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

"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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Cadet Bone Spurs's Special Counsel Loses

A lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was acquitted Tuesday of lying to the FBI when he pushed information meant to cast suspicions on Donald Trump and Russia in the run-up to that year’s election.

The case against Michael Sussmann was the first courtroom test of special counsel John Durham since his appointment three years ago to search for misconduct during the investigation into potential ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

And the Right is, predictably, losing its collective shit.


Meanwhile, the allegedly cowardly cops of Uvlade have stopped cooperating with the staties:

Oiling These Down, Here





I Don't See How This Ends Well for Her.


Some people are a little mind-boggling in their cluelessness. Knowingly breaching a presidential security perimeter and then tweeting about it? And then not understanding that just because the cops want to talk to you, that doesn't mean that at the end of the interview, you won't be escorted out the back door whilst wearing a set of locking bracelets? Does she have any idea how many smart people have talked themselves right into custody, if not prison?



Reminder: If the cops read you your rights, those are "helpful hints" or, if you're younger "life hacks". Shut the fuck up and exercise your right to counsel. And, if they ask you to come down for an interview, again, shut the fuck up and exercise your right to counsel. Or, better yet, decline the invitation altogether.

John Wayne's Heater



It sold at auction for $517K.

I get that John Wayne was a big star, back in the day. But crimus, his last movie was 45 years ago. It's sort of like who the hell would pay a lot of money for Tom Mix's personal gun.

There is hardly anyone who saw a first-run John Wayne movie who is not eligible for an AARP membership. So I don't see this gun holding its value.

Monday, May 30, 2022

The Mass-Shooting That Wasn't

A woman in West Virginia fatally shot a man who began firing an AR-15-style rifle into a crowd of people that had gathered for a party, authorities said.

[Asswipe], 37, was killed Wednesday night after he pulled out the rifle and began shooting at dozens of people attending the birthday-graduation party outside an apartment complex in the city of Charleston, police said in a statement.

The woman, who was attending the party, drew a pistol and fired, killing [Asswipe], the statement said. No one at the party was injured.

She's braver than the entire police force of Uvalde, TX.

As to what can be done, I have a few ideas.
  • Raise the minimum age for buying semiautomatic centerfire rifles and shotguns that are capable of firing from detached magazines to 25.
  • Raise the minimum age for buying semiautomatic anything to 21.
  • Limit the capacity of detachable magazines to 15 rounds.  Those larger, up to thirty rounds, would be grandfathered.
  • Ban rifle-caliber magazines over thirty rounds, and all pistol-caliber magazines over thirty rounds that are less than 35 years old.  This is a flat-out ban.  Magazines in private hands would be bought back in two rounds.  The first round would be bought back at 150% of fair market value.  Second buyback would be at 100%.  After the time period expires for the second buyback, then ownership would be a felony.  There would be no exemption for civilian police.  (We can't have it, they can't have it.)
  • Vastly increase the amount of funding for mental health services, including, but not limited to, more in-patient beds (and more facilities), on-call mental health professionals to assist police, have mental-health response teams for use when someone is having a crisis.
  • Along those lines, if someone is having a mental breakdown and the cops respond with doses of bullets, start prosecuting those guys.  No paramedic would be permitted to administer ketamine without a physician on-scene.
  • Since a lot of this stuff is going to cost, well, start upping the taxes on those who can pay.  No reason why those hedge-fund weasels can't start paying their fair share.
Some explanations: Fifteen rounds is because that is both the standard magazine capability for a Glock 19 and because ten-round magazines for M-1 carbines have been known to suck. The exemption for large magazines in pistol calibers over a certain age are for the Thompson submachine guns. Legal full-automatic guns have not been a problem. As for the cops, they are civilian police. The same rules should apply to them, other than the age limits.

Taxes are going to have to go up to pay for this, unless Mikey No-Bug-Gulp wants to foot the bill.

Some years ago, someone I knew was having a psychiatric episode. That individual spent the entire night in the ER until a psychatric bed was available, and that bed was a four-hour ambulance ride away. Besides the length of the transport,it made it really hard for family support to take place. That is fucking unsat. As a country, we have gutted mental health facilities and, in effect, turned the prisons into makeshift psych wards. That is also unsat.

