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

"Mobs Do Not Rush Across Town to Do Good Deeds." -- James Lee Burke

"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

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






Interesting, But Take With a Pinch of Salt


One of the biggest and longest-standing series of lies that have come out of the Five O'Clock Follies in both the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars were the body counts. I have no confidence that Ukranian PAOs are any more honest than American ones.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Proposal: Madison Cawthorn is the Dumbest SOB on the Planet

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn was cited for having a loaded gun at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Tuesday morning, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said.

It's not the first time that stupid man-child has tried to bring a gun onto an airplane.

He's a typical asshole politician: Rules are for the little people to follow, which is the attitude of His Orange God.

UPDATE: From elsewhere:

I just wanna stop and take a moment to acknowledge how far disabled Americans have come culturally, in that we can call the guy in a wheelchair a raging fuckstick.

Bleeding These Down, Here






EEEEEEEEEEEEEE



Familial matters will reduce my time here for a bit. The only reason that I'm mentioning it is because comment moderation will be very slow at times.

Monday, April 25, 2022

So Fucking What; Nuclear Warfare Ed.

A new Russian intercontinental ballistic missile is capable of carrying several hypersonic weapons, a senior Russian military officer said Sunday.

Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev, the commander of the Russian military’s Strategic Missile Forces, said in televised remarks that the new Sarmat ICBM is designed to carry several Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles.

Seriously, who gives a shit? America's ABM system is not large enough to stop a Russian (or Chinese) attack. It's designed to stop an attack from North Korea and maybe Iran. A Russian attack would overwhelm it with conventional warheads without the Russians having to spend a tenth of a ruble on fancy new shit.

But hey, if the Russians want to spend their money on goldplated and unecessary systems because it makes the psychopathic shrimp running the country feel better instead of basic things like maintaining their tanks, well, they are certainly free to do so.

It Was All Because of Billionaire Butthurt?

Did Musk buy Twitter because he couldn't get some kid to stop tracking his private jet?

Here's the first part of it as a screenshot in case Musk makes everybody saying bad things about him go away (the same way TOFF does on his failing service):

Interesting....



Two explosions some distance apart sounds like a hell of a coincidence. There is no conirmation as to whether it's a result of hostile action or garden-variety Russian sloppiness.

Reports are that the oil pipeline to Europe runs through that place. If that's the case, expect the oil futures market to go batshit today.

Two Guys Who Are Going to Lose Their Pilot's Licenses

The FAA is investigating a made-for-streaming Red Bull stunt over the Arizona desert that went awry on Sunday. The agency told AVweb late Sunday that it had earlier rejected a request for an exemption from FAA regulations by organizers of the stunt. “The FAA will investigate Sunday evening’s attempted Red Bull Plane Swap in Arizona. One of the two single-engine Cessna 182 aircraft used in the stunt crashed after it spun out of control. The pilot landed safely by parachute. The other pilot regained control of the second aircraft and landed safely. The agency on Friday denied the organizer’s request for an exemption from Federal regulations that cover the safe operation of an aircraft.” the agency said in a statement to AVweb.

In the denial letter, the agency says it can see no public interest being served in the stunt and it also said the stunt might affect public safety. It has apparently refused permission for similar actions in the past but in those cases it was to simulate a crash landing. The organizers specifically asked for relief from 91.105(a)(1), which says someone has to be in the cockpit when the plane is in flight. The FAA says the stunt actually violated other regs, too
.

Given that the FAA yanked the license of that idiot who allegedly bailed out of his plane for a YouTube stunt, it's probably a dead-nuts certainty that these two guys have seen the last of their flying days.

The Finns Get Ready

When the Finnish Reservists’ Assn. recently announced wartime defense courses for civilian women in the southern town of Haemeenlinna, the 400 slots filled almost immediately, with a waiting list of 500 more.

Topics will include shooting, cybersecurity and how to manage the first several days of an invasion from abroad.

