Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

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

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

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

“Speed is a poor substitute for accuracy.” -- Real, no-shit, fortune from a fortune cookie

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

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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

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

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Maybe the New Year Will Be Better


Not holding out any hope for it, though. I'd rather be pleasantl surprised instead of bitterly disappointed.

Happy New Year.

Meh.

Southwest Airlines (and Boeing): Ruined by the Beancounters

(NB: I received this from a source. I was at first reluctant to run it, but it has since appeared elsewhere.)

One consistent feature of American corporations: Those run by MBAs and beancounters, as opposed to those run by people who know the relevant industry, are, in the long run, doomed to fail.

This is the view of a SWA pilot on the SWA Pilot's Association Facebook page:

Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) Voices From The Line: Larry Lonero

What happened to Southwest Airlines?

I’ve been a pilot for Southwest Airlines for over 35 years. I’ve given my heart and soul to Southwest Airlines during those years. And quite honestly Southwest Airlines has given its heart and soul to me and my family.

Many of you have asked what caused this epic meltdown. Unfortunately, the frontline employees have been watching this meltdown coming like a slow motion train wreck for sometime. And we’ve been begging our leadership to make much needed changes in order to avoid it. What happened yesterday started two decades ago.

Herb Kelleher was the brilliant CEO of SWA until 2004. He was a very operationally oriented leader. Herb spent lots of time on the front line. He always had his pulse on the day to day operation and the people who ran it. That philosophy flowed down through the ranks of leadership to the front line managers. We were a tight operation from top to bottom. We had tools, leadership and employee buy in. Everything that was needed to run a first class operation. When Herb retired in 2004 Gary Kelly became the new CEO.

Gary was an accountant by education and his style leading Southwest Airlines became more focused on finances and less on operations. He did not spend much time on the front lines. He didn’t engage front line employees much. When the CEO doesn’t get out in the trenches the neither do the lower levels of leadership.

Gary named another accountant to be Chief Operating Officer (the person responsible for day to day operations). The new COO had little or no operational background. This trickled down through the lower levels of leadership, as well.

They all disengaged the operation, disengaged the employees and focused more on Return on Investment, stock buybacks and Wall Street. This approach worked for Gary’s first 8 years because we were still riding the strong wave that Herb had built.

But as time went on the operation began to deteriorate. There was little investment in upgrading technology (after all, how do you measure the return on investing in infrastructure?) or the tools we needed to operate efficiently and consistently. As the frontline employees began to see the deterioration in our operation we began to warn our leadership. We educated them, we informed them and we made suggestions to them. But to no avail. The focus was on finances not operations. As we saw more and more deterioration in our operation our asks turned to pleas. Our pleas turned to dire warnings. But they went unheeded. After all, the stock price was up so what could be wrong?

We were a motivated, willing and proud employee group wanting to serve our customers and uphold the tradition of our beloved airline, the airline we built and the airline that the traveling public grew to cheer for and luv. But we were watching in frustration and disbelief as our once amazing airline was becoming a house of cards.

A half dozen small scale meltdowns occurred during the mid to late 2010’s. With each mini meltdown Leadership continued to ignore the pleas and warnings of the employees in the trenches. We were still operating with 1990’s technology. We didn’t have the tools we needed on the line to operate the sophisticated and large airline we had become. We could see that the wheels were about ready to fall off the bus. But no one in leadership would heed our pleas.

When COVID happened SWA scaled back considerably (as did all of the airlines) for about two years. This helped conceal the serious problems in technology, infrastructure and staffing that were occurring and being ignored. But as we ramped back up the lack of attention to the operation was waiting to show its ugly head.

Gary Kelly retired as CEO in early 2022. Bob Jordan was named CEO. He was a more operationally oriented leader. He replaced our Chief Operating Officer with a very smart man and they announced their priority would be to upgrade our airline’s technology and provide the frontline employees the operational tools we needed to care for our customers and employees. Finally, someone acknowledged the elephant in the room.

But two decades of neglect takes several years to overcome. And, unfortunately to our horror, our house of cards came tumbling down this week as a routine winter storm broke our 1990’s operating system.

The frontline employees were ready and on station. We were properly staffed. We were at the airports. Hell, we were ON the airplanes. But our antiquated software systems failed coupled with a decades old system of having to manage 20,000 frontline employees by phone calls. No automation had been developed to run this sophisticated machine.

We had a routine winter storm across the Midwest last Thursday. A larger than normal number flights were cancelled as a result. But what should have been one minor inconvenient day of travel turned into this nightmare. After all, American, United, Delta and the other airlines operated with only minor flight disruptions.