As a nation, we have no problem with coming up with money for killing people and for imprisoning them. That we can't see our way clear to doing what we can to help people speaks volumes about our worth as a people.

Those are some thoughts. People seeking to comment are advised to follow the house rules (right-hand column in web view). Full moderation of comments is in effect; if you engage in assholery, your comment will be deleted without warning. If things get out of hand, commenting will be disabled.

Memorial Day

By my reckoning, this is the third time since I began this blog that the Memorial Day holiday has fallen on the day it was originally intended to occur, before it was co-opted by the greedy fucks in the retail and tourism industries. So my usual rant is on hold until next year, Lord willing.

We ought to dispense with the phrase "they gave their lives". Few willingly set forth to die in combat. The intention, then and now, has been to serve one's country and, at least for now, to defend freedom.



Unfortunately, war goes on. National leaders continue to believe that they can achieve policy goals by conquering other nations and subjugating them.[1] There are those who believe that the answer to aggression is not fighting back. I am not aware of a single time when an invasion of one country by another was defeated by pacific resistance.

As long as politicians think that war is the answer to a diplomatic problem, then we will continue to send young people into combat, continue to add graves to military cemeteries and continue to have more honored dead to remember on Memorial Day.
_______________________________

[1] George W. Bush and Vladimir V. Putin come quickly to mind.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Caturday

Easy cat combing:

Friday, May 27, 2022

Dear Texas DPS, It's Called Gunfighting. Look It Up.

I am reasonably sure that Texas has a police museum. The men so honored there are probably spinning in their graves.

This is what the Cult of Officer Safety has brought: Cops who won't do their jobs when the job gets real. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine the old-school cops who had spit-shined shoes, hickory nightsticks and Colt or S&W revolvers cowering in fear like those guys.

So let's take those high-capacity semiautomatic pistols away from those guys and issue them S&W 686s or Ruger GP100s. Hell, since guns for those cops are nothing more than badges of office, they might as well be given Airsoft guns.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

So, When the Cops are Really Needed, They Hang Back and Wait for Backup for a Fucking Hour?

It seems to be beyond dispute that the cops in Uvalde, Texas just hung around for an hour with an active shooter inside of a school and waited for the Border Patrol to send in a SWAT team.

Just like Parkland four years ago.

For years, I've been reading stuff that the police had learned that the thing to do in an active shooter situation was to head for the sounds of the gun, find the shooter and engage him. They were to follow the old Coast Guard livesaving motto: "You have to go out, but you don't have to come back." But in Uvalde, like in Parkland, like in Columbine, the cops hung back and waited. They "established a perimeter".

Big fucking deal.

Is it too much to expect the cops to at least be as brave as a ten-year-old, who was shot while attempting to call for help, for help that would arrive in its own sweet time?

The Brits during the Great War had a term for it: Lack of Moral Fibre. It may be harsh to expect cops to go take on an active shooter, but that's part of the damned job. It's not all just hassling kids and poor people with badly-maintained vehicles, or running speedtraps. There are situations where a heavily-armed critter is inside a building, killing people, and the choice is to either risk one's life and go try to stop the critter or just let him keep on killing people.

I know that's a hard thing. But these days, it's part of the job. And if they don't care for it, they can turn in their badges and go to work for Door Dash.

On another note, after this week, any school administrator who doesn't insist that school access doors be locked should be assigned to overseeing a transfer station.

Wishing on a Star, Explained

"When you wish upon a star, your dreams will come true."

According to Albert Einstein, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. That would presumably include wishes, as well as the granting thereof.

Unless you live south of Tampa, the closest star that you can see without optics is Sirius, which is 8.6 light-years away. If you wish on Sirius today, expect your wish to come true in the second week of August, 2039. And that assumes that your wish is instantly processed upon arrival at Wish-Granting, Ltd. at Sirius.

South of Tampa. be sure to wish on the Alpha Centauri star system (two bright stars and one dim star). They're half the distance, so your wish should come true in December, 2030.

Be careful not to wish on Arcturus, unless you're very young, as your wish won't come true until August, 2094. And down south, if you wish on Canopus instead of Alpha Centauri, your wish will come true in 2822 (plus or minus 20 years, as if that'll matter very much).

So, the next time you run across Jiminy Cricket, you might consider stomping on him.

