Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

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

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

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

"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.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Another Giant from the Sixties Has Gone

Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” television series, has died at the age of 89.

Her son Kyle Johnson said Nichols died Saturday in Silver City, New Mexico.

“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration,” Johnson wrote on her official Facebook page Sunday. “Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”

Nichelle Nichols's impact on culture in the 1960s can hardly be unsderstated. Dr. King understood her omportance, which is why he persuaded her to stay with the show when she wanted to drop out. A generation of Black girls came to believe that space could be theirs, too. A few did so.

A True Great Has Passed

Bill Russell, the NBA great who anchored a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships in 13 years — the last two as the first Black head coach in any major U.S. sport — and marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., died Sunday. He was 88.

He was a champion basketball player in an era when Black players weren't fully accepted. He was the first superstar, the true GOAT. Russell was known for being a team player, passing the ball to others who scored. His team won more championships than that steakhouse dude who some think is the GOAT.

Happy Birthday, Rorge

Your Sunday Morning Aluminum Noise

Oshkosh 2022:


That'll buff right out, you betcha!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Truth About Russia


The Warsaw Pact was an "agreement" between a master nation and subservient nations. As soon as the Soviet Union fell apart, so did the Warsaw Pact. Nobody since 1914 has voluntarily entered into a defense pact with Russia. In Russia's worldview, nations fall into two categories: Client states and potential enemies.
---------------------------------
StrategyPage has looked into the supply of Russian munitions and has concluded that the Russians are heading up Shit Creek without propulsive equipment:

Russia believed the Ukraine invasion would succeed quickly and be over within weeks. That was a major miscalculation because months of sustained combat have depleted Russian stockpiles of guided missiles and rockets as well as unguided artillery shells. That may seem odd but post-Soviet Russia could not afford to maintain manufacturing facilities capable of producing large quantities of ordinary artillery shells and unguided rockets. That was not going to be a problem if the Ukraine invasion was over quickly. It wasn’t and now the Russians have less artillery ammo to fire at the Ukrainians. This got worse when Ukraine finally began receiving American GMLRS (guided rockets) in late June. The Russians lost lots of shells when these GMLRS rockets hit Russian ammo storage sites within range. Forced to establish new ammo storage sites farther away from the front line, the Russian also discovered that they did not have enough additional trucks to transport the shells to artillery units near the fighting.

I am, by far, not an expert on the Russian way of war, but it does seem that, for a very long time, the Russians do best when their troops are supported by massive amounts of artillery fires. As it is now, there are reports that the Russians have been using senior commanders (colonels and up) to run company-grade actions. And it's hard to motivate soldiers to go into battle when the price of being wounded is to be killed by one's own officers.

The takeaway here is that the Ukrainians appear to have a real chance of winning this war. Which, in a way, is also terrifying, as who knows what Gospodin Putler will do in that eventuality. He knows full well that Russian history is not kind to losers.

Jon Stewart Talks About Cancun Cruz (and the Rest of His Caucus of Venal Assholes)

He points out that the bill has not changed since those fuckwads first voted for the bill in June:

At this point, any veteran who votes for any one of those 42 Republicans should then rip up their DD-214.

Additional Risk of Wildfires in Europe

Explosions:

The First World War ended 104 years ago, but thanks to wildfires burning the European continent, echoes of the Great War are being heard. And seen. And nearly killing firefighters because bombs left over from the conflict are blowing up.

A massive wildfire is currently raging in the Kras region in Slovenia’s southwest. The fires are having the unexpected effect of setting off multiple unexploded ordnances (or UXOs) left in the ground from World War I. ... “The problem is that because of the unexploded ordnance firefighting units cannot penetrate into the fire but can only act on its edges,” Slovenian Defense Minister Marjan Šarec told the Slovenian Press Agency
.

I don't know what Slovenian is for "I didn't sign up for this shit." (Which, so far as I know, was Melantonia's catchphrase from 2016-on.)

“Fat, Drunk and Stupid is No Way to Go Through Life, Son.”
(But You Can Still Get Into the Army)

It’s getting harder and harder to find people to enlist in the Army. With the service expected to miss its projected end strength for this fiscal year by about 10,000 people, the Army isn’t in a position to turn any potentially qualified applicants down. That is why it is considering establishing a prep school of sorts for people who don’t meet the minimum aptitude or body fat percentage requirements to enlist. A basic training course to get ready for basic training, if you will.