The two decades of neglect by SWA leadership caused the airline to lose track of all its crews. ALL of us. We were there. With our customers. At the jet. Ready to go. But there was no way to assign us. To confirm us. To release us to fly the flight. And we watched as our customers got stranded without their luggage missing their Christmas holiday.

I believe that our new CEO Bob Jordan inherited a MESS. This meltdown was not his failure but the failure of those before him. I believe he has the right priorities. But it will take time to right this ship. A few years at a minimum. Old leaders need to be replaced. Operationally oriented managers need to be brought in. I hope and pray Bob can execute on his promises to fix our once proud airline. Time will tell.

It’s been a punch in the gut for us frontline employees. We care for the traveling public. We have spent our entire careers serving you. Safely. Efficiently. With luv and pride. We are horrified. We are sorry. We are sorry for the chaos, inconvenience and frustration our airline caused you. We are angry. We are embarrassed. We are sad. Like you, the traveling public, we have been let down by our own leaders.

Herb once said the the biggest threat to Southwest Airlines will come from within. Not from other airlines. What a visionary he was.

I miss Herb now more than ever.

2022 Made It Obvious that Russia is a Nation Run by War Criminals and Lunatics

Abducting tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of children, an act of barbarity larger in scale that what the Agentinians did to their own people. Torturing people, including children. Legalized looting. Summary executions. These are ways that the Russians are treating people they say are their brothers.

Russia, in its actions, is not terribly different from Nazi Germany. That is not a point worthy of debate. It is factual.

Russia, for weeks, has been engaged in aerial terrorism, hitting non-military targets, in an attempt to break the will of the Ukranian people. It has failed, but the Russians keep doubling down on failure.

Strategic bombing to break the will of the opposing population is a military theory that has been around for over a century. The basic problem with the theory has been that in practice, it does not work. The only country that, in a general war, threw in the towel because they were being bombed was Japan, and that was after two atomic bombings. The massive fireraids by General LeMay's B-29s, an action that LeMay himself recognized as a war crime, didn't break the Japanese. Putler should well know this; his family comes from Leningrad. German bombing, shelling, and besieging the city did not break the people of Leningrad (something that they take pride in to this day).

The Russians are crossing the line between criminality and madness. If anything, they are going to make it even harder for their fellow travelers in the GOP to align with them. Oh, they'll try, they'll pretend to care for the people of Ukraine and say that appeasing the Russians will end the suffering of the Ukrainian people. They'll blame Ukraine for not recognizing reality in their goal of expelling the Russian invaders. But it would be a sellout on a historic level, everyone will know that.

The Ukrainians are not asking for us to fight their war for them, They are only asking for our support. Only craven fellow-travelers of Putin will not see the justice of helping the Ukrainians fight for their own freedom.

Edited to add:

In an address on his Telegram channel, Mr Zelensky said those who carried out Saturday's attacks were inhuman and they would "lose".

Switching from Ukrainian to Russian, he then attacked Mr Putin.

"Your leader wants to show you that he's leading from the front, and his military is behind him," he said.

"But in fact he is hiding. He's hiding behind his military, his missiles, the walls of his residences and palaces.

"He's hiding behind you, and he's burning your country and your future. No-one will forgive you for terror. No-one in the world will forgive you for that. Ukraine will not forgive."

Caturday

Winter cats.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Nashville International Airport Sucks, and So Does Southwest Airlines

A Fcontinuation, of sorts, of this post.

I believe that it was thoroughly unreasonable of the Nashville Airport cops and SWA to insist that passengers whse flights were canceled leave the secure area.

This is why:

I've been in a few airports in my time. They all have one thing in common: Most of the retail operations, restaurants, bars, clothing, toiletries, books, pillows, travel blankets, etc., are in the secure areas of the airports. They are the places that stranded travelers need. The non-secure side, where the baggage check and baggage claim areas are, may have something along the nature of a row of vening machines to a coffee shop, primarily to sell to people who are waiting for incoming passengers. The operations in the non-secure side have very little of what a stranded traveler may need.

Pushing the stranded travelers out of the secure area was a rank display of inhospitability and a demonstrantion of uncaring, if not inhumanity.

Which may be typical of Nashville. I don't know, I've never been there and I'm less likely to.

(So much for that fabled Southern hopsitality.)

Because It's Friday

A massive British steam compilation.

Fly Southwest and Go to Jail

The holiday travel woes for a group of passengers on Southwest Airlines appeared to include being told by a police officer they could be arrested for trespassing if their flight got canceled and they refused to leave an area of Nashville International Airport.

A TikTok video shared by passenger and Nashville resident Amani Robinson, 20, shows an officer telling her mother and a fellow group of passengers standing in line on Christmas that they need to leave "or you will be arrested for trespassing."