Because he's not helping.

More Bullshit From Boeing

In response to the two deadly 737 MAX crashes, Boeing’s Chief Aerospace Safety Officer Mike Delaney on Monday outlined how — beyond specific changes to its design practices and its manufacturing operations — the company’s leadership aims to rebuild and improve its entire safety culture.

The article is pretty much a puff-piece -- "Lookit us,we're going grrrreat! Safety!!!"

It's all eyewash. Did Boeing fire all of the managers who ever involved in silencing the engineers who pointed out problems with the 787 and 737-MAX? If they haven't (and I'd bet they haven't), then this means nothing. The managers and executives, who have been instrumental in making the company one where the focus is not on making good products, are still there.

If they were serious about this shit, they'd move the company's headquarters back to Seattle, to signify that their main concern is quality, not sucking up to their largest customer.

Way back in the day, the naval engineering firm of Gibbs & Cox was pitching a design for a new class of warships to the Navy. One of the people pitching the design was William Gibbs, one of the founders. A young naval officer was asking about what measures the company was making to insure quality. Mr. Gibbs looked at the engineer and said: "Young man, I am quality."

That is an attitude that cannot be found at Boeing.

Creasing These Down, Here

We'll begin with a little blasphemy:





Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Spare Me the Hyperbolic Bullshit


Emotions are rather raw right now. We've had a spate of mass shootings. But it would be nice if people engaged their brains before engaging their keyboards.

The Census Bureau estimates that there are about 53 million K-12 students in this country as of 2018. The number of cops in this country is estimated at over 800,000.

Do the arithmetic with me, if you like. 800,000/20 = 40,000, so one cop in 40,000 has been shot dead so far this year.

53,000,000/33 = 1,606,060, so that is one kid in 1.6 million has been shot dead so far this year.

That's not great, but it's in line with the odds of being struck by lightning.

I'm not sure what arguments people want to make about this or anything else. But when one resorts to using numbers to justify conclusions that are somewhere between rediculous and flat-out wrong, all it does is hurt your argument. And it makes you look like a moron.

Sad to See an Old War Criminal Suffering From Dain Bramage (Not Really)

Henry Kissinger said that Ukraine must concede territory to Russia to end the war, and warned the West that a humiliating defeat for Russia could result in wider destabilisation.

The legendary statesman, now 98, made the comments in a conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Monday, reported The Daily Telegraph.
...
"Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante," Kissinger said
.

I think Kissinger is smoking crack if he truly believes that.

First off, going back to the front line as it existed before the Russian invasion of 2022 is, no matter how you slice it, a Russian defeat. That cannot be sold by Putler to the Russian people as a win. "My Glorious Countrymen, we invaded to conquer and "de-nazify" Ukraine, but after laying waste to some of their cities and much of their infrastructure, taking tens of thousands of casualties and losing maybe half of our armored forces and one of our largest warships, we've gone back to the jumping-off point because we've taught them not to fuck with Mother Russia."

Right.

Second, even if that were possible, the Russians would insist on a demilitarized Ukraine, so as to make their next invasion easier. The Ukrainians would never agree to that. Conversely, the Ukrainians would more likely adopt a Swiss-style system, with every possible resident trained and with their mustering kit, including weapons and sealed tins of ammunition, kept to hand. AGTMs and MANPADs would also be widely distributed.

Third, as I understand things, nobody can join the EU if there is a border dispute. Ceding territory to Russia resolves that and, other than the Parisian Surrender Monkey and Putler's Hungarian Poodle, there will be a lot of interest in immediately integrating Ukraine into the EU. Having several prospering EU members next door is not what Putler wants.

Fourth, one of the causes of this war is the fact that Putler doesn't believe that Ukraine has a right to exist. Losing this war won't change that belief for him. Worse, he will tell his people, over and over, that Russia would have easily won but for the meddling of the glabalists, the West, and, yes, the Jews.

Fifth, if Ukraine indeed had a weak national identity, that problem was resolved on February 24th. I'm not sure what the Ukrainian word for "quisling" is, but it will apply to all of those criminals who are helping the Russians. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Ukrainians will attempt to make things "interesting" for the collaborators.