Sixty years ago, faced with similar issues (and a looming war), the Kennedy Administration began a presidential physical fitness program. Those who were in elementary school back then will remember this:



The John Birch Society probably proclaimed it to be a commie plot. Ted Cruz and the TOFF would take the same stance today. For nothing says "lack of physical fitness" like those two birds. (At least Josh Hawley can run.)

Economic Wonkology About Russia

This is a fairly lengthy paper that argues that, despite Russian propaganda and articles by their fellow-travelers in the West, that the Russian economy is cratering under the pressure of allied sanctions.

Russian imports have dropped drastically. Chinese companies are not stepping up to help Russia. China exports more than ten times as much to allied nations than they export to Russia. Those companies don't want to run the risk of being sanctioned, whether officially or unofficially.

The paper goes into a lot of detail and, as far as I can see, none of it is good news for the Russian economy.

Caturday

Double lap-warmer:

Friday, July 29, 2022

Don't Worry, Gun Control is Coming Soon

Across America, Black women are taking up arms in unprecedented numbers. Research shows that first-time gun buyers since 2019 have been more likely to be Black and more likely to be female than gun purchasers in previous years, a finding that aligns with surveys of gun sellers.

I can think of one recent editorial writer who basically conceded that one of the reasons behind making it more expensive to own a gun is to keep guns out of the hands of poor people:

As for the cost of meeting these firearm requirements making it more difficult for low-income individuals to obtain guns, that is probably true. However, my guess is that people living in low-income neighborhoods have many higher priorities — such as improving failing schools, access to quality affordable housing, improving health outcomes and lowering crime rates — than getting access to firearms.

That's pretty much the way it has been for a very long time. When gun control laws have been enacted in the 19th and 20th Centuries, the objective was to keep guns out of the hands of those people. When the Black Panthers began openly carrying long guns, conservatives tripped over themselves to pass laws to stop them from doing so. But when white, far-right folks did the same thing in the 2010s and into the current decade... crickets.

On another note, it seems that Jedgar Hoover was bereft of a sense of humor:

In December 1964, Buchwald turned his pen directly on Hoover, joking that then-President Lyndon Johnson couldn't fire the FBI director - because the lawman didn't actually exist.

"What happened was that in 1925 the Reader's Digest was printing an article on the newly formed Federal Bureau of Investigation and as they do with many pieces they signed it with a nom de plume," the column read. "They got the word Hoover from the vacuum cleaner - to give the idea of a clean-up. Edgar was the name of one of the publisher's nephews, and J. stood for jail."

Imagine the last administration with a director as fascist as Jedgar, coupled with a wannabee tyrant like Sir Scarfs-a-Lot.

Sure, It Was Just Routine Deletion (Again) and Yet, More

Text messages for President Donald Trump’s acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli are missing for a key period leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to four people briefed on the matter and internal emails.

This discovery of missing records for the senior-most Homeland Security officials, which has not been previously reported, increases the volume of potential evidence that has vanished regarding the time around the Capitol attack.

Yeah, sure. "Routine reset," they say. Tell me another one. Hell of a coincidence that both DHS and SS texts just happened to be deleted.

Meanwhile, in crime news:

An indictment was unsealed today in Tampa, Florida, charging a Russian national, working on behalf of the Russian government and in conjunction with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), with allegedly orchestrating a years-long foreign malign influence campaign that used various U.S. political groups to sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in elections within the United States.

As alleged in the indictment, from at least December 2014 until March 2022, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a resident of Moscow, together with at least three Russian officials, engaged in a years-long foreign malign influence campaign targeting the United States. Ionov is the founder and president of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), an organization headquartered in Moscow and funded by the Russian government. Ionov utilized AGMR to carry out Russia’s influence campaign.

“Ionov allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning U.S. political groups and U.S. citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The Department of Justice will not allow Russia to unlawfully sow division and spread misinformation inside the United States.”