The women aren't just learning to shoot rifles. Antitank weapons are on the agenda.

When the Finns say "an invasion from abroad, everyone knows they aren't talking about the Swedes. The article points out that while the Finns have always considered the Russians to be a potential enemy, that fact was not spoken in public. Now it is.

Finland joining NATO is not a slam-dunk. All of the NATO members have to approve, and there is at least one country in NATO that is run by a lover of All Things Putin.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Marie Le Putin Lost

French President Emmanuel Macron comfortably won reelection to a second term Sunday, triggering waves of relief among allies that the nuclear-armed European Union nation won’t abruptly shift course from EU and NATO efforts to punish and contain Russia’s expansionist military attacks on Ukraine.

The BBC is projecting a 58-42 result.

A Bit of a Read on the Russian-Ukrainian War

Operation Z, The Death Throes of an Imperial Delusion, which came from here.

The first few pages reveal the depth of Russian arrogance and stupidity:

The VDV – Russia’s airborne forces – spearheaded the invasion. ...The VDV assault units received the plan three days before the invasion and started excitedly talking in anticipation of their daring operation. VDV commanders started discussing their primary objective at Hostomel in clear. When they landed, therefore, they were met with Ukrainian artillery and a coordinated counterattack, quickly being driven from the airport. (Emphasis added)

How operationally stupid does one have to be to discuss, in the clear, an impending operation against an adversary that is roughly equivalent in technology and weaponry? That's the mindset of an army that is used to fighting in colonial wars.[1} Russian soldiers weren't told that they were going to war, they thought that they were participating in an excersize, so when they came under hostile fire and began taking casualties, they fell apart.
______________

[1] Think of the British using telegraph lines that ran through Zulu territory.

New Heater Update - VI

(Last post)

I sent the gun back for repair a few weeks ago. Last week, I emailed S&W's CS to ask when I might see it. They said that the repair turnaround time was six to eight weeks or so. I pointed out that between the first gun and this one, that made four trips back for servicing and could they please do it on a priority basis. They agreed, so we shall see.

I may not be thrilled with the quality of their manufacturing, but their customer servise people are solid. It's worth noting that I personally know a guy who went through over 20,000 rounds on his 66-8, half of them were magnums and most of the rest were .38 handloads charged to meet major power factor, before the gun needed any work. So YMMV.

Speaking of S&W revolvers, some guy had a 686 reworked to look like a Python. It's exquisite work, but I'd probably faint if I knew the cost.

Rascism or Ruscism

It's a new word in Ukrainian that means "Russian fascism".

The author of the article prrefers "ruscism" to make it clearer that the word is a mashup of "russian" and "fascism". That's probably a better way to do it, as "rascism" is too close to "racism", even though the Russians are using Nazi-grade racist reasoning to justify their aggression.

One Ukrainian joke seems to get at Russian military readiness:

The Russians are using the letter "Z" to mark their vehicles because the other half of the swasika was stolen from the warehouse.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Ukrainians hit a Russian command center in the Kherson region, killing two or three generals and an unknown number of staff officers. That may or not be accurate. But it does seem that the Ukrainians are attacking military targets, while the Russians take great pleasure in attacking civilian targets: Apartment blocks, hospitals, and so on.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

The good old T-33:

Saturday, April 23, 2022

If Once is Happenstance, Twice is Coincidence, Is Six a Purge?

Six Russian oligarchs have died by their own hand since the beginning of the year.

Allegedly.

Russian Plant Fire


So, what, you might ask. It turns out that this is a very big deal for Russian manufacturing.


So, if I'm reading this correctly, a bunch of Russian manufacturing plants are going to be faced with the choice of using either substandard petrochemical manufacturing stock or shutting down. Whether that includes the arms plants making new shells for Russian artillery is unknown, at least by me.

