Words of Advice:

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

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Putler's Disastrous Foreign Policy Move

Historically neutral Switzerland is edging closer to NATO.

Switzerland's fabled neutral status is about to face its biggest test in decades, with the defence ministry tilting closer to Western military powers in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
...
On a trip to Washington this week, Defence Minister Viola Amherd said Switzerland should work more closely with the U.S.-led military alliance, but not join it, Swiss media reported
.

Think of it: The Swiss see Russia as posing more of a threat to their country than did the Soviet Union or, for that matter, either the Kaiser or the Nazis.

Corrosion as a Tactic of War

This Twitter thread:

is essentially an reprint of an article that has been run in the Sydney Morning Herald, and maybe elsewhere.

Hit them in the rear, hit their supply convoys. Sounds a little like an echo of the SE Asian War Games of about fifty to sixty years ago.

Squishing These Down, Here






Astroturf; Facebook Ed.

Facebook funded various organizations through its covert and wholly-owned lobbying organization to oppose legislation that Facebook doesn't want.

If you see anything by the group "American Edge" or anything by someone who is funded by that group, you are seeing a Mark Zuckerberg sock-puppet.

I guess they are zealous in protecting their right to run Russian disinformation.

This Baby Formula Has Been Brought to You by the Letters "M", "B" and "A".

There are three companies that make baby-food formula. Abbott, which shut down because of contamination issues, makes 40% of the formula sold in this country.

This is what has goen on from one industry to another. The money guys have, in thier unalloyed greed, "consolidated" industries so that fewer and fewer companies make any particular product.

We've seen this before, especially in the Great Plains, where the railroad companies and the grain elevator operators together reduced farmers to near-slavery. We've seen this before with Standard Oil.

Break up Big Baby Food!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Is the Kremlin Preparing the Russian People for the Announcement That the War is Going Badly?

First, watch this: There is a flavor of "Mother Russia is being stabbed in the back by NATO", but there is also a backhanded acknowledgement that the Ukrainians are becoming better armed and are far more motivated than the Russians.

Note also that they seem to have held hope that Rand Paul (who was not named) would be able to hold up American military aid to Ukraine, but they realize that hope is a forlorn one.

Between that, and the fact that Russian military bloggers have covered the slaughter of a part of a Russian motorized rifle brigade at the Siverskyi Donets River pontoon bridges may indicate that either a) you can't stop the signal forever; or b) the Kremlin is laying the ground for the end of the war on unfavorable terms.

The Ukrainians are making far better use of their artillery. I should have made a note of where I read the story, but the synopsis is this: Thanks, in no small measure, to Starlink, the Ukrainians have been able to widely disperse their artillery pieces while having all of the tubes within range of a target act as a single battery. In effect, they can bring mass artillery fire onto a target in a very short span of time. The Ukrainian guns "shoot and scoot", which limits the ability of the Russians to engage in counterbattery fire.

It would be very interesting if the Ukrainians were able to put counterbattery radar up to protect cities.

Another thing that is helping the Ukrainians as this goes on is that NATO nations are not just sending old Warsaw Pact weapons, they are increasingly sending state-of-the-art artillery to Ukraine. This is a win-win situation in that the Ukrainians are getting better gear and the NATO nations are getting to do real-world testing on their weapons.

Interesting...

Putler seems to be backing down from his threats against Sweden and Finland.

Vladimir Putin has appeared to climb down from Russia’s objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, saying Moscow had no issues with them entering the US-led military alliance they now aim to join in reaction to his invasion of Ukraine.

It could be because Putler has realized that Russia doesn't presently have the conventional combat power to threaten other neighbors.

Or, maybe, someone else has Putler's back?

In other war news..

Russian forces have likely run out of combat-ready reservists, forcing the Russian military command to amalgamate soldiers from many different elements, including private military companies and proxy militias, into ostensibly regular army units and naval infantry.

That article goes on to state that the Russians are stripping sailors from warships and sending them to the front, along with amalgamating paratroopers and mercenaries. Neither is a good sign for the Russians.

This Shooting is on the Usual Suspects

Namely, the Right and the GOP, which has been bleating the same racist shit that the Asswipe of Buffalo was spouting.

U.S. Representative Liz Cheney called on fellow Republicans to reject white supremacism, days after a teenage gunman motivated by the right-wing "great replacement" theory allegedly killed 10 people in a racist shooting in western New York state.

"The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism," Cheney, an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and his allies in the House of Representatives, wrote on Twitter.

"History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. @GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them," she tweeted.

Republicans have been glomming onto "the great replacement" with both hands.

Born from far-right nationalism, the extremist ideology expounding the view that immigration will ultimately destroy white values and western civilization has found favor not only with media figures, such as the conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson, but a host of elected politicians and others seeking office.

Those who have convinced themselves Democrats are operating an open-door immigration policy to “replace” Republican voters with people of color and keep themselves in power permanently include Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, chair of her party’s House conference, and JD Vance, the Donald Trump-approved Republican nominee to represent Ohio in the US Senate
.