According to the indictment, Ionov — working under the supervision of the FSB and with the Russian government’s support — recruited political groups within the United States, including U.S. Political Group 1 in Florida, U.S. Political Group 2 in Georgia, and U.S. Political Group 3 in California, and exercised direction or control over them on behalf of the FSB.

It's going to be interesting when it leaks out what these political groups were and whom the unindicted co-conspirators are.

Recommended Sentence: Lock This Guy in an Iron Box in the Nevada Desert During the Summer for a Few Hours

A man has been arrested after leaving a 3-month-old Husky puppy with its mouth taped shut locked inside a hot car while he gambled at a Las Vegas casino.

The incident occurred on July 20 when the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department received a call from security at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino at 3600 S. Las Vegas Boulevard at approximately 3 p.m. when they discovered a puppy locked inside a vehicle on the top floor of their parking garage with its mouth taped shut, police say.

The dog still is not fully recovered. The sadistic perp should also not fully recover.

Because It's Friday

A Garrett:

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Republicans to Veterans: Fuck All Y'all

The Promise to Address Comprehenisive Toxics Act had bipartisan support, an earlier vote passed the Senate, 86-12. But then a revote was necessary and 42 Republicans blocked the bill.

Trillions for waging war have been authorized by the Congress since this moronic war on terror was begun, but when it comes to helping those who are dealing with lasting injuries from the war, Republicans say: "Fuck those guys, nobody said that they had to enlist."

If it costs too much to care for the people that we send into harm's way, then we shouldn't be sending them. War results in costs that will be paid out for over a century. If we can't stomach that, then let's bring everyone home and discharge them.

Isn't He a Fucking Billionaire?

More than a year after the 2020 presidential election, the GOP is still covering numerous legal bills for the benefit of former President Donald Trump -- and the price tag is ruffling the feathers of some longtime GOP donors who are now critical of Trump.

In October and November [of 2021] alone, the Republican National Committee spent nearly $720,000 of its donor money on paying law firms representing Trump in various legal challenges, including criminal investigations into his businesses in New York, according to campaign finance records
.

Pretty cushy deal that they're paying Trump's legal fees for his allegedly fraudulent business practices.

But they're going to stop paying if he runs, which they hope to use as a level to get him to either delay his announcement or not run at all.

So he's a billionaire, so he says, and one of the richest guys in America, so he says, but he can't afford to pay for lawyers.

Interesting. Grifters gotta grift.

Solidifying Lava These Down, Here




Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Plasma-Arc-Welding These Down, Here







Monday, July 25, 2022

"Dad, You're a Fucking Hypocrite."


I imagine nobody at the wedding was so crass as to toast the father of one of the grooms with a hearty "go fuck yourself," but it would have been justified.

More Memes About Religion Than I Can Reasonably Pirate

Infidel753 has them. Go spend a few minutes. You won't be disappointed, unless you are an Islamic or Christian Fundie.

Trump Flags

All of these are available on Amazon:






Drought

Last spring (and all of last year):



Now:



I shot the second video from a spot that was underwater in the first video.

The waterfall is a remnant of a grist-mill dam from colonial times. It was probably breached 200 years ago.

Brutally Funny and Truthful

Dr. Oz, the Wizard of Lies:



Because the "Wizard of Snake Oil" doesn't really sing.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Republicans are Neo-Nazis and Christian Talibanistas.



Somebody should've asked those assholes how that Rhodesian war worked out for them.

We All Know the Value of the Word of the Russians

Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa just hours after Moscow and Kyiv signed deals to allow grain exports to resume from there. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry denounced Saturday’s airstrikes as a “spit in the face” to Turkey and the United Nations, which brokered the agreements.

Two Russian Kalibr cruise missiles hit the port’s infrastructure and Ukrainian air defenses brought down two others, the Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said. Odesa regional governor Maksym Marchenko said an unspecified number of people were injured in the attack.

At first, the Russians denied shooting missiles at Odesa. Then, they said that they only hit "military targets". But it should be clear to everyone with a pulse and an IQ above that of the average QAnon follower that the Russian orcs consider everything within the borders of Ukraine to be military targets: Residential apartment buildings, schools, pediatric hospitals, day-care centers, churches, railroad stations crammed with refugees.