Caturday

Friday, April 22, 2022

Right-Wing Idiot in California goes Nationwide

One guy has been charged in two different states with making terroristic threats;

A California man is charged and accused of making a death threat toward the president of a Wisconsin school board.

According to online court records, 33-year-old Jeremy Hanson was charged with terrorist threats, which is a felony.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the charges, Hanson sent an anonymous email to Tim Nordin, the ECASD Board of Education president, from a Gmail account named “Kill All Marxist Teachers” at 11:58 a.m. on March 21, 2022.

According to WEAU, the email said, “I am going to kill you and shoot up your next school-board meeting for promoting the radical transgender agenda. It’s now time to declare war on you pedos. I am going to kill you and your entire family.”

He didn't stop there.

A California man was arrested on Tuesday, April 20, 2022 and charged in federal court in Springfield, Mass. in connection with making threats against Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Jeremy David Hanson, 34, of Rossmoor, Calif., was charged by criminal complaint with one count of interstate communication of threats to commit violence.

Basically, some thirty-something incel was in his mother's basement, using the family PS4 to send out death threats. Care to bet that, once they dig into this clown's online history, that a lot more charges will follow?

A lot of those guys are all mouth (as some regulars here can attest). But sometimes they aren't, so that's when the The Hammer of Jedgar descends onto them.

Free Speech, But Only For Approved Topics

So because Disney's exercise of its right to speak offends DuhSantis, he'll fuck with their governmental situation.

It would seem to me that this is textbook content-based discrimination. I have little doubt that Disney's lawyers are already working on suing the fuck out of Florida as soon as the law is signed.

Beyond that, as Stephen Colbert said a few days ago, there are only three reasons to go to Florida: Visit Disney parks, spring break, and to die. Disney is the biggest employer in the state and, as the Spremes have said, they have the right to engage in free speech by funding PACs and anything else they feel like doing.

Florida has been running television ads that they are open for business. But only, it seems, for those businesses that won't defy DumbSantis and the Christian Taliban.

Which makes Florida differ from Russia or China how, exactly?

Update: Yes, it's legislation to punish a company for its speech. DumbSantis confirmed it.

The lawyers are going to be billing lots of hours.

Because It's Friday

Weird sounds from the blast pipe on this one:

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Two Views of the Moskva Sinking

One view: The Ukrainians exploited a known weakness in Moskva's combat systems suite.

Another view: The ship may have indeed caught fire and sank because massive curruption during overhaul and maintenance.\ without any help from the Ukrainians. This information may be from Russian sources, so it could be suspect.

The truth may be a melange of both views: The Ukrainians did hit the ship and that corruption in the Russian navy ensured that the ship was unprepared to defend itself and cobat the damage.

I once served under a commanding officer who insisted that the last line of defense against a missile was damage control. To say that he harped on being ready in all aspects of damage control would be an understatement.

The other question is whether Putin is using Russia's abysmal performance in the war to remove senior officers. The Russian way has been to arrest (and presumably shoot) senior officers pour encourager les autres. On the other hand, such a system almost guarantees paralysis, as all but the most minor decisions tend to be passed up the chair of command.

Smushing These Down, Here






Yoga Mats as a Tool of War

Moscow’s forces were thwarted, too, by pieces of foam mat — the Ukrainians call them karemats — costing as little as £1.50. The mats prevent Russian thermal imaging drones from detecting human heat. “We held the karemats over our head,” said Konoko, explaining how his men moved stealthily in tiny groups at night. In that way soldiers armed with anti-tank weapons supplied by the US, Britain and others could sneak up on the Russians, fire their deadly and accurate missiles and then slip away.

The article noted that the Russians destroyed a dam on the Irpin river. The resultant flooding hindered their ability to maneuver, leading to predictable results. The Russians also destroyed cell towers to keep Ukrainian civilians from telling their government where the Russians were, but the Russians forgot that without those cell towers, their new communications system wouldn't work. That forced them to use mostly unsecure radios.