Netanyahu Makes His Bed With the Christian Taliban

Several [Israeli] ministries have been created with a focus on Jewish identity. Each will be led almost exclusively by the members of parties representing the various strands of modern Jewish fundamentalism — parties that resist any form of modernism — as well as the elements of the Zionist Orthodoxy that are increasingly both ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox.

These parties are imposing on Israel a definition of Judaism that refuses to recognize the validity of the non-Orthodox streams, with which the majority of American Jews identify. They are even demanding a change in the most fundamental link between Israel and the Jewish diaspora: the Law of Return, which grants Israeli citizenship to Jews and their descendants. They have promised to make those with at least one Jewish grandparent and who are not recognized as Jewish by the Orthodox rabbinical establishment ineligible for automatic Israeli citizenship.

That is not going to sit well with most American Jews. "You are not Jewish enough for our taste, but send us money and pressure your congressmen to support us" does not seem to be a winning tactic.

American Jews are not be Jewish enough for Netanyahu and his government, but they're Jewish enough to be attacked and killed by neo-nazis and white supremacists.

The Christian Taliban is supporting Netanyahu because they have some batshit-crazy view that the existence of Israel is a precursor to bring on the end of the Universe, which they all seem to be waiting for with some sort of sadistic/masochistic fever. I don't get it, but nobody is paying me to understand that level of crazy.

Maybe More Bad New for Santos

The Feds are looking into his campaign expenditures and it sure seems that he may have allegedly committed fraud. Santos's campaign allegedly paid his rent and there are a shitload of "expenses" that come in juuust undeeer $200, the point where receips are required to be preserved. His expenditures were way out of line when compared to a guy who won election as a Republican from the next county.

It's looking as though Santos may have the shortest tenure in Congress for a guy who didn't die on the job.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Rings True


If you've seen The Glass Onion on Netflix, this will resonate.

Pelting These Down, Here





Updated: Grinding on Santos

Prosecutors at the state and county level have opened criminal investigations.

Good presecutors don't open investigations willy-nilly. And note that the county prosecutor is a Republican. And, if he lied on his campaign forms, that is Federal matter.

My guess is that he's going to get a Weiner-deal: Quit and the charges will disappear.

(ETA to add link to Federal investigation.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Not Yet Investing in Popcorn Futures

Mike Lindell, the noted election denier and Donald Trump ally known as the​ “MyPillow Guy,” announced [in November] that he will run for chair of the Republican National Committee.

“With all my due diligence and in prayer, I am 100% running for RNC chairman against Ronna McDaniel,” Lindell told former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon on his “War Room” podcast.

Lindell, who is under federal investigation for election tampering and had his phone seized by the FBI in September, claimed he has been encouraged to seek the position by people across the country
.

I don't know if he has a chance. but the current RNC Chairwoman is a Trumper and those who want to replace her are even more Trumpy. Which makes no sense, as most of the hard-core Trumpist candidates running in contested elections were beaten. In an off-year election, the Democrats held onto the Senate and even flipped one seat.

The Republicans are acting like a gambler who is behind and who keeps placing larger and riskier bets, trying to catch up.

That's bad for the country. We need two, viable, national parties. The GOP is, whether by design or default, is working hard to become political arm of the neo-Nazis and Confederate mouth-breathers. But since the core base of the GOP in much of the country is made up of MAGA wannabee terrorists (egged on by Canadian incels), things are not going to change anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

You'd Think, by Now, That Putin Critics in Russia Would Know Never to Go Above the Ground Floor

Odisha police are probing the death of Russian lawmaker and philanthropist Pavel Antov days after another Russian tourist from the same group was found dead in a hotel in the Rayagada district. Antov, a sausage multi-millionaire and elected politician, had criticised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as “terror”, according to media reports. Antov was on vacation in the Rayagada region of Odisha where he was celebrating his 66th birthday.

Vivekananda Sharma, superintendent of police, Rayagada, said that B Vladimir died last Thursday after he suffered a heart stroke. Pavel Antov, who was staying as roommate of Vladimir, died Sunday after falling from the third floor and an investigation is underway to find whether it was a suicide or an accident, according to police.

These guys have to be beyond stupid to go anywhere that they can be "helped" out of a window to their deaths.

Belching These Down, Here






NY's Baby Congresscritter Admits to Being a Liar

He calls lying about where he worked, where he went to school and his family's ownership of rental properties to be just a minor case of "resume embellishment" and "poor choices of words". He lied about having employees who were killed in a mass shooting and lied about a company he supposedly was starting

Basically, when Santos talked about anything in his life, every word that came out of his mouth was a lie, including he conjunctions and articles. Therefore, he's a perfect fit for the Party of Trump.