Republicans are blowing steam-whistles to their racist base. They are steam-whistles because the racism is not coded, it is out front for all to see. Stefanik and her ilk might as well walk around wearing white sheets. It's one thing for a bunch of neo-nazis to yammer a racist theory. it is quite another for that to be adopted by a major political party and be broadcast approvingly on a cable news channel. Stefanik, Gingrich, Tuckyo Rose, the TOFF and the rest of that sordid crowd of authoritarian racists.

More than sixty people in this country; Blacks, Hispanics and Jews, have been killed by white supremacists who were espousing that racist line of claptrap. Their blood is, in part, on the hands of the politicians and the talking heads who have been normalizing white supremacy conspiracy theory.

And this, too.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

A "Shithook" firefighter:

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Warm Up Old Sparky

A gunman opened fire with a rifle Saturday at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities called a “hate crime and racially motived violent extremism,” killing 10 people and wounding three others before being taken in custody, law enforcement officials said.

I'm reasonbly sure that we'll all learn in days that the Asswipe was some lunatic white guy who was set on killing as many people as he could.

Try him. Convict him. And then fry his nazi ass.

Putler Warns a Neighbor

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned his Finnish counterpart Saturday relations between the two neighbors could be “negatively affected” if Finland follows through with plans to apply for NATO membership.

You know what really "negatively affected" relationships with Russia's neighbors? Invading a neighboring country with the rationalization that "they used to be part of Russia." That is a rationalization that applies to Finland, as well, and the Finns are fully aware of that.

The Russians seem to think they can still terrify their neighbors. But since, in the eyes of the rest of the world, the Russian Army has gone from being regarded as the second-best army in the world to the second-best army in Ukraine, the fear factor has been diminished.

YMMV; EV Ed.

If you get one of the new electric F-150s, and if you plan on towing things, figure you'll have to stop to charge that thing up every two hours, or less.

Given the shorter range on those trucks, you'd think that the auto companies would come up with a body design that is a tad bit aerodynamic than a fucking billboard.

But what the hell do I know.

You could mount a generator in the bed, but it seems the folks at Found On Road, Dead have thought of that.

Shorter Anti-Choice Crowd: "The Death of the Mother is Acceptable."

Terminating a pregnancy to save a mother’s life has long been accepted as a moral imperative by those on both sides of the abortion debate. For decades, jurisdictions that restricted the procedure granted wide leeway to doctors to make exceptions for medical necessity. But now, with the U.S. Supreme Court potentially moving to overturn Roe, the landmark ruling affirming the right to abortion nationwide, emboldened conservatives in some states are pushing to narrow and in some cases eliminate such exceptions, arguing that they create loopholes that are easily exploited. Doctors say such restrictions will complicate medical decisions for pregnant women, increasing the risk of death in a country that already has the highest rates of maternal mortality in the industrialized world.
...
“What we are calling for is a total ban, no exceptions,” Matt Sande, legislative director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, said in an interview. “We don’t think abortion is ever necessary to save the life of the mother.”

So, if your wife, sister or daughter dies during pregnancy, where, in the past, her life could have been saved, send the full bill for the funeral to Pro-Life Wisconson, ATTN Matt Sande. Maybe they'll chip in a few bucks to help defray the cost.

But don't bet on it.

About a week ago, I talked to a retired teacher, who had begun her career in the ealry 1970s. She said that there was a noticeable decrease in the amount of problem kids after abortion became legal. Her belief was that kids whose pregancies were not wanted knew that. While thier parents may have loved and cared for them, they knew that the basis of that love was a lie.

My prediction is that the pro-life crowd will largely oppose services for families who have unplanned/unwanted kids. Once the fetus becomes an air-breather, they will wash thier hands and walk away, because heavens to Betsy, helping people might result in having to pay taxes, and we simply cannot have any of that, can we.

Caturday

"I want out!"

Friday, May 13, 2022

More Interesting Stuff

Some interesting stuff: Shot-down Russian jet fighters have been found with GPS units taped to their instrument panels, apparently because the installed systems suck. Russian tank losses are not being replaced because the factories don't have parts, due to Western sanctions. And Russian soldiers are showing a distinct lack of interest in fighting.

Meanwhile, foreign banks are being advised that being caught helping Russia, including individuals subject to sanctions, evade those sanctions will have consequences.

Affluenza Has Its Limits

I mentioned this case earlier. But it seems that the defendant's lawyers really stomped on their cranks and, as a result...

A Hidden Hills socialite must stand trial on murder charges in the deaths of two boys, a judge decided Thursday after hearing testimony that Rebecca Grossman struck the pair in a crosswalk while going more than 70 mph and continued driving.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Shellie Samuels determined after a five-day preliminary hearing that there is sufficient evidence for Grossman to be tried on two counts of murder, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

“The defendant was not rushing to get home; she was playing a high-speed game of chicken with Mr. [Scott] Erickson,” Samuels said in ordering Grossman to stand trial. “I believe the defendant went well beyond gross negligence.”
...
The judge castigated Grossman’s attorneys over their questioning of [the victims' mother]. “You asked the mother of the children I think 12 times did she see her children hit, when it was apparent they were there one second and gone the next
.”

I don't know how she's going to be able to beat this at trial; proving that she was street-racing in a residential zone should be a pretty easy lift. Especially if her co-racer testifies, which I'll bet he does.

