ago of the reality of climate change.
  • GM aggressively investing in and then scrapping mass transit systems in the 1940s.
  • GM choosing tetraethyl lead over ethanol for an octane booster (the public health dangers of leaded fuels were a known known.)
  • Every car company, except Volvo, fighting the installation of seat belts.
  • Paint companies making leaded paint for more than seventy years after the hazards of lead paint were known.
  • A.H Robins and the Dalkon Shield IUD,
  • Firestone's exploding tires.

If you spend a little bit of time looking into it, you'll find no shortage of company after company that knew that its products were defective, harmful or even deadly and did nothing about it until public pressure got too much or the legal issues were too great. A lot of people have forgotten that government regulation and inspection of many industries came about because those industries were deliberately selling ineffective or contaminated goods.

Companies have no core values other than making money. That Facebook operates that way should shock no sentient adult.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Gee. A NBA Player is a Self-Centered Covidiot

Lazar Hayward, a former N.B.A. player, was arrested in Hawaii last week for trying to enter the state with a fake negative Covid test, the authorities said.

Mr. Hayward, a first-round draft pick in 2010, and a woman traveling with him, Raven Randle had uploaded the fake documents onto Hawaii’s Safe Travels portal, the police on the western Hawaiian island of Kauai said in a statement on Facebook. The state requires unvaccinated travelers to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival unless they present a negative Covid test.

The pair were arrested on Sept. 28 soon after they had flown to Kauai from Los Angeles, the police said. They were immediately sent back to California
.

That's a misdemeanor beef. Then they have to spring for more tickets to make their court dates. So this could get very expensive for them before they even go to trial. Which is a reason why they may just plead otu.

Laying These Down, Here





And one that is rather timely:

Mitch McConnell is an Economic Terrorist

How else can you describe a man who takes great glee in threatening to wreck our economy (but only when there is a Democrat in the White House)?

The debt ceiling was raised three times during the last presidency without any fuss. That's because Republicans are all for deficit spending when they have the helm.

But now that there's a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans are back to holding the economy hostage. McConnell pulled this same stupid shit in 2011 and, as a result of the threat of instability caused by his tactics, America's credit-worthiness dropped from AAA status. Every time since then, when McConnell and his Party of Stupid floats the risk of a default and economic instability, our nation credit rating goes down.

So, if the national credit rating goes down again, national borrowing costs climb and there is economic instability as a result: Thank a Republican.

Nonverbal Autism

A perspective from an autistic man:



Humans waste a lot of talent because it's easy to not to look past the obvious surface.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Facebook is Down

After well over a decade of research and amassing billions of dollars, Mark Zuckerberg has concluded that there is no way that Facebook is ever going to help him get laid.

So he shut it down.

(It really is down.)

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

Compare a scale-model Hughes-500:



To the real thing:

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Does the UK Realize that Its Fuel Shortage Is Brought to Them by the Letters
"B," "R," "E," "X,", "I" and "T"?

Fuel shortages are getting worse in some parts of the country, in particular London and the south-east, the chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has said.

Brian Madderson warned the shortages remained a “really big problem” in these areas
.

To be clear, it's not exactly a fuel shortage. It's a labor shortage, specificially, a shortage of truck drivers. When the Brits were in the EU, citizens of other EU couontries could work there without visas. For employment purposes, it was akin to a citizen of NY taking a job in FL, except that the New Yorker could easily become a citizen of Florida and the Slovakian who was driving trucks in England couldn't take out British citizenship.

When the Brits left the EU, a lot of truck drivers returned home. This was pushed along by the pandemic, as the drivers opted to go endure the pandemic with their families.

The Brits are trying everything they can think of, incluiding luring retired guys back behind the wheel. But driving a fuel truck requires special licensing and exams and, well, you guessed it, that process is backed up. British industry needs another 100,000 truck drivers who can drive hazardous shit around and those guys are nowhere to be found.

The good times promised by the Brexiteers continue.

S&W: Bring Back the Model 12

Seriously, guys, it was a great gun. Bring it back. In this modern world of most states allowing concelaed carry, it'd be damn nerar perfect.

And if you have to, make it hammerless so that you can ditch the frigging lock.