Anyway, the Financial Times has made its coverage of the war free to read.

CDR Salamander has a story and links to more data on what countries are doing what to help Ukraine, both in amounts and in percentage of GDP. Estonia is really stepping up to the plate. The Germans, not so much.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Pooping These Down, Here

OK, I went a little nuts today.

And puked in the bathroom during coffee breaks.




What We Were Afraid of During the First Cold War

I served back then. I can well remember various threat briefings as to the capabilities of the Soviet Armed Forces. Possibly some of that was justified, as they had a huge land army then; several million men, over 200 divisions. Their equipment was most likely newer back in the day; much of the equipment the Russians are using now date back to Soviet days.

That may color Russian performance. Their materiel is old and, evidently, poorly maintained. By their performance on the battlefield and by their interactions with their so-called Slavic kindred, Russian soldiers seem to be performing more as a poorly-trained rabble than a professionally trained and led army. The Russians seem to be compensating for those failings by firepower alone and a concern for civilian welfare that would not be out of place in the Waffen-SS.

I'm not sure that the lack of basic military competency on the part of the Russians can be overstated. True, they are the invaders and the Ukrainians are fighting for their homes. But, in spite of having air superiority, the Russians have been unable to prevail. If the old saw is true that "amateurs discuss tactics, professionals discuss logistics", the Russian army would seem to be neither professional nor amateur.

In a professional army, the NCOs are the people who make things work. They make sure that their troops toe the line on maintenance of weapons and vehicles. An army with professional, career NCOs would not have trucks and armored cars that are leaking oil from their hubs. They would not have tires that suffer from sun rot. They would not need to comandeer civilian vehicles. They don't loot civilian homes or engage in widespread rape of civilian women. The evidence is that the Russian army is a horde, not a professional military.

The sinking of the Moskva is a special topic of its own. The Ukrainian Neptune is, in size, similar to a Harpoon or Exocet. For targets larger than a corvette, those weapons are not designed to achieve seaworthiness kills. They are designed to get a mission kill; to do enough damage to the combat systems to knock the target out of the fight. Hitting the superstructure of a ship targets the combat information center, the radar waveguides, cable runs and the things needed to effectively fight with a modern warship.

For the Moskva, a cruiser of over 10,000 tons, to sink from such a hit may imply several things. It may imply that there was a lot of compbustible/explosive stuff to damage that was stored above the hull. The only US Navy ships that did that were destroyers and frigates with ASROC box launchers. Where the launchers were reloadable, the magazine was (on non- guided-missile ships), on the same level as the launcher. That was because ASROC had its roots as a kludged-up system that was added to modified WW2 destroyers (the deck ring for the launcher came from 3"/50 gun mounts).

Soviet warships, on the other hand, seem to have been designed to store copious amounts of weapons and missiles above their main decks. That may have been a conscious decision because, in a general war with NATO, Soviet ships were likely considered to be expended after they fired off their main battery of very large cruise missiles.

That mindset of "shoot and die bravely" may also be behind a lack of attention to damage control equipment, training and readiness. There is nothing glorious or dramatic about damage control. It takes a lot of effort and training to do it right. A small example: It takes time and effort to keep the gaskets on watertight doors and hatches in good repair. It is an easy thing to not do. But if a crew doesn't do it, those watertight closures are neither watertight nor smoketight.

The Moskva was a pretty ship. I'd bet a potato against a case of vodka that everything on the ship was ready for a presidential visit: Paint fresh, brightwork shined, furniture polished and so on, but that damage-control readiness was nonexistent and that shipboard firefighting training hadn't been done in years. I'd be willing to wager that, if the Russian navy used brass firefighting nozzles, that those not right out on the hoses, where they can be seen, were long ago pilfered and sold for scrap.