My guess will be this will be pled out well before trial. accompanied by an eight-figure settlement to the parents.

Because It's Friday

Southern 4501

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Putler’s Poodles Are Still Piddling Along

Rand Paul, for one, would seem to have Putler's back.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul defied leaders of both parties Thursday and single-handedly delayed until next week Senate approval of an additional $40 billion to help Ukraine and its allies withstand Russia’s three-month old invasion.

With the Senate poised to debate and vote on the package of military and economic aid, Paul denied leaders the unanimous agreement they needed to proceed. The bipartisan measure, backed by President Joe Biden, underscores U.S. determination to reinforce its support for Ukraine’s outnumbered forces.

The bill is going to pass. All that stupid prick is doing is being a jerk.

Or maybe he wants to secure a spot on the Tuckyo Rose Show, along with the rest of the Putler Fellatio Squad.

New Heater Update - VIII

(Last post)

Five range trips, two guns, four returns for service and finally, finally, I have a functioning Model 66-8.

I sighted it in and then got down to work. The failure mode for the first gun was that, when the gun got warm, it jammed. I put most of a box of .38 range ammo through it, firing double-action. The cylinder got pretty hot.

So then I put up a fresh target and switched to 158grn. .357s. I rolled the target back to 25' and put thirty rounds downrange, all double-action, going for speed more than fine accuracy, as this is, after all, a short-barreled revolver.

It works:

It it hadn't taken most of a pregnancy in time to get to this point, I'd be a lot happier.

But yeah, it works.

Bricking These Down, Here






What Putler Hath Wrought

Finland’s leaders Thursday came out in favor of applying to join NATO, and Sweden could do the same within days, in a historic realignment on the continent 2 1/2 months after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine sent a shiver of fear through Moscow’s neighbors.

The Kremlin reacted by warning it will be forced to take retaliatory “military-technical” steps.

There had better be a mechanism to immediately admit them as probationary/provisional members. But given the amount of combat power the Russians have tied up in Ukraine, it's not apparent that Russia has the ability to invade Finland, not in the way that they did eighty-two years ago.

However you slice it, without the Russians going full-on Nazi Germany and invading their neighbors using the same rationales that Hitler used to sell his invasions to his subjects, there wouldn't have been any appetite in either Finland or Sweden to join NATO.

Funny Which Politicians the Russians Seek to Buy

One of the biggest donors to Britain’s Conservative Party is suspected of secretly funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to the party from a Russian account, according to a bank alert filed to Britain’s national law enforcement agency.

The donation, of $630,225, was made in February 2018 in the name of Ehud Sheleg, a wealthy London art dealer who was most recently the Conservative Party’s treasurer. The money was part of a fund-raising blitz that helped propel Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his party to a landslide victory in the 2019 general election.

There should be little surprise that the Russians were interested in funnelling money to politicians who were opposed to European integration. Because that weakens Europe and, let's not forget, that Russia, under Putin, is an enemy of Europe.

Morale and the Russian Invasion

Lucian K. Truscott IV explains why morale matters:

Here's the thing about troops, even the youngest and least well-trained of them. They may be ill-informed and confused at first, but it doesn’t take long for them to get hold of at least their own portion of the bigger picture, and when they do, if they feel they have been misled or lied to, the sense of betrayal in the ranks is palpable. They begin to lose the will to fight.

The Strategy Page has noted that Russian troop discipline collapsed as soon as command told the troops that they were free to loot the Ukrainians. The looting stiffened Ukrainian resistance. Reports from inside Belarus confirm the looting.

The Russians are sowing a legacy of hatred that will be harvested in Eastern Europe for the rest of this century.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Convertible Sniper Rifles?

The Barrett Mk.22, which the marines are adopting, will fire .338 Norma Magnum, .300 Norma Magnum, 7.62mm and, .300 Winchester Magnum. The idea is that they don't have to carry different rifles, just one, with extra barrels.

I don't know how that will work in reality. At what point do they decide which barel and ammo to take? I presume that they're not going into the field with all of that stuff, but one never knows with the Crops.

Interesting Stuff on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

First off, there are allegations that the Russians have been dumping their dead into heaps in order to conceal the extent of their losses.

Russian authorities in Ukraine’s occupied city of Donetsk are tossing the bodies of their dead soldiers in a secret dump “by the thousands” and charging their loved ones money to find them.

That’s according to a new audio recording released by Ukraine’s Security Service on Tuesday, which is purportedly an intercepted telephone conversation between two Russians discussing how one of their missing friends was finally found
.

This is a Twitter thread about Ukrainians attacking Russian tanks deep inside their occupied territory.

One interesting thing is that the Ukrainians have been converting hand-thrown antitank grenades into RKG-1600 antitank bombs that are dropped from commercial drones.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Susan Collins, Snowflake Extraordinaire

Susan ("Karen") Collins called tbe cops because somebody chalked a non-obscene, non-threatening pro-choice message on the sidewalk outside of her home.

Collins said that chalking something on a sidewalk was "defacement". That is some primo snowflakeism. It's likely that the reason why the Bangor cops told Collins that no crime had been committed was because writing with chalk on a public sidewalk doesn't constitute vandalism.