There's a chance that he lied on his Congressional disclosure forms, and he lived somewhere else than his voter registration when he voted, which are crimes, and that might get him a little bit of trouble.

Two Hundred Years Ago

Arguably the greatest scientist of all time was born on this day in 1822 in Dole, France. Louis Pasteur developed microbiology, bacteriology and the germ theory of disease. Thanks to him, beer, wine and milk are safe for consumption by billions of people. Pasteur transformed the art of variolation into the science of vaccination. the elimination of smallpox and the near-elimination of polio are due to the principles and methods developed by Pasteur. He proved that spontaneous generation was a myth.

Pasteur was, above all, an experimenter. He believed in testing and retesting, to ensure that any bias on the part of the experimenter was removed. If he got the result he anticipated, he checked to ensure that he was seeing the truth, not just what he wanted to see.

It is not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of millions of people, if not billions, owe their chance to live full lives to Dr. Pasteur.

Monday, December 26, 2022

The TOFF Truly is Mentally Disturbed


Bless his heart, can somebody please get that poor man some professional help? He's about two steps away from throwing himself on the floor and chewing the carpet.

Is Tesla Tanking?

Reading this article about the headwinds facing Tesla, one might wonder if they'll be around much longer.

I've opined before that Tesla was going to have its lunch eaten once the traditional car companies got into EVs in a big way.

Beyond that, Musk is committing one of the cardinal sins of a retail company: Getting openly involved in politics. It's probably not even debatable that the demographics of those who are open to buying EVs are nowhere near aligned with those who support the Asset, who think that Covid and climate change are hoaxes and who have bought into the Big Election Lie. But those are the people that Musk seems determined to alienate. The guy flying a TOFF '24 flag from his F-250, Siverado, or Ram truck isn't going shopping for an EV sedan anytime soon,

So if you are politically moderate or liberal and if you're looking into buying an EV, why the fuck would you now even entertain buying a Tesla?

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Fly the Fiendish Skies

From Dave Barry's Year in Review:

As the busy summer travel season gets underway, commercial aviation is severely disrupted across the nation because — this is a recurring problem — large numbers of people who have purchased tickets from the airlines are showing up at airports expecting the airlines to actually transport them to their intended destinations. “They keep giving us their money,” states a baffled airline-industry executive, “and we frankly have no idea why.”

Southwest has its own self-generated problems:

Southwest Airlines has declared a state of operational emergency at Denver International Airport (DEN). This started late on December 21, and applies until further notice. Long story short, the airline doesn’t have nearly enough rampers at the moment, which is causing huge issues. ... In a memo to employees, the airline reports receiving “an unusually high number of absences.” The airline states it has an obligation to customers and to fellow employees to safely and efficiently run the operation, so the airline has declared a state of operational emergency.

What does this entail? 

Because nothing says "we love our employees" like mandatory overtime and forcing them to get a doctor's note if they have had a cold. The commonsense rule of "if you're sick, stay home" doesn't work for SWA, which doesn't seem to care if the rest of its emplouyees and the traveling public get sick.

This, boys and girls, is why cmpanies get unionized.

Your Xmas Morning Prop Noise

Kermit Week's Grumman Duck:

Saturday, December 24, 2022

A Christmas Eve Tale

I read this story every Christmas Eve. That, and The Spirit of Steamboat.


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

If you are flying tonight, I hope that the scope monkeys were watching out for you.

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

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

Breaking News!


Hmm

Right now, with tens of thousands of people without electricity in these cold temperatures, those with working fireplaces are hoping Santa brings stovkings full of coal.

Sore Losers Keep On Losing

A judge has thrown out Republican Kari Lake’s challenge of her defeat in the Arizona governor’s race to Democrat Katie Hobbs, rejecting her claim that problems with ballot printers at some polling places on Election Day were the result of intentional misconduct.

Funny thing about courts: Judges want to see evidence, not half-baked conspiracy bullshit. And so, Lake is following her mentor, The TOFF, down into the Halls of Loserdom.

Caturday

Chip "helps" me post shit.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Finally, an Honest Guy Standing Outside, Reporting on the Weather

I assume this one is going viral. It should.

He Found Out

The son of a renowned American painter was convicted Friday of four counts of participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Vincent Gillespie, 61, of Athol, Massachusetts, was found guilty of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers; civil disorder; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings, prosecutors said.

I really don't get why these clowns keep going to trial on these charges. They don't persuade juries that they were innocent tourists looking for a good time.

This particular loon's likely to go away for a few years.

Stupid People With Too Much Free Time

KILLINGWORTH [CT] —“In the spirit of peace and goodwill this Christmas,” PETA is asking the town to change the name of its famed Roast Meat Hill Road to “Roast Vegan Hill Road.”