Two months ago, I was concerned that we might end up fighting a near-peer adversary in the Russians. We still might end up in a war with the Russians, but calling them "near-peer" is polishing up a turd. The Russians would seem to have the Mother of Glass Jaws. Which, unfortunately, raises the risk of a nuclear war.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Mediocrity in Superpowers

Well, I'm not going to paste stuff. Go look.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Fun With AI

There is an AI engine that you can ask questions. Even if they are nonsensical, it'll give you an answer.

For example, this Inquiry:

Tell me about the Dutch chemist Sophia Einstein:

Resulted in this answer:

Sophia Einstein was a Dutch chemist who made significant contributions to the field of organic chemistry. She is best known for her work on the synthesis of quinine, which is used to treat malaria. She also developed a method for the synthesis of adrenaline, which is used to treat cardiac arrest and other medical emergencies. In addition to her work in chemistry, Sophia Einstein also made important contributions to the fields of physics and mathematics.

I changed her country to Nigeria:

Sophia Einstein is a Nigerian chemist who specializes in environmental science. She is a member of the Nigerian Academy of Science and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She has served as the Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Lagos and as the President of the Nigerian Environmental Society.

The cautionary phrase "garbage in, garbage out" is still operative.

Your Sunday Morning Prop Noise

Well, sort of. But there isn't much footage of the XB-19 around.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

High Casualties

The Russians have now had eight generals killed in action.

By comparison, the US had seven flag officers killed in action during the Vietnam War (not counting accidents and heart attacks).

No First Stage to Orbit



The idea is to fling a small rocket out of it at hypersonic speeds, which will require the thing to spin up to 10,000rpm. So just a teeny error in releasing the launch vehicle could be a bit of a problem. Setting up the launch centrifuge at as high an elevation as possible (not at a coastal site, as shown in the video) and as close to the equator as possible would seem to be a good thing. But there are all sort of geopolitical issues in that, too. And the sonic boom of a hypersonic craft at ground level might be epic.

It's an intriguing concept.

Caturday





Friday, April 15, 2022

Because It's Friday

A 9-hp Case steam traction engine:



It speaks to the inefficiency of those machines that such a monster generated 9 horsepower. But in the 1880s, there wasn't another option.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Moskva Has Sunk

Russian Navy’s Black Sea flagship RTS Moskva (121) has sunk while being towed toward Sevastopol, Crimea, after sustaining major damage in a fire Wednesday, Russian state media said on Thursday.

“During the towing of the Moskva cruiser to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to damage to the hull received during the fire from the detonation of ammunition. In the conditions of stormy seas, the ship sank,” the Russian ministry of defense told the TASS newswire
.

I suppose it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the ship caught fire due to human stupidity. The simplest explanation is that the Ukranians are correct when they claim to have struck the Moskva with two missiles. Supposedly, the Moskva has three layers of of air defense systems which, if working, could have shot down the missiles. One has to wonder if the Russian navy is any better at performing preventative maintenance than is their army.

Pointing to the cause being damage from missile hits is this line from the above-quoted story:

Other Russian Black Sea ships have moved south in light of the damage to Moskva, the [American] defense official said.

There is little reason to move one's ships out of range of shore-fired missiles if the cause of the sinking was an accident. So I'll chalk this up for the Ukrainians.

And, chances are that a senior Russian navy officer is going to suffer an onset of heart trouble.

Blasting These Down, Here


Poster from the Kyiv train station:




Russia is Open About Their Goals: They Are Planning a New Holocaust

One guideline that I have been following about this war: When the Russians say how the war is going, don't believe them without multiple sources of independent confirmation. When the Russians say what they intend to do to Ukraine, believe them.

What they are saying is that Russia plans to perform genocide. The Russians are openly talking about mass killings, Stalinist terror and concentration camps.

After a month of fighting, the architects of Moscow’s war against Ukraine had to explain to Russians why Kyiv had not fallen. That’s when the most menacing rhetoric began.