Right-Wing Violent Lunatics

All of whom, by some coincidence, are Texans.

First, a clown who thinks that a Molotov cocktail is a tool for political discourse:

A man seen on surveillance video wearing an American flag bandanna when he threw a Molotov cocktail into the headquarters of the county Democratic Party in Austin was arrested in Texas, a fire official said.

Ryan Faircloth, 30, was booked Friday in the Travis County jail. He was charged with arson and possessing a prohibited weapon — the Molotov cocktail — according to Austin Fire arson investigator Capt. Jeffrey Deane
.

That particular imbecile apparently was all over social media about his actions and proclivities for violence, which made finding him somewhat easy after the authorities released surveillance video. it takes a particular breed of stupid to go out and do crimes while mentioning them on social media. So it doesn't take Inspector Clouseau to find them.

Next idiot: An asswipe who thinks that the proper response to being told to wear a mask is to go into stabby mode:

Police in Texas have arrested a man who was accused of stabbing a restaurant manager with a pocketknife after being told he needed to wear a mask.

The stabbing happened in March at a Jack in the Box restaurant in League City, just southeast of Houston. Authorities had issued an arrest warrant for James Schulz Jr. shortly after the stabbing occurred but he wasn’t taken into custody until this week, police said.

At the time, police said Schulz refused to follow the restaurant’s policy requiring him to wear a mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. Police said he then attacked the manager
.

Fucking lunatic. It should not be necessary to point out that, when a person who doesn't want to wear a mask in a business is told to wear one, the proper resonse is to say, at the most, "then I'll take my business elsewhere" and leave. Yanking out a knife and stabbing the store/restaurant employee(s) isn't going to get one preferential treatment.

But maybe the etiquette rules are different in Texas.

Finally, we get to a Texan Nazi:

A federal jury in Seattle on Wednesday convicted a leader of a neo-Nazi campaign to threaten journalists and Jewish activists in three states.

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Wednesday following a two-day trial before convicting 25-year-old Kaleb Cole of five felony charges, including conspiracy, mailing threatening communications and interfering with a federally protected activity. He could face a decade in prison when Judge John C. Coughenour sentences him in January.

Cole, most recently of Montgomery, Texas, was a leader of a hate I group called Atomwaffen Division. He and four others were charged last year with having cyberstalked and sent Swastika-laden posters to journalists and employees of the Anti-Defamation League in Washington state, Arizona and Florida, telling them, “You have been visited by your local Nazis,” “Your Actions have Consequences,” and “We are Watching.”

So the jury had some coffee, chose a foreman and then convicted the Nazi asswipe. Ninety minutes of deliberation is close to the jury saying "nah, we don't need to leave the jury box; hang the motherfucker."

Hopefully the judge will see his way clear to throwing the book at him.


Speaking of the book being thrown at him, the judge in the defamation case filed against Alex Jones has had it with him and his attorneys playing fuck-fuck games during the discovery process.

A Texas judge has found Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones liable for damages in three defamation lawsuits brought by the parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre over his claims that the shooting was a hoax.

Judge Maya Guerra Gamble in Austin, home of Infowars, entered default judgments against Jones, Infowars and other defendants for what she called their “flagrant bad faith and callous disregard” of court orders to turn over documents to the parents’ lawyers. The rulings were issued on Monday and released on Thursday.

That's called a "death penalty sanction". It's basicaly the court saying "you're such an asshole that you now lose and we'll talk about how much you're going to have to pay."

Which seems fitting, here. Whether or not Jones's attorneys will also be sanctioned is somethng we may see down the road.

When Evil Arises in Politics, It's Probably Funded by Koch

That despicable troll is behind a campaign to ensure that more children die of Covid. Oh, of course, they don't put it that way, but that's the result.

They're circulating a template of a letter against mask mandates that is supposedly being put out by some astroturf group called the "Independent Women's Network," which is funded by Charles Koch and a member of another family that is heavily into the propagation of evil, Dick DeVos.

Nothing like a bunch of right-wing batshit rich guys who are using women to push their agendas of disease, polloution, and wrecking the planet for fun and profit.

Caturday

"What, Ma, I'm busy."