Gassing These Down, Here





Indoctrination in Florida

Discussions of gender identity and sexual preference are banned in many Florida classrooms because of governor Ron DeSantis’s “don’t say gay” law, alongside dozens of math textbooks blocked for “prohibited topics”.

Now the Republican who has loudly condemned what he sees as the “indoctrination” of young people has made another subject compulsory: students must receive at least 45 minutes’ instruction every November about the “victims of communism”.
...
The instruction will begin in the 2023-2024 school year, DeSantis said, and will require teaching about Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro, as well as “poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence, and suppression of speech” endured under their leaderships in the Soviet Union, China and Cuba respectively.
...
Educators in Florida are banned, however, from teaching students about racial issues, including the history of slavery, if it makes them “feel uncomfortable”, according to DeSantis’s recently signed Stop Woke Act
.

So... Cuban communism--bad, America slavery--good, at least in DeathSantis's Florida. Whether there is merit in what Repulsive Ronnie wants to do or not, it's still state-mandated indoctrination in a particular point of view.

Which one might think that Republicans, the part of limited government involvement, would be against. But not so much.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Horseshit Spouted in Legal Settlements

Empyreal Logistics, a Pennsylvania-based company that transports cash from state-licensed marijuana businesses, has reached a settlement with the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff's Department, which had seized more than $1 million from Empyreal's armored cars. The Justice Department, which was holding the money pending federal forfeiture, agreed to return all of it last month. According to a joint statement that Empyreal and the sheriff's department issued on Friday, "both parties understand that each [was] acting in good faith when the stops were conducted and have come to an understanding that will enable both sides to move forward amicably."

If you go on to read the story, you'll see that it becomes pretty damned evident that "acting in good faith" is a blatant lie when it came to the conduct of the Sherff's Department. The deputies were lying in wait for the armored cars and were, in point of fact, acting like badged-up robbers.

Highway robbery was exactly what they were doing.

Wait, What? (The Hazard of Using of Stock Photos)

President Zelenskyy's Victory Day Speech

Putler Punts

I am glad to see that I was wrong about what might happen today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a major patriotic holiday Monday to again justify his war in Ukraine but did not declare even a limited victory or signal where the conflict was headed, as his forces pressed their offensive with few signs of significant progress.
...
But his much-anticipated speech offered no new insights into how he intended to salvage the grinding war — and instead stuck to allegations that Ukraine posed a threat to Russia, even though Moscow’s nuclear-armed forces are far superior in numbers and firepower. He steered clear of battlefield specifics — failing to mention the potentially pivotal battle for the vital port of Mariupol or even uttering the word “Ukraine.”

No doubt that the soldiers defending what little they still control of Mariupol were well aware that Putler may have declared victory over the city if they had given up and that they wanted to deny him that.

You Know This is Coming, Don't You?

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves on Sunday hedged when asked if his state would consider banning certain forms of birth control if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, only offering that it's "not what we are focused on at this time."

"And while I'm sure there will be conversations around America regarding [birth control] it's not something that we've spent a lot of time focused on," Reeves told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" when asked if his state would consider targeting intrauterine devices and Plan B -- amid some Republican calls to ban forms of birth control.

Oh, he may say they have no plans to do it, at this time, but you know, Gentle Reader, that's just bullshit.

Republicans like to bleat that they believe in freedom and the right to make one'sown choices, but that only seems to apply to measures against a lethal pandemic. Otherwise, they are just fine with inserting their version of religious morality into people's lives.

Which makes them different from the Taliban in Afghanistan only in a matter of degrees.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

The Orcs Celebrated Mother's Day in Their Own Way

Dozens of people are feared dead after a bomb hit a school in east Ukraine, where government forces are battling Russian troops and separatists.

Luhansk region's governor, Serhiy Haidai, confirmed two deaths, saying 60 people were feared dead under the rubble of the school in Bilohorivka.

About 90 people had been sheltering in the building and 30 were rescued, seven of them wounded, he added
.

The Russian way of war, in this century, amounts to state terrorism. For there is no pretending by anyone who isn't parrotting Kremlim propaganda that they are even pretending to only hit military targets.

Happy Mother's Day, to All of You Mothers

That salutation got some radio DJ in trouble, back in the day.

If you're a mom, hopefully somebody has done something nice for you today. If your mother is still around, at least give her a call.

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

A B-17 and four P-51s:

Saturday, May 7, 2022

John Deere Thwarts the Russian Orcs

The Russians looted millions of dollars worth of farm machinery from a John Deere dealer in Mariupol.

The machinery, like most modern farm machinery, is computer-operated. John Deere bricked them.

The Russians like to claim that they are liberators. They are most assuredly not. They are murderers, looters and rapists.

Caturday

"My name is not Tripod!"

Friday, May 6, 2022

New Heater Update - VII

(Last post)

The gun is back from the Mothership. The first thing that I did was to take an old S&W sight-adjustment screwdriver and see whether or not I could change the elevation adjustment. I could.

I'll take it to the range one of these days. But truth be told, I'm in no rush to do so. Between the two guns, I've had four failed range trips and I am not eager to head over for trip #5. Maybe, if I lived as close as I did to one before I moved, I would.