We've been down this road before, in Europe. It didn't end well then and it won't end well, now. There is only one solution that I see that will not result in another war once the Russians rebuild their army, and that is a solution that only the Russians can implement.

Spritzing These Down, Here





When Are We Finally Going to Grasp that Organized Religion is Essentially a Force for Evil?

I am not talking about your individual faith. You can worship whatever iteration of Your Dear and Fluffy Lord suits you.

What I am talking about is organized religion. Like almost any entity, they grow/metastasize to the point where they are not concerned about the well-being of their congregants or the protection of those most vulnerable. They become concerned with maintaining their own wealth, their power, their status. Even if that not only involves closing their collective eyes to the evil that is committed by their own staff, but actively doing their best to cover it up.

This time around, it's the Southern Baptists:

Armed with a secret list of more than 700 abusive pastors, Southern Baptist leaders chose to protect the denomination from lawsuits rather than protect the people in their churches from further abuse.

Survivors, advocates, and some Southern Baptists themselves spent more than 15 years calling for ways to keep sexual predators from moving quietly from one flock to another. The men who controlled the Executive Committee (EC)—which runs day-to-day operations of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—knew the scope of the problem. But, working closely with their lawyers, they maligned the people who wanted to do something about abuse and repeatedly rejected pleas for help and reform.

“Behind the curtain, the lawyers were advising to say nothing and do nothing, even when the callers were identifying predators still in SBC pulpits,” according to a massive third-party investigative report released Sunday.

The investigation centers responsibility on members of the EC staff and their attorneys and says the hundreds of elected EC trustees were largely kept in the dark. EC general counsel Augie Boto and longtime attorney Jim Guenther advised the past three EC presidents—Ronnie Floyd, Frank Page, and Morris Chapman—that taking action on abuse would pose a risk to SBC liability and polity, leading the presidents to challenge proposed abuse reforms.

As renewed calls for action emerged with the #ChurchToo and #SBCToo movements, Boto referred to advocacy for abuse survivors as “a satanic scheme to completely distract us from evangelism.”

Don't give the SBC any credit for conducting the investigation. Their bad shit began coming to light because of investigative journalism, the same sort of difficult shoe-leather reportage that shook the Catholic Church.

It seems as though that this particular investigation was forced upon the leadership from below, by the members of the SBC. I am not terribly certain of that, but it may explain why this particular report wasn't buried. Or it could be that the EC was just so confident that the investigators would find nothing substantial.

What seems to be clear is that the leadership was happily using both Trumpism and pro-lifeism as tools to whip up the faithful, to keep them from looking behind the curtain. At the end of the day, the leadership cared about protecting their own rice bowls and little about taking care of their congregants or helping people in deed. It was all about self-protection, and if that meant dubbing those who dared to speak out about sexual abuse as agents of Satan, then so be it.[1]


In some manner, this does fit the pattern of large nonprofits. There are certainly others that seem to like snacking on the donations. Protection of privilege and power is Job One. Service to the adherants/members/people...ah, fuck them guys. _____________________________

[1] I personally regard the SBC as a church of bigotry and racism. I have not forgotten their origins as a pro-slavery denomination, continuing for well over a century as a denomination that has been pro-Jim Crow, pro-segregation. To this day, a central part of their message seems to be pushing culture wars and a hatred of those deemed to be "the other".

Monday, May 23, 2022

This is One Man Who Had Better Hire a Food-Taster

A veteran Russian diplomat to the U.N. Office at Geneva says he handed in his resignation before sending out a scathing letter to foreign colleagues inveighing against the “aggressive war unleashed” by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

Boris Bondarev, 41, confirmed his resignation in a letter delivered Monday morning after a diplomatic official passed on his English-language statement to The Associated Press.

“For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on Feb. 24 of this year,” he wrote, alluding to the date of Russia’s invasion.
...
“The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous and free society in our country,” Bondarev wrote, referring to the widespread use of the letter “Z” as a symbol of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Prominent Russians who embarrass Comrade Putler and who live abroad tend to end up being poisoned with either nerve gas or radioactive substances. That's probably a step up from being hit with an ice axe, but some things never change in the Kremlin.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Your Sunday Morning Rotor Noise

Kaman K-MAX:



Yesterday, I was watching Loudermilk on FreeTV (formerly IMDb TV). I heard something that sounded like it could have been a heavily-loaded diesel locomotive or even a steam engine on a nearby rail line. But then the sound diverged from where the tracks are. I called up an ADS-B tracking site and found out that it was a Kaman K-MAX.