Your Sunday Morning Big Prop Noise

Grumman Albatross:

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Air Force: Backstabbing is Our Forté

U.S. Air Force leaders have raised the possibility of training Ukrainian pilots in the United States and giving Ukraine the American fleet of A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes — an idea that could solve a problem for both countries.

The notion is a classic trial balloon. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall this week entertained the idea of giving the A-10 planes to Ukraine, while adding that it was still in the discussion phase.

Such a plan could make sense. Ukraine needs more air power and more ways to destroy Russian artillery and tanks, and the Warthog was designed during the Cold War for that very purpose.

And the Air Force has for years wanted to get rid of the A-10s.

"For years"? The Zoomies have been trying to ditch the A-10 for decades, pretty much ever since they were forced to buy them. The Air Froce hates, hates the notion of close-air support. The best idea, and one that the Air Force even hates more, is to give the A-10s to the Army.

I'm sort of betting that the Ukrainians are not going to be terribly interested.

What they are doing is inviting the world to use the Russo-Ukraine War as a live-fire testbed. And the Russians are not amused. One of Putler's spokesmonkeys claimed in the linked story that it is the Russians who are trying to save Ukraine. Which is about as laughable as it would have been if Goebbels claimed that the Germans invaded Poland to preserve Polish culture.

The Secret Service's Missing Texts

The Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog has opened a criminal investigation into the destruction of Secret Service phone text messages related to the days around the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

They didn't think to preserve text messages sent on official phones sent during the time of an attempted coup? That is so mind-boggling stupid that, if true, one has to wonder why they are entrusted with firearms.

So then the assumption is going to be that they deleted evidence of malfeasance, if not a plot to remove Mike Pence from the Capitol in a far-fetched attempt to further Trump's coup. It's not evidence that there are fascists and traitors in the Secret Service, but it sure as fuck is an indication that they are there.

Meanwhile, the batshit-Right, which has spend yearls frothing at the mouth about Hillary Clinton's emails, are muttering that there is nothing to see here.

Caturday

Chip waits for food:



For years, he's been a grazer. Then he stopped eating most dry food. I took him to the vet a couple of weeks ago. His teeth were fine, his bloodwork was good. The vet gave him a low-dose shot of Convenia just in case.

Since then, he's been sucking down his food as though he were a dog.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Cruising These Down, Here






So Much Wrong in One Sentence; Aviation Ed.

Boeing and Cargolux’s partnership has spanned almost 50 years from 1973 when it received its first Douglas DC-8 Freighter before entering the jet age in 1977 with the delivery of its first 747, a 747-200 Freighter called ‘City of Luxembourg‘.

First off, the DC-8 was a jet. Second, a lot of them were made before the merger with McDonnell. Boeing didn't enter the picture until 1997, when they merged with McDonnell-Douglas and subsequently became infected by McDonnell-Douglas's management style.

It's just fucking laziness. One might expect that a website that specializes in aviation news might know something about airplanes. But it appears that would be a bad assumption.

Never Let the Facts Get in the Way; Hoplophobia Ed.

Such as this:

There was nothing illegal in what Mr. Dicken did. My understanding is that gun-free signs in Indiana do not have the force of law behind them. Mall officials can ask anyone they see with a gun to leave and, if the person refuses to leave, then they can be charged with trespassing.

Contrast to New York state, where that would have been a felony because the state has decided that it knows best about the default situation for private property owners. There, a mall shooter is free to do their evil deeds until the cops show up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Color Me "Impressed"

Greenwood PD said a review of surveillance video shows the suspect began firing at 5:56:48.

At 5:57:03 p.m., Elisjsha Dicken, an armed bystander, fired on the shooter from 40 yards away, according to police. Within 15 seconds from when the shooting began, Dicken fired 10 rounds hitting the shooter as the shooter tried to retreat into the bathroom but collapsed and died.

An autopsy found the shooter was shot eight times and none were self-inflicted
.

Eight quick solid hits of ten rounds fired on a non-stationary target at a range of forty yards outside of a square range is some very impressive shooting.

Supporting the Ukrainians

Given the latest OSCE report omn Russian conduct in Ukraine, Mick Ryan is arguing that the war in Ukraine is a just war, and that the civilized world has a moral obligation to help the Ukrainians prevail.