On state television, a military analyst doubled down on Russia’s need to win and called for concentration camps for Ukrainians opposed to the invasion.
...
Russia’s astonishing shift toward genocidal speech has been swift and seamless. Moscow officials stepped up warnings that Russia was fighting for its survival. Pundits condemned peace talks and scorned troops’ withdrawal from Kyiv and surrounding areas.
...
Eugene Finkel, an expert on genocide at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna, Italy, said the rhetoric isn’t just “a few crazy hard-liners” spouting off. It’s coming from prominent government officials, showing up in the press, being heard on state television — and is “clearly genocidal.”

“They’re talking about destroying Ukrainians as a group, Ukraine as a state and as an identity community,” Finkel said. “The argument is we are going to destroy this national community as it exists and create something new that we like instead, no matter how many people we kill in the process.”

The Russians are saying that they will continue to shell and destroy residential areas as a form of collective punishment for resisting and for being Ukrainian. They are blaming civilian casualties on Ukrainians' resistance to Russian invaders.

Do you know who else engaged in similar rationalizations for slaughtering civilians? The Nazis.

It seems the reason the Dutch gave up yesterday was that the Germans bombed the hell out of Rotterdam, and threatened to do the same to Utrecht and Amsterdam. Hitler’s technique of helping his armies by threatening terror or meting it out is as masterful as it is diabolical.

His High Command, for instance, tonight threatened to bomb Brussels unless all troop movements, which the Germans claim their reconnaissance planes have observed there, cease immediately. “If the Belgian government,” says the communiqué, “wishes to save Brussels from the horrors of war, it must immediately put a stop to troop movements in the city and the work on fortifications.”

A nice war.

--William Shirer, Berlin Diary, entry for May 15, 1940

If you are supporting the Russians, if you are buying Putin's propaganda, then you are supporting the Nazis in this war. That includes Marie Le Putin and a minority of Ameicans, including TuckyoRose.

Stuff From Twitter About the War, While It's Still More or Less Useable


Sergei Shoigu is Russia's defense minister. There is unconfirmed reporting that he has suffered a "massive heart attack". Whether or not it was brought on by a sudden case of bullet wounds is unknown.

Yep.


This is what is going on:

Six months after leaving the White House, Jared Kushner secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince, a close ally during the Trump administration, despite objections from the fund’s advisers about the merits of the deal.

A panel that screens investments for the main Saudi sovereign wealth fund cited concerns about the proposed deal with Mr. Kushner’s newly formed private equity firm, Affinity Partners, previously undisclosed documents show.

Those objections included: “the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management”; the possibility that the kingdom would be responsible for “the bulk of the investment and risk”; due diligence on the fledgling firm’s operations that found them “unsatisfactory in all aspects”; a proposed asset management fee that “seems excessive”; and “public relations risks” from Mr. Kushner’s prior role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, former President Donald J. Trump, according to minutes of the panel’s meeting last June 30.

But days later the full board of the $620 billion Public Investment Fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and a beneficiary of Mr. Kushner’s support when he worked as a White House adviser — overruled the panel
.

Slenderman Jared had Mr. Bone Saw's back, doing what he could to ensure that no action was taken after MBS's hit team whacked and dismembered Jamal Kashoggi. $2 billion seems like a hell of a payback/bribe, but nobody in the country's government is going to oppose what he wants to do.

This smells as though the Saudis are betting that the TOFF is going run again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

“You Sank My Battleship”

The Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, has blown up.

The Russians said there was a fire and the crew abandoned ship The Ukrainians are saying that they hit it with Neptune ASCMs.

More to come.

Mara, the Ukrainian Goddess of Death, Awakens, Speaks, and Promises Death to the Russians

Pretty fucking dark:

No Question About It: Marie Le Putin Will Do Her Master’s Bidding

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen warned Wednesday against sending any more weapons to Ukraine, and called for a rapprochement between NATO and Russia once Moscow’s war in Ukraine winds down.