The trees are all leafed out and I couldn't see it, but I sure would have liked to.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Some Expensive Old Heaters

A matched pair of engraved Remington Model 1858 revolvers, with ivory grips, that were given to Ulysses S. Grant were sold at auction.



The strikedown price was $4.4 million; throw in the 20% auctioneer's premium, that brings it to over $5 million.


A relative bargain was an engraved Colt 1851 Navy, supposedly once owned by Wild Bill Hickock, was knocked down for a paltry $525,000.

Caturday

The prison visit.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Guns Are the Symptom. Racism is the Disease

Let's dispense, right now, with any thought that this nation can do anything about assault-style weapons. There is not the political will for it on a national level. Even if it were tried, it'd never survive judicial review.[1]

Similarly, the complaining about the growth of the right to carry is pointless. Most of these asshats used rifles, not handguns. So let's dispense with that, as well. so, let's proceed to the main event of this post.

What the far-Right murderers are doing is trying to spark their "racial holy war." If you have a strong stomach (and, preferably, a VPN and a TOR/onion browser), try searching"rahowa". It will scare the shit out of anyone who is not eligible to be a card-carrying member of the Klan or a Bircher.

There is a market for racist hate in this country. There is a market for politicians who are trying to subvert the idea of a democratic nation. They want it so that only their people, mainly, white Christian men, can vote.[2] They have no problem with using terror to cow those who they ate.

You can't talk about the evils that generations of racism have perpetuated in this country, according to the GOP, for that makes white people feel bad.[3] But you can talk about how minorities are going to hurt white people.[4] You can scream about that until your face turns red.

The problem with this country is that hate is become mainstreamed. The TOFF used hate to prop up his base. His party has adopted naked racism as one of its platforms. Not for nothing was the radio show of a now-dead radio commenator known as "Radio Rwanda". His successor on cable TV has been loudly spouting racist "thories"[5]. The #3 Republican in the House of Representatives has glommed onto spouting that same racism. The Senate candidate in Ohio figured out that riding that demon is the key to winning his party's nomination. Others are doing the same.

White murderous racism largely gets a pass. When somebody acts on the lunacy being espoused by the pundits and politicians on the Right and gets to killing people, oh, how they express shock and dismay that the killers are saying the very same thing that they are. "They must be mentally ill," they proclaim.

As if. Those jerkoffs are spreading their racist poison far and wide and then they are just so surprised that their base acts on it? They're surprised about the Tiki-Torch March and the violence surrounding it, the Capitol Hill Insurrection, the massacres in Charleson, El Paso, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo?

The hell they are. You will not see a single one of them stop to think that maybe it would be better if they stopped serving their racist poison. No, they will keep on doing it. And some of their cretinous supporters will continue to take them at their word and they will do something to try and stop being replaced.

There will be more such shootings.

You can bet the farm on that.
_______________________________

[1] For instance, a law limiting white males under the age of thirty to only air rifles would not survive a court challenge. [2] Not all. [3] Critical race theory. [4] Replacement theory. [5] When he hasn't been shilling for Putler's War.

IVF Is Now Illegal in Oklahoma

Oklahoma legislators have passed a law banning abortion after conception, which critics say is the most restrictive such measure in the US.

The Republican-led bill would prohibit all abortions, except to save the life of the woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Some methods of IVF involve freezing fetilized eggs. Those methods clearly would be illegal in Oklahoma. One might argue that IVF in general, since the eggs is fertilized outside of the body, might be illegal. So if a woman wants to become pregnant in Oklahoma and has fertility issues, no baby for you.

But hey, that's what happens when the Cult of the Fetus doesn't bother to think about what it's doing. Or maybe they think that those women who now can't bear kids in Oklahoma, because of stte law, may line up to adopt the unwanted babies who will be born there.

They ought to set up a baby-drop-box in the statehouse.

Because It's Friday

SP 4449:



There's a little too much narration for my taste, but YMMV.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

No, You Really Can't


Last year, almost all of the politically-motivated murders were by Right-wingers:



The report is here.

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)