Putler is putting together a Coalition of the Despicable. The North Koreans may send slave labor to help the Russians. And his semi-ally, Turkey, is being just who they are.



One wonders who is going to play the role of Neville Chamberlain this time around: President Erdogan or President Macron.

The usual arguments against helping the Ukrainians are little more than the same arguements for not helping to stop German aggression in the 1930s: Too far away. Not our fight. It costs too much. We need to put America first. About the only thing missing this time around is a Russian-American Bund, but we sort of have that in the likes of the TOFF and Rand Paul, with Tuckyo Rose playing the role of Charles Coughlin.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

And Then Came the Civil Suits for Hearing Loss



I'm not sure, of course, but I'm reasonably confident that touching off several rounds from a .44 Magnum inside a closed room will deafen everyone there.

Stomping These Down, Here





Monday, July 18, 2022

367 Cops Contrasted With One Civilian

367 cops contrasted to one armed citizen.

21 dead as opposed to three dead.

A rampage that lasted over an hour compared to fifteen seconds.

ETA: Of course, the usual suspects are taking great pains to explain that the fact that an armed civilian stopped a mass shooting proves nothing. The "good guy with a gun" may be rare, for it rquires a lot of bravery to go up against a rifle-armed shooter with a handgun, but it does happen. To call it a myth is to deny reality and it makes those arguing that it's a myth look like imbeciles.

Stand By for Lots of Firings

In a bizarre accident, the U.S. Navy suffered an expensive loss over the weekend that saw one of the most technologically advanced fighter jets in the world, an F/A-18 Super Hornet, blown off the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. The accident, which took place on July 8 as the ship was sailing the Mediterranean, injured one sailor. An investigation is underway.

Truman, along with the embarked Carrier Air Wing 1, was conducting a replenishment-at-sea in the Mediterranean. During unexpectedly heavy winds, the F/A-18 Super Hornet was blown overboard and into the water. The mission “was safely terminated through established procedures,” according to a Navy press release.

I'd expect that the CO and XO of the carrier will be fired over this, along with the CAG and the CO of the Hornet squadron, unless the investigation shows that the the jet was properly secured to the deck. CDR Accuweather, or whoever is the senior weatherguru on board, may also be gonzo. For the unit commanders, that's the price that gets paid for wearing the command-at-sea pin on the right side of their uniforms.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

New Help for the Troubled

988 is the new three-digit number for mental health emergencies. Instead of calling 911 and getting a dispatcher, 988 will go to mental health counselors.

(This is a serious issue. It is not a partisan issue. Stupid snark will be deleted and legions of demons will be dispatched to rip out organs.)

(H/T)

I Wish That There Was a Better Answer

Georgia's second-largest school district has approved a policy to allow personnel who are not certified police officers to carry guns, part of its response to the shooting at a Texas school that killed 19 children and two adults two months ago.

The Cobb County school board voted 4-2 at a meeting on Thursday to adopt the policy as a way to bolster the number of staff carrying guns at a time when finding new police officers is difficult. The policy would exclude teachers from carrying guns
.

I suppose that might be better than nothing, but the difference between that and nothing would be hard to measure.

A bunch of cops, all armed with rifles, some wearing body armor and carrying ballistic shields, stood around in a hallway in an Uvalde elementary school for over an hour, paralyzed by fear. In Buffalo, a retired cop, serving as a security guard, got several hits on a mass shooter; but the bad guy was wearing body armor and killed the security guard. To expect marginally-trained civilians with handguns to go up against an assailant, who is armed with a repeating rifle, is asking a lot. Probably the only way that is going to work is for the man with the handgun to adopt a tactic espoused by Uncle Fester: Shoot him in the back.


More precisely, since those evil bastards have taken to wearing body armor, shoot him in the back of his neck (or his head, if he's not wearing a helmet). It's the safe way, but will a civilian be well-treated by the criminal justice system for gunning someone down? Will they be reviled on social media for an act of cowardice? Will the family of the dead wannabee mass-shooter sue? Will the school board defend that person?

Being armed with a handgun and going up against a shooter armed with a quick-firing rifle sounds like trying to knock down a raging conflagration with a fire extinguisher. The prudent course is to get out and hope that your local pros are not lilly-livered pretend cops, who are only good for abusing children and minorities. Like in Texas.