Everything these days is a fucking fight. The gun came back by FedEx. I paid FedEx a skosh over five bucks for an evening delivery. The delivered it just after noon, not long after I had dragged my ass out of the shower after cleaning up from a hike in the woods. I threw on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt to get the delivery. FedEx gave me some story about how they have to process the invoice in order to credit me, which I don't understand, as they had no problem with dinging my credit card.

This isn't the most expensive revolver that I have ever bought. That title belongs to a Model 29 that I bought new forty years ago for $400, which would be about $1,170 in today's money. (MSRP is $1,240.} But ever since then, I've bought used guns.

I intend to use this gun hard. This one is more like a hammer than a fine piece of New England craftmanship to be carefully maintained and cherished.

Still More Proof That Dolt-45 Was Nuttier Than a Boxcar of Almonds

[Former president Donald] Trump once proposed launching “missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs”.

According to [Trump's Defense Secretary Mike] Esper, Trump said “no one would know it was us”, because he would simply deny responsibility. Esper said he would have thought Trump was joking, had he not been looking at the president as he said it
.

Trump was just nuts. As time went on in his administration, The TOFF kept losing more and more of his mind.

He was not helped by people like his Staff Nazi, Stephen Miller, whose idea of a good time was committing atrocities:

Miller is also alleged to have suggested severing the head of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an Islamic State leader killed by the US, dipping it in pig’s blood and parading it as a warning to other terrorists.

Esper says he told Miller that would be a “war crime”. To the New York Times, Miller denied the episode and called Esper a “moron”.

But let's not honor Esper for telling the truth. He had plenty of opportunities to tell the American people what a dangerous and unhinged lunatic was sitting behind the Resolute Desk. Esper could have talked to a reporter the day after he was fired and said "look, this guy is totally unhinged" and explained why that was so. But he didn't. Esper kept his yap shut for eighteen months until he could profit the most from telling his tale. Which is a move that is almost Trumpian in its avarice.

My recommendation is that if you want to read his book, get it from your local library.

Biden's Superspreader Event

Trevor Noah joked about the event becoming a superspreader — and now the cases are rolling in. The annual White House Correspondents Dinner, along with the festivities held in the days before and after it, have led to the inevitable spread of Covid.

In the days since WHCD weekend, reporters and staffers from CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Politico, and other participating news organizations have tested positive for the virus. Most notably, ABC's Jon Karl, who shook hands with President Biden and who sat next to Kim Kardashian, has fallen ill, as Politico's Maxwell Tani first reported.

That was not exactly the smartest thing to do, cramming over two thousand people in a ballroom for a dinner. And it wasn't just that, there were oodles of other parties around the WHCD. It not only just wasn't terribly smart, it was almost Trumpian in its stupidity, given that there is yet another variant on the rise.

But that's what people want, right? The ability to make their own risk calculations? But the problem is that for a large number of people at the WHCD, going there was part of their job, or, as a former XO of mine once put it: "This event is mandatory fun. You will go and you will have a good time."

Because It's Friday

Brit double-headed steam:

More Evidence That the GOP is the Anti-Humanity Party

The GOP might as well ditch that tired old elephant and adopt a burning cross as its symbol.

Exhibit 1:

Gov. Greg Abbott wants Texas to challenge a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that requires states to offer free public education to all children, including those of undocumented immigrants.

That ruling, known as Plyler v. Doe, struck down a Texas law that had denied state funding to educate children who had not been "legally admitted" to the United States.

Next up on the execution block: The requirement that all children, including disabled kids, receive a free and appropriate education. After that, Titl IX in sports will be targeted. Because girls don't need to play sports, they only need to know how to cook, clean, and sew.

The GOP is showing its true roots: White, Christian, native-born men need only apply. If they have their way, those will be the only people who can go to school past the fourth grade and the only ones who will hold jobs outside of domestic and agricultural work.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Boeing’s Mobile HQ

Boeing Co. said Thursday it will move its headquarters from Chicago to the Washington, D.C., area, where company executives would be closer to key federal government officials.

Right. They mived to Chicago to be able to better suck up to Untied Airlines and now they're moving to D.C. to be better able to suck up to Ft. Fumble.

The idea of being close to where the main product is made in order to keep an eye on the factory floor is so passé these days.

Which is why Boeing is a pretty badly-run company and has been since the crappy management of McDonnell-Douglas infected them. (Cue the 737-MAX and the Starliner.)

Do You Need to Have IVF to Become Pregnant?

You had better forget about it in the pro-rape states. They have either stated that life begins at conception in their so-called trigger laws, or they soon will.

Which means that as soon as the ova that are harvested become fertilized, they become people as far as those states are concerned. If they aren't implanted in someone, that will be murder. Freezing them may also be murder. Disposing of them if they aren't needed will be murder.

So say goodbye to IVF treatments.

Also, keep this in mind about miscarriages, according to the Mayo Clinic:

Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is likely higher because many miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy — before you might even know about a pregnancy.

If you have a miscarriage in one of the states that have been captured by the Christian Taliban, as soon as the Supremes hand down their ruling holding that pregnant women are property, your very first call upon being informed that you have miscarried should be to a good criminal defense attorney. In fact, if you are living in one of those states and you, or a woman in your life, is of an age where she couold get pregnant, you should already have made the acquaintance of a criminal defense lawyer and have their number on speedial.