In a letter to First Selectman Nancy Gorski, a PETA representative offered to help pay for new signage and “to hold a giveaway of tasty vegan ham sandwiches in town if you agree!”

"Vegan ham" is an oxymoron that was uttered, in this care, by a human moron.

Beyond that, wouldn't "Roast Vegan" be an endorsement of cannibalism?

Here's hoping that the Town's Board of Selectmen round-files that request.

Another Right-Wing Idiot


Sorry, you are wrong on many levels. Standing aside as an evil nation attempts to conquer another is taking the side of the evil nation. If you do not choose to fight evil, then you are standing beside evil.

Beyond that, if the history of the 20th Century taught us anything, it was that European instability eventually comes to effect the security interests of the United States. Anyone who seriously believes that having an encouraged, territory-hungry Russia on the borders of NATO does not matter to the United States has to have been drinking the Tuckyo Rosé wine.

If the history of the 20th Century has another lesson, it is that it is best to stamp out small conflagrations in Europe before they become big ones. Right now, all it costs America is money to back the Ukrainians. If they do not prevail and the Russians go further, which Putin has made no secret of desiring to, it will cost us far more than just money.

The Russians have been the ones escalating this war by carrying out genocidal attacks against the Ukrainian people. There is little more that they can do in that regard. So yes, we should be giving the Ukrainians every tool that they can possibly use to vanquish the Russians.

Really? Another 1911?

Firearms icon Savage Arms is expanding its new pistol line with a full dozen new 1911 offerings including rail guns.

Announced this week on the countdown to SHOT Show 2023, the new Savage 1911 line will be available in both 9mm and .45 calibers, three assorted color options– black Melonite, stainless, and two-tone– and either a standard or railed frame
.

Savage says that the frames are forged. I don't know if they're making them,in house, or purchasing them.

At present, it would probably be a shorter list of gunmakers who aren't offering 1911-pattern pistols.

Because It's Friday

German steam:

Read, If You Dare

The Executive Summary of the January 6th Committee

The Full Report.

You can buy a copy formatted for an e-reader, but most of them will read PDF files, so just transfer these over and save yourself a dozen clams or so.

Almost a thousand people have been charged, so far, for their part in the Insurrection and about half of them have pled guilty so far (or have been convicted).

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Putin’s Poodles in D.C.

Russian state TV sought to downplay the military and political support Zelenskyy received in Washington, stressing in a news segment that not all members of Congress showed up to listen to Zelenskyy’s speech.

It was completely foreseeable that the Russians would take comfort in GOP childishness. The Party of Treason keeps committing treason.

Bring Them In

Another Vaporware Gun

Update from SHOT Show 2023: The "inventors" of this gun have no functioning models to show how it would work, nor any CAD drawings. It is 100% vaporware.

The Zenk RZMK-357.

There are a few photos:



The number of issues, just from the photographs, would seem to be daunting. I can't see how rounds would be fired. There's no apparent hammer or striker. Maybe there is a fixed firing pin and the clinder is slammed back on it? But that would play hob with the barrel-cylinder gap, unless the upper assembly moves en masse. I don't see an apparent method of removing the cylinder, so cleaning will be a problem. It's also going to be rather interesting to see how the trigger will work. The more mechanical folderol it takes between the trigger and the thing that detonates the primer, the lousier the trigger pull is likely to be. Finally, as much as top-break revolvers seem to be appealling, they are not known for durability. There is a reason why solid-frame revolvers have cleared the field since before the First World War (other than British military revolvers).

But I still hope they can make a working gun for a reasonable price.

How Stupid Are People?

Pretty goddman stupid, since one in five Americans believe that Santa Claus exists and one in four believe that the Sun orbits the Earth.

(H/T)

It could be possible that a number of the respondents were lying to the pollsters, but that would be optimistic.

Naming a Russian War Criminal

Lt. Col. Artyom Gorodilov was the commander of the 234th Air Assault Regiment, which carried out the masssacres in Bucha, Ukraine.

Murdering civilians is Russian state policy. That is not a debatable point. That is a fact.

Icing These Down, Here







Russia or Ukraine. Pick a Side.