MAGA Fraudster

A MAGA lunatic spray-painted BLM/Antifa graffiti on his garage, then set fire to his camper van, garage and other vehicles in order to try to scam his insurer out of over $300,000.

Said fraudster also conned people into givign him money via a GoFundMe campaign.

Hope you enjoy your stay in stir, Asswipe.

You Know That's Never Going to Happen, Don


Nope. Not going to happen. Tuckyo Rose and his ilk will just pretend that they never said that the story was false.

Caturday

Nap time!

Friday, July 15, 2022

Pythons




Pythons are nice guns. But as to the new ones, I've read first-hand accounts about the frailty of the rear sight. Frankly, Taurus could do a better job.

Most shooters I know who started shooting revolvers know to come all of the way off the trigger between shots. If that is not done, the trigger may not fully reset. I got dinged in a semi-auto class for not riding the reset.

Because It's Friday

Greenfield Village RR:



4-4-0 locomotives were probably the iconic American steam engines of the second half of the 19th Century.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Screwing These Down, Here





Aux barricades, mes amis!

Today is Bastille Day, the French National Day.




A version that is more familiar to American audiences:



Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons

(Full translation, which makes The Star-Spangled Banner look pacifistic.)

The Bastille was torn down very soon afterwards. Very little of it survives. The key to the fortress was given by Marquis de Lafayette to President Washington. It is on display at Mount Vernon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

And

I'm probably going to take today off, as well. Maybe tomorrow, too.

I Took Yesterday Off

So sue me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Monday, July 11, 2022

Shinzo Abe Assassination Gun

Preamble: This is meant to be a technical analysis. This is not a post about gun control. Comments about Japanese and American gun control (or any other nation) will not pass moderation.

This is probably the best photo of the assassination gun that I have seen:



Witness reports stated that there were large puffs of white smoke. Between that and the photo, this is my guess:

What we are looking at is a completely homemade gun. The base of the barrels appear to be capped off with threaded caps. Wires are going into the caps. Under the barrel are what appear to be either batteries or capacitors. In short, that is a two-shot hand-cannon; a marriage of 13th Century weapons technology and 20/21st Century electronics.

The ignition system is likely some sort of electric lashup. The simplest way to electrically ignite the charge would be by using model rocket engine igniters. The battery/capacity lashup was likely designed to send a fair amount of current to the igniter, in order to achieve near-instant ignition. Another method might be to use light-bulb bases (remove the glass bulb and leave the filament intact).

The powder charge was almost certainly black powder. Black powder can be obtained by several methods. It is fairly easy to make, given that gunpowder was first manufactured well over a thousand years ago. It can also be obtained by buying firecrackers, opening them up and pouring out the powder. I cannot overstate how dangerous this is.

There are basicly two grades of black powder: A and G. A grade is used in fireworks, G grade is used in guns. Guns use variants of Fg black powder. The "F" stands for fineness, graded by the mesh size of the sieve that the powder will pass. The more Fs there are in the powder designation, the finer the powder and the more quickly the grains ignite. FFg powder is commonly used in large-caliber rifles and handguns. FFFg is used in smaller-caliber rifles and handguns. FFFFg is used to prime the pan on flintlocks and wheellocks. My suspicion is that, historically, the soldiers just used the same powder for priming, as they'd bite open the paper cartriddge, sprinkle some powder in the pan, close the pan and then load the gun.

Black powder, unlike smokeless powder, is an explosive. A properly loaded blck powder firearm has no airspace betetween the propellant and the projectile(s). When the powder is ignited, the pressure builds up and pushes the projectile down the bore. But if there is a gap between the projectile and the powder, the pressure builds up far more rapidly because there is is somewhere for the pressure to go. In that event, the gun might blow up.

Firecracker powder is very fine, the pressure spike from a charge of that might be pretty dangerous. The reporting seems to imply that the assassin did some testing, so he may have been aware of this.

On another note, take a look at the belt holster of the bodyguard:



That appears to be a revolver holster for a gun that's not very large. My guess would be something along the lines of a S&W Model 60 with a 3" barrel.