Le Pen, an outspoken nationalist who has long ties to Russia, also confirmed that if she unseats President Emmanuel Macron in France’s April 24 presidential runoff, she will pull France out of NATO’s military command and dial back French support for the whole European Union.

It's probably a decent bet that, if one were to follow the money funding Le Putin's campaign, some of it would be Russian. Saying that France would supply intelligence but no weapons to Ukraine is essentially saying "yer on yer own" against the most brutal military in the world, other than maybe the Burmese or the Chinese.

Make no mistake: A vote for Le Pen is a vote for Putin. A vote for Le Pen is a vote for Putin's invasion.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Marie Le Putin Makes It to the Runoffs

As much as she can, she still has the Butcher of Mariupol's back.

She always has been one of his reliable lackeys. Sort of like the TOFF (treasonous old fat fuck).

Farting These Down, Here





Monday, April 11, 2022

Nation of War Criminals Issues the Ultimate Threat

We'll sue you guys!
Probably beats slaughtering civilians.

K-Mart, Murdered by the Vulture Capitalists

Those are the guys who take over struggling companies and, instead of revitalizing them, pump two rounds into the company's head and sell off the parts.

Or they sell off the parts and then kill the company. All so they can make a fast buck and fuck the employees and the places where the stores were.

The most recent casualty is K-Mart.

Don't worry, Wal-Mart. Some day, they will come for you, too.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

State Terrorism

A missile hit a train station in eastern Ukraine where thousands had gathered Friday, killing at least 52 and wounding dozens more in an attack on a crowd of mostly women and children trying to flee a new, looming Russian offensive, Ukrainian authorities said.

The idea that the Russians didn't know that they were attacking is simply not credible. Russia is like an abusive husband or father: When he beats or kills someone, it's the fault of the victim for not submitting.

This is how the Nazis justified slaughtering civilians--it was the fault of thise being invaded for resisting the invading armies. Everything was right and proper if the Germans were doing it and immoral if it was done to them.

I have been reading Berlin Diary by William Shirer. The parallels between the Nazi regime and the Putin regime are striking, including the propaganda used to justify their wars. It's pretty ckear who are pkaying the roles of the Nazis this time around.

If you do business with Russia, you would have done business with Nazi Germany. We all know who you are.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

A RAF P-8 shoots a touch-and-go:

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Caturday

GOP’s Playbook of Hatred and Bigotry

Alabama's Republican governor on Friday signed into law a bill passed by the legislature just a day earlier that would criminalize gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth.

The measure makes it a felony punishable with up to 10 years in prison to provide medical care including hormone treatment, puberty blockers and surgery to help align physical characteristics to the gender identity of a minor.

Promoting hatred and bigotry in advance of an election is what Republicans and the Christian Taliban do. This time around, it's trans kids. In the 2004 elections, to whip up the support of Christian mouthbreathers, the red states now trying to outlaw trans kids were running referenum questions to amend their constitutions to prohibit gay marriage. Different year, same shit.

Gentle Reader, this is what Republicans, especially Southerners, do. It was no different when the Southerners were Democrats, before they and Nixon transformed the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Bigotry. Running on hatred, bigotry, ________phobia and fear of those people must be baked into their corrupted, blasted, evil souls.

It is no accident that it took 120 years to get an anti-lynching law enacted. It was not so long ago that those same God-fearing people, now so energized about trans kids, were proclaiming that anti-lynching laws would be an affront to Southern culture.

The playbook of hate is an old one and the same people are still using it.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Josh Hawley is a Worthless Piece of Shit

I can't embed this Tweet that dismantles Josh Hawley for being the stunningly hypocritical piece of shit that he is, so you'll have to go to it yourselves.

Because It's Friday

PRR K4 #1361:



She has been out of service sine 1988, but there have been persistent plans to restore her to running condition.

Thursday, April 7, 2022