What the GOP Wants


It seems to be pretty clear that the Christian Taliban believes that women are essentially baby-incubation facilities and don't matter one bit outside of that context.

Hairballing These Down, Here







Killing Generals Could Get to Be a Habit

US officials have reportedly confirmed they are providing intelligence that has helped Ukrainian forces target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in the Ukraine war.
...
According to the US officials, Washington has given Ukraine details on Russia’s expected troop movements and the location and other information about Russia’s mobile military headquarters, and Ukraine has combined that help with its own intelligence to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.

Ukrainian officials said they had killed about 12 Russian generals on the battlefield. The most recent fatality apparently occurred at the weekend with the reported death of Maj Gen Andrei Simonov, a Russian electronic warfare commander, who Ukraine said it killed near the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region, which is occupied by Russian forces
.

The story in the New York Times goes on to explain that the Russian army is one that does not provide latitude to junior officers and senior sergeants, so when there is a problem, the generals have to go assess the problem and decide how to fix it.

There is a lot of OSINT out there as to the how and why Russian comms suck, which pushes them to using unsecure radios and cell phones and how the Ukrainians have been exploiting those weaknesses.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Truth, That


The Party of Trump has been screeching that the releasing of the draft opinion was an insurrection.

Horseshit.

Do you know what was an insurrection? Violently storming the Capitol to try and overturn the results of a free and fair election, now, that was a goddamned insurrection, cops beaten, people killed, offices looted and vandalized, so on and so forth. It was, in fact, a failed attempt at a coup.

Meanwhile, the Most Gullible Senator in Washington is taking comedic hits:



And, if the chatter on Twitter is even a smidgen true, her offices, and those of Lisa Murkowski, are about to receive shipments of GOP-Approved Abortion Tools.

Both Alito and his allies in the Pre-Electricity Party maintain that the draft opinion only applies to abortion. But they're lying, at least, Alito is. The others are just taking a known perjurer at his word. The same right to privacy and individual freedom was invoked in striking down laws against contraception, same-sex relations, same-sex marriage, interracial marriage and convict marriage.

But hell, intellectual honesty is not part of this particular court. They are nakedly partisan; the justices voting to overturn Roe were put on the bench for that express purpose. Most of them lied in their conformation hearings. Which, of course, begs the question: What is a confirmation hearing for, nowadays, other than to screen out those who are incompetent at lying?

At this point, anyone who still believes that the Supreme Court impartially calls balls and strikes, is either stuck in a distant past or is MR.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Accurate

This captures nicely what I've thought for ages about the anti-choice crowd:



But if it's something that impacts them, they are pro-choice like motherfuckers.

And this:

Purging These Down, Here







DiFi Goes Downhill


Pretty sad, really. I've known people who have had declining memories and cognitive skills, it is not pretty to watch.

(Troll comments chortling about this will be deleted, no matter who the fuck you are.)

As the Water Drops, the Bodies Show Up

A body inside a barrel was found over the weekend on the the newly exposed bottom of Nevada's Lake Mead as drought depletes one of the largest U.S. reservoirs — and officials predicted the discovery could be just the first of more grim finds.

"I would say there is a very good chance as the water level drops that we are going to find additional human remains," Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Spencer told KLAS-TV on Monday.

The lake has dropped by fifty feet from "full pool" and is expected to drop another thirty-four feet by the end of next year. The mobsters that used the lake as a dumping ground to dispose of victims never anticipated that the evidence of their crimes would come to light.

The families of the victims, at least, will know the truth of what happened.

But as for those who depend on Lake Meade for drinking water and electity, good luck with that.

Monday, May 2, 2022

And So It Begins

The Supremes are leaking. They are doing the bidding of the Christian Taliban.

The Supremes are upset that their bullshit leaked out.

Awww. They're going to do away with the right to privacy as soon as one of the Taliban states tries to outlaw contraception, so why should their own privacy be respected?

Dear Susan Collins: Go fuck yourself. May you contract a painful, wasting disease and repeatedly die of it, you brain-dead enabler of the Christian Taliban. For this is on your head, forever.

Here's an idea: Send a case of coat-hangers to the in-state offices of Collins and Lisa Murkowski (not to the DC offices, mail gets screened there.)

Meanwhile, the Wheels of Justice Keep Grinding the Insurrectionists

A federal jury on Monday convicted a New York Police Department veteran of assaulting an officer during the U.S. Capitol riot, rejecting his claim that he was defending himself when he tackled the officer and grabbed his gas mask.

Thomas Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, was the first Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault charge and the first to present a jury with a self-defense argument.

Jurors deliberated for less than three hours before they convicted Webster of all six counts in his indictment, including a charge that he assaulted Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun with a dangerous weapon, a metal flagpole.
...
Two jurors who spoke to reporters after the verdict said videos capturing the officer’s assault from multiple angles were crucial evidence rebutting Webster’s self-defense argument
.

Ah, the old argument of "who you gonna believe, me or your eyes" fails again.

Russians Repeat Ancient Antisemitic Tropes

Israel has reacted with fury after Russia's foreign minister claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler "had Jewish blood".