Gaily Tripping Down the Road to Hell with the GOP

The Republican party has increasing embraced militias and violence as political tools.

From the 1870s to the 1960s, this is what the segregationist Democrats in the South also did. It took a Democratic president to break the power of the segregationists by pushing civil rights legislation through into law. The modern-day Confederacy sympathisers in the GOP blocked anti-lynching legislation until this year.

I don't see a prospect in the future of a powerful Republican politician working to break the back of the GOP's current militias. What it is going to take is for people to turn out and vote out those politicians who have aligned themselves with this 21st Century of the Klan and the Brownshirts.

But there is a possibility that things could get worse.

Violence is overwhelmingly concentrated on the right. But as Justice Brett Kavanaugh has discovered, once violence has been legitimated as a tool of politics, no one is safe. Violence begets violence – once its use mainstreams, moderates who espouse non-violence appear anemic and unable to offer protection to their side. The middle weakens, while violence eventually takes on a rhythm of reprisal far removed from the original causes.

Those of us in the middle need to watch our backs, vote the fuckers out, and keep our powder dry.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Kavanaugh's Dinner

Morton's Steakhouse made up a fictional right to eat dinner at its establishment.

A steakhouse chain is being flooded with phone calls and fake reservations over its defense of Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's "right" to "eat dinner" at one of its restaurants, where demonstrators gathered outside to protest his support of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Morton's this week sent a memo to its restaurant managers telling them to brace for more backlash to its remarks defending the jurist, Politico reported Saturday. Kavanaugh was one of five justices who voted last month to overturn Roe, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States and afforded a constitutional right to the procedure.

I'd like to see where there was an established right to eat dinner at a pricey restaurant.

On one hand, I tend to believe that if you're going to take people's rights away from them, you shouldn't be surprised if there is blowback.

On the other hand, this just allows the Christian Taliban Right to once more play the victim card... "Look how mean people are being to poor widdle meeeeee!"

Another "Rational" Republican

TOFF's choice for Secretary of State in Michigan has said that abortion is "satanic child sacrifice", and, even whackier, thinks that, well...

"If a person has demonic possession — I know it's gonna sound really crazy to me saying that for some people, thinking like what?!" Karamo said in September 2020. "But having intimate relationships with people who are demonically possessed or oppressed — I strongly believe that a person opens themselves up to possession. Demonic possession is real."

Right. Demonic possession is a STD.

This is beyond snarking. This is patent insanity.

(H/T)

Well, It Just Stands to Reason; Baja OK Ed.

A pregnant woman in Texas told police that her unborn child counted as an additional passenger after being cited for driving alone in a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, offering up a potentially clever defense for motorists navigating the legal landscape following the supreme court’s striking down of nationwide abortion rights last month.

interesting argument. Could a pregnant woman, boarding a flight in Texas, be charged for two seats?

Caturday

Off to see the vet:



Friday, July 8, 2022

Why Aren't These Guys Under Arrest?

Officials in New Haven, Connecticut, announced prisoner transport and detention reforms Thursday in response to a police van driver braking suddenly while transporting a man in the back of the van, sending him flying headfirst into a metal wall of the vehicle and paralyzing him.
...
Cox was arrested on a weapons charge June 19. While handcuffed in the back of the van, which had no seat belts, he flew headfirst into the wall between the cab and back of the van when Officer Oscar Diaz braked hard to avoid a collision, police said.

Diaz resumed driving to the police department, despite Cox calling for help and saying he was injured and couldn’t move, according to police videos and officials. A few minutes later, Diaz stopped the van to check on Cox, who was lying motionless on the floor.

Diaz then called paramedics but told them to meet him at the station instead of waiting for them where he was, a violation of policy, police officials said. Diaz has not returned messages seeking comment.

At the station, officers dragged Cox out of the van by his feet and put him in a wheelchair, police video shows. Police then booked Cox, took him out of the wheelchair and dragged him into a cell, where he was left on the floor. The videos also show officers telling Cox to move despite him showing signs of paralysis.

Paramedics arrived minutes later and took Cox to a hospital, officials said
.

Let's recap: Cop brakes van, hard, sending an unbelted prisoner headfirst into a metal wall. Prisoner falls to the floor