Here's the thing: Western nations are helping to arm Ukraine and helping to keep their economy going. Not helping Ukraine would mean that the Russians would be more likely to prevail in the war. Putler has made no secret of his ambitions: He wants to restore Russia to its imperial borders. That doesn't necessarily mean conquering all of those now-independent nations; if he can turn them into vassal states, that would probably be good enough for now.
Not helping Ukraine is helping Russia. These Senators have voted in the past to help Russia
  • Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee 
  • John Boozman of Arkansas
  • Mike Braun of Indiana
  • Mike Crapo of Idaho
  • Bill Hagerty of Tennessee
  • Josh Hawley of Missouri
  • Mike Lee of Utah
  • Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming
  • Roger Marshall of Kansas
  • Rand Paul of Kentucky
  • Tommy Tuberville of Alabama


When President Zelenskyy addressed a joint session of Congress yesterday, these assholes sat on their asses and refused to applaud:
Even MTG, who loves everything Russian and despises Ukraine, stood and applauded President Zelenskyy. Which is a bit of a surprise. I really thought she'd be in her office, polishig the glass on her autographed portraits of The Asset and his handler.

Boebert, Gaetz, Clyde and the rest are supporting Putin's war of aggression. They may say that they aren't, but by their inactions and their words, they are.

Let's be clear about this, folks. This war, as large as it is, is about more than Ukraine. It is about going back to the Law of Conquest. It is about whether or not the world will, once again, fully embrace the principle that Might Makes Right. It is about adopting the foreign policies of Hitlerian Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union. Anyone who has ever uttered a syllable of support for Tibet is morally bound to stand with the Ukrainians. Anyone who has been sympathetic to the people of Hong Kong or the thousands massacred at Tiananmen Square is duty-bound to stand with Ukraine.

Russia is a brutal nation. The time to put out this conflagration of aggression is now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Trading These Down, Here




The Democrats on Long Island (NY) Are Idiots

So, this is what happened: Some clown ran for Congress this year on the Republican ticket. He won.

But, as it now turns out, his resume is a work of fiction. 
  •  He claimed to have worked for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. He didn't. 
  •  He claimed to have graduated from Baruch College. He didn't.
  •  He claimed to have attended New York University.  He didn't.
  •  He claimed to have run an animal rescue group.  No such charity exists.
  •  He claimed to have lost four co-workers in the Pulse Nightclub shooting.  Nobody can determine who they might be.
  •  He claimed to have a family fortune in real estate.  Nobody can find a record of any properties.
What he didn't disclose was criminal check fraud charges in Brazil, which he committed (he confessed to it) during the time he was supposedly in college.

There is more. such as being evicted for non-payment of rent at least twice, questionable campaign expenditures and much, much more.

But this is the thing: Nobody bothered to do any opposition research on this clown? Nobody could be bothered to vet any of his claims?

Democrats, where the fuck were your heads? I would think that even doing a cursory look into the background of the otehr guy running for Congress would be Basic Politics 101.

So yes, this guy apparently is a liar, a criminal, and a grifter who hangs out with American neo-nazis. But you couldn't find any of this out?

And now his district is stuck with this schmuck of a goniff for the next two years.

Good work, Democrats.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Stupid Xmas Songs

There are a lot of them, but one of the dumbest ever written is I Saw Three Ships. The song says that the singer (the witness) saw three ships sail into Bethlehem on Christmas Day.

It's dumb because anyone who has access to a fucking map can tell that Bethlemen is at least thirty miles from the nearest seaport (Ashdod).

And nobody riding in a one-horse open sleigh is going to be laughing. Shivering, maybe.

The Landing Zone for Murderous Dictators?

It seems to be Venezuela, according to two stories sent to me by a regular reader.

I suppose that's a more attractive option for them than swallowing cyanide and eating a bullet from a gold-plated pistol. But it's going to take a lot of money to do that. Once their money runs out and they can't afford to pay graft anymore, they'll be stuffed on a plane and sent off for either life in prison or a quick execution. And after they leave, the Venezuelans may rethink the attractiveness of being the country that hosts retired mass-murderers and war criminals.

The problem may be worse for one clown, as if the rumors are correct, most of his money is held for him, in trust, by others, so it can't be traced to him. But if he's deposed, those former friends can suffer an convenient attack of forgetfulness and take his cash for themselves.

Is there any truth to this? That's unknown.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

A Grumman Duck beaches itself:



The Ducks were made at the Grumman plant on Long island, NY. They would do their tests for sea states and such in the ocean. When they were done, they'd fly up to Candlewood Lake in CT and do a series of full-stop landings in order to wash as much of the salt off as possible.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Putler's War

The NY Times has a long story about how Putin's war morphed from a projected three-day walk in the park to a slugfest that will soon enter its second year.

I plan to pick up a paper copy tomorrow and read it.

This conversation occurred in my email:

Other Party:

Brutal. A Potemkin military...but you knew that. ... Everything about this war is bringing out the worst in Russia and its national character. Another Russo-Japanese war.