Sergei Lavrov made the comments to try to justify Russia's portrayal of Ukraine as "Nazi" despite the fact that its president is Jewish.

Israel's foreign ministry summoned Russia's ambassador for "clarification" and demanded an apology.

Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews in the Holocaust in World War Two.

Mr Lavrov made the remarks in an interview on Italian TV programme Zona Bianca on Sunday, days after Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of the most solemn occasions in the Israeli calendar.

When asked how Russia can claim that it is fighting to "de-Nazify" Ukraine when President Volodymyr Zelensky is himself Jewish, Mr Lavrov said: "I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood. [That Zelensky is Jewish] means absolutely nothing. Wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews."

There is no tool small enough to measure the difference between Putin's government and Hitler's.

Those who excuse and/or support the Russians in this country, including TuckyoRose, are no different from Charles Lindberg, Father Coughlin, Robert McCormick or Oswald Mosley.

Warm Up Those Coat-Hangers

Leading antiabortion groups and their allies in Congress have been meeting behind the scenes to plan a national strategy that would kick in if the Supreme Court rolls back abortion rights this summer, including a push for a strict nationwide ban on the procedure if Republicans retake power in Washington.

This should have been clear to everyone that the Christian Taliban has been intent on eliminating the freedom of women to choose their own fate.

This is clear: If you support a woman's right to choose, then you cannot vote for a Republican. Full stop. No quibbles, no qualifications.

If you are fine with you or your daughter, sister, cousins or friends being forced to bear a child from rape or incest, then you ought to go look at them and said "I'm sorry if you get raped, but you're going to have to bear the child of your rapist. And, if you choose to keep the kid, remember that your rapist may try to exercise his rights as a father and then you'll e dealing with the guy who violated you for decades."

This is not hyperbole. That is the naked truth. Have the guts to go tell your daughter that if she gets raped, the consequences of being a victim of a violent criminal act will be hers to bear. The rapist might well walk away from his fifteen seconds of action, but your daughter won't.

Abortions will always be available for the rich, who can afford to jet off to Europe and pay for an abortion, just as in the pre-Roe days. But for everyone else, the Christian Taliban are saying "fuck you". Because they are so, so protective of kids up until the moment of birth. After that, well, as the preacher said:

Were Republicans Partisan Cowards or Not Invited?

A top-level U.S. congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the “ferocity” and resolve of Ukrainians face to face with their leader in a weekend visit to Kyiv undertaken in extraordinary secrecy.
...
Though all in the delegation were Democrats, the U.S. Congress has displayed a rare and, so far, lasting bipartisan resolve to back Ukraine as it battles Russia.

I've not seen any mention as to why there were no Republicans on that trip. My guess is that they are all craven, cowardly Trumpers who were afraid of rousing the ire of The TOFF by being seen in public with Speaker Pelosi, especially on a trip that is in opposition to the TOFF's BFF in the Kremlin.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Another Reason Companies are Leaving Russia

They can't get business insurance, especially "political risk" insurance.

So, even if they don't care about doing business with a murderous, genocidal regime, their insurance underwriters do.

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

Grumman S-2 doing a demo firefighting drop:

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Affluenza, LA Style

Two brothers, ages 9 and 11, are dead in a horrific car crash that may have involved drinking and street racing. The suspect's family started one of Southern California's best-known burn centers.

Authorities announced Wednesday that the second victim, who was struck while crossing a street in Westlake Village, died hours after the crash, which investigators believe may have been connected to street racing.

The suspect was identified as 57-year-old Rebecca Grossman, who has familial ties to the founder of the Grossman Burn Center. Grossman is the chairwoman of the Grossman Burn Foundation.

The pedestrians, who were only identified as male juveniles, were struck in the area of Triunfo Canyon Road and Saddle Mountain Drive at about 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. One of the victims died at the scene, while the other boy was transported to a hospital, where he later died.
...
The two children were killed right in front of their parents and siblings.
...
According to the sheriff's department, after the collision, it appears one of the boys was carried for more than a hundred feet down the road on the hood of the car. When Grossman eventually hit the brakes, they believe the boy rolled off into the street, and then Grossman ran over him, leaving the scene. She finally pulled over a mile and a half away
.

What I've heard is that her Benz shut down automatically once the software recognized that it had been in a colllision. She was allegedly street-racing with a former baseball player. She was driving at over 80mph in a 45mph zone and was doing over 70 when she hit the kids.

This is what having a lot of money gets you: Getting out of jail on $2 million bail. Fighting at a preliminary hearing as to whether the charges are justified over eighteen months after running down two kids, after not showing up for a series of earlier hearings. If the person who had run down those kids was some nineteen-year-old working-class kid street-racing with an old hopped-up Honda, he would have been sent up the river over a year ago.

Connecticut Leads the Way; Abortion Ed.

Connecticut lawmakers on Friday passed a bill designed to protect people who provide an abortion or receive support to obtain the procedure in Connecticut and are then sued in another state.
...
The measure would block state agencies from assisting in interstate investigations or prosecutions that would hold someone criminally or civilly liable for providing, seeking, receiving or asking about abortion services legal in Connecticut. It would bar court officers from issuing subpoenas related to legal abortion services in the state.