Me:

I remember reading. a long time ago, about a battle that the Russians fought with the Turks in the early 1870s or so. The Turks had bought a bunch of Winchester repeaters. Back then, those rifles fired a .44 rimfire cartridge. Nowhere near as powerful as a muzzleloading rifle, but a lot more firepower.

The Turks issued them to two-man teams, each team getting two rifles. One man was to shoot, the other was to load. The Russians attempted to storm the Turkish positions. When the Russians closed to within 100 or so yards, the Turks opened fire with their Winchesters. The Russians got slaughtered. The next day, they tried again, with the same result.

The kicker was that Russian intelligence had reported that the Turks had those rifles.

Back in the 1980s, a few Soviet generals were given a tour of Gettysburg. At the end of the tour, one of the Russians asked how many men had been killed. When he was told about 50,000, he waved a hand dismissively and said "skirmish."

The Russians don't care how many men they lose. They are heedless of the suffering within their own ranks. (Kind of like Hitler, in that regard.)

Unlike the one time in the last two hundred years when their way of fighting prevailed, they don't have a large industrial power feeding them trucks, tanks and airplanes.

If that wasn't bad enough, Russia is facing a demographic collapse and, when it hits home how much the Russian war draft has landed on minorities, rather than ethnic Russians, all it may take is a spark to set off civil unrest.

None of this is carved in stone, but the augeries are not good for Russia. Nor for Ukraine, either, for the short term, but there are a lot of nations who will help them rebuild. For Russia, not so much.

Suck It, Elon

Elon Musk, aka Space Karen, is now going to have to buy Reddit.

Elon's jet is currently over Cody, WY, heading 057degT at FL 410.

ETA: He apparently flew to Qatar to see the finale of the World Cup.

Caturday

Friday, December 16, 2022

Filling Up the Prisons With These Clowns

An Iowa construction worker and QAnon follower was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, when he led a crowd chasing a police officer who diverted rioters away from lawmakers.

Wearing a T-shirt celebrating the conspiracy theory with his arms spread, Douglas Jensen became part of one of the most memorable images from the riot.

As he handed down the sentence, Judge Timothy Kelly said he wasn’t sure Jensen understood the seriousness of a violent attack in which he played a “big role.”

“It snapped our previously unbroken tradition of peaceful transfer of power. We can’t get that back,” Kelly said. “I wish I could say I had evidence you understood this cannot be repeated.

Or, as the kids say, he fucked around and found out.

These clowns who are taking their cases to trial are getting hammered. Their success rate at trial is zero. I'll bet that if he had owned up to what he had done, he'd have gotten less than half of that sentence.

Shorter Texas: Register Transsexuals, Not Guns

Earlier this year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s (R) office requested the state Department of Public Safety to compile a list of transgender residents in the state, a DPS official confirmed to the Washington Post in a Wednesday report. A spokesperson for DPS told the Post that Paxton’s office made “a verbal request” calling for the total number of Texans who had changed the gender on their driver’s licenses or in other government records within the past two years.

I can think of no legitimate reason why that fuck of a weasel would need that information, other than he seeks to persecute people.

Make no mistake about it: Republicans seem to think that they can outlaw transsexuals. When government officials decide to not communicate in writing, including texts and emails, you can be reasonably confident that they are engaging in fuckery that will not withstand the light of day.

Maybe next, they'll seek to outlaw gay people.

The modern GOP is a disgusting cesspit of hatred and bigotry.

Another Very Expensive Heater

TR's Smith & Wesson No.3, in .38 Long Colt. It sold at auction for $910,000.

Another Meaningless Threat From the Ruscists

Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned Thursday that if the U.S. delivers sophisticated air defense systems to Ukraine, those systems and any crews that accompany them would be a “legitimate target” for the Russian military, a blunt threat that was quickly rejected by Washington.

As far as the Orcs are concerned, everything in Ukraine is a "legitimate target": Maternity hospitals, water works, schools, apartment buildings, public parks, nothing is exempt. So why wouldn't an air-defense system be off-limits?

Because It's Friday

Snowy steam in the UK:

Thou Shalt Not Talk About Emperor Elon on Twitter

Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists who cover the social media platform, the latest battle over what can and cannot be said on the site since billionaire Elon Musk took control of it.

So, it now appears that megalomaniac's dedication for free speech applies so long as he approves of what is being said. Which distinguishes him from Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and The TOFF in what way?

ETA: Elonjet is on Instagram, if you're signed into that. Also on Mastodon.

The Latest Grift from The Asset

He had a major announcement: NFT trading cards, for $99, for sale by the lunatic who thinks that he was a better president than pikers like Lincoln and Washington.

There's a sucker born every minute and The TOFF found 45,000 or so of them.

No word as to whether Cards Against Humanity will sue for infringement.