The bill would also limit the governor's extradition authority, meaning the governor would not be able to extradite a person who performed an abortion in Connecticut that's considered a crime in another state
.

At least one of the mouth-breathing states has proposed that it would be illegal for a state resident to get an abortion, anywhere, and that provision also attaches to whomever performs the abortion. Connecticut is making sure that those states can't enforce a subpoena on anyone involved in providing abortion services in the state, including anyone who assists out-of-staters. Those are provisions that a lot of Republican legislators in CT were also favoring.

Look for more blue states to enact similar laws.

This is a faint resonance of the slavery debate, except this time, there are those who are in favor of enslaving women. In Missouri, the lunatics want to condemn women who have an ectopic pregancy to death.

So, bravo Connecticut.

Caturday

Speck, a neighborhood cat, is waiting for the garage door to open so he can have some of Priss's food.



He doesn't come by every day, and he doesn't come by when the weather is inclement. So you might classify him as a semi-regular.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Russia Gave a Giant "Fuck You" to the United Nations

Russia pounded targets from practically one end of Ukraine to the other Thursday, including Kyiv, bombarding the city while the head of the United Nations was visiting in the boldest attack on the capital since Moscow’s forces retreated weeks ago.

It's going to be interesting to see if the better defense systems on the way to Ukraine will put a dent in Russian attacks.

Meanwhile, the Russians seem to be trying to gin up a provocation to widen the war.

Maybe We Shouldn't Buy Any Green Bananas, For Now

This morning, I went for a hike in a forested park that is owned by a local open space association. The wind was up, a little bit. The temperature was a little lower than average for this time of year. As I walked down one of the trails, a female dove landed about fifteen yards in front of me and began foraging at the edge of the trail. I stopped to watch her, then moved up a little as she walked along the edge, stopping to nab something here and there. Eventually, I wiggled my trekking pole and she flew away.

The Sun was shining through the trees. Both the trees and the ground cover were beginning to green up. Other birds were chirping. The other sounds were the wind moving through the trees and distant traffic.

I live fairly close to two possible nuclear targets. Assuming a 800kt warhead, depending on which one gets hit, I'm in either the thermal zone or one of the overpressure zones, maybe both. It occurred to me that there is a non-zero chance that neither I, nor the park in which I was hiking, will see another spring in anything close to the same condition as today.

And then, I read this:

Vladimir Putin has been working himself up to do...something. V-E day fell on the ninth of May in Moscow, just a minute after midnight, and it's still a big deal in Russia.

I expect that by the end of that day this year, Russia will have taken some kind of dramatic action
.

I sure hope that she is wrong. The West is doing what it must, there is nothing to be gained by letting a European dictator conquer his enighboring nation due to claims of lebensraum or ethnic unity. Sooner or later, such a dictator has to be dealt with, militarily, and sooner is better.

Putin is a bully. One thing life teaches everyone, eventually, is that bullies only respect a mailed fist. That was true in Arkansas Missouri and it's true here. But Russian history has shown that Russian leaders who lose wars don't survive in office for very long. It's not impossible that Putin may decide that, rather than be turfed out to a remote dacha (or be shot) that he would rather pull down the rest of the world with him.

Well, as RobertaX says, we'll probably know in eleven days.

Well, Shit

New Jovian Thunderbolt has died.

Like Tam, NJT and I had corresponded a little bit by email. We differed politically, but that wasn't a sticking point. He seemed to be a decent guy. There's not a lot of them around, and now there's one fewer.

Sometimes, I look at the list of deceased bloggers that's in the right column. William the Coroner died in 2011, Frank James in 2015. I still miss those guys.

I know that Death comes for us all, sooner or later. That doesn't make it any easier to take.

Because It's Friday

Reading & Northern #2102:



There is something special about coal-fired steam locomotives.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Lend-Lease to Ukraine

The House passed legislation on Thursday establishing a lend-lease program to make it easier for the U.S. to send military aid to Ukraine, with the measure now headed to President Biden for his signature.

The Ukrainian Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act would make it easier to provide support to Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s invasion, which has entered its third month.

The bill passed by a vote of 417-10, with all 10 no votes coming from Republicans.

The Senate passed the legislation by voice vote earlier this month as part of a deal to end permanent normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, as well as a bill to ban Russian oil imports.

The bipartisan bill, first introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in January, was aimed at streamlining power that the president already has under the Arms Export Control Act to lend and lease defense equipment when it is in the best interest of U.S. national security.

Who were the ten Republicans in the House who were opposed to speeding up military aid to Ukraine, one might ask. They were: Andy Biggs (AZ), Paul Gosar (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Tom Massie (KY), Dan Bishop (NC), Warren Davidson (OH), Scott Perry (PA), Ralph Norman (SC), and Tom Tiffany of (WI).

But, in an earlier preliminary vote, it seems that 220 House Republicans were happy to stand with Putin, on a reflexive belief that anything Democrats are voting for must be bad.

But when it came to a final vote, the optics of standing with Russia sank in.

Odd Thing About Musk and the Right

They're embracing the guy who wants to implant chips in people's brains. But they got all het up over vaccines and claims that Bill Gates was injecting microchips into their bloodstream.

Vomiting These Down, Here