Stephen Colbert suggests that the set should be named Gropéman, with Pikacoup. Jimmy Kimmel said that there are already Trump trading cards; they're called "subpoenas". Colbert also said this: “In a way, this is all kind of gratifying to me, because a monster who tried to install himself as our fascist strongman is now reduced to hawking a line of trading cards. It’s like if Hitler escaped the bunker and released Mein Komic Book.”

Thursday, December 15, 2022

That'll Buff Right Out


More here.

I'm not seeing the need to punch out, but I'm no hotshot jet pilot.

Covid Tests

For American readers, more free tests are available.

Sleighing These Down, Here








A ranking of the 100 best Xmas songs.

Darwin Award Nominee

Police: Man fatally shoots himself in the groin while attempting U-turn

My completely unsubstantiated guess would be that the dead guy didn't have a holster. Not using a holster that covers the trigger guard of a striker-fired pistol is a Very Bad Idea. Stuff that gets into the trigger guard, like bunched clothing, can and will touch off a round.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Xfinity/ComBastards

I see that those assholes are beefing with ABC, as the local channel is asking viewers to call ComBastards and tell them not to cut ABC.

I don't know what the problem is, but I'm wagering that it's Comcast's doing.

Because Comcast sucks, and they hate their customers.

Iron Batteries

A company named Form Energy is working on rechargable batteries that don't use rare-earth metals. Instead of lithium ions, they use iron ions. In other words, the batteries produce power by rusting. When they are recharged, the reaction works in the other direction.

Will it scale up? It would be nice if it did. For those installing off-grid systems powered by wind or solar, a bank of iron-seawater batteries would probably be safer to have than a bank of lead-acid batteries.

I Wish I Could Be Excited by The Respect for Marriage Act

A celebratory crowd of thousands bundled up on a chilly Tuesday afternoon to watch President Joe Biden sign gay marriage legislation into law, a joyful ceremony that was tempered by the backdrop of an ongoing conservative backlash over gender issues.

It was noteworthy that, while a quarter of the Republicans in the Senate voted for the bill, thirty-six of them stood pat don their Hill of Hate.

Why I'm not excited is because I believe that the Christian Taliban wing of the Supremes will come up with a rationale for invalidating the law.

Let's embrace the suck and do what we can to ensure that the Fascists Federalist on the Court walk the walk of originalism. The electrial utilites should disconnect power to their homes. Instead, cords of firewood should be delivered each Fall. Yank out their fridges, freezers, canned goods and gas ranges and install wood cook stoves. No synthethics for clothing; only wood, cotton, linen, and leather apparel. They can sit at their desks by candlelight and write out their opinions, longhand, using quill pens. For entertainment, one member of their family can play the harpischord, or, if they were keeping up with the times, a fortepiano.

They should be limited to travel by carriage and stagecoach. For medical treatment, they should be offer the finest leeches and, of course, bloodletting. Surgery should be performed without anasthetics. No antibiotic, so the cure for an infected hand will be amputation. Dental work will be limited to extractions.

All that sounds brutal, but what the hell: If they are going to force us to live by the law of the 18th Century, then they should have to live fully in that century. Of course, that would mean Justice Thomas would be enslaved and Justice Barrett would be sentback to run her household, but those are the consequences of their choices.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Masticating These Down, Here




Shooting Competition

This is an aricle regarding why, if you can carry concealed weapon, you should try some competition.

Of the local matches that I've shot, I prefer USPSA over IDPA. IDPA seems to have more procedural rules that will get you a side eye from the range officer. USPSA is mostly a speed match. You score better by shooting faster and with moderate accuracy.22

But if you're shooting your carry gun, don't get hung up on that. You're probably not going to score highly against otehr shooters; they're shooting race guns with 5" barrels and almost all of them have carry optics. Even if they're slightly shorter guns, they all seem to have carry optics.

Nobody, though, will look down on you for shooting a carry gun or even a {gasp} revolver. Quite the opposite. You'd probably be shooting the matches to practice with your carry gun and everyone will respect that.

What you should do, though, is check to see if your carry holster is permitted. Cross-draws, bra holsters, and shoulder-holsters will not be permitted. (Maybe in the zoot Shooters, but I doubt that.) Some might have heartburn with abdominal-inside-the-waistband holsters; the best idea is to bring a traditional belt holster as a backup. They're cheap enough. Avoid leather holsters that don't have reinforced mouths. If you can't easily insert the gun into the holster without touching the holster, don't bring it. You run the risk of being disqualified (BT,DT).

Do your part to help run the match. Help tape up the targets after each run and, when the match is over, help put away the targets, holders, stands, and obstacles.

It's a good way to tune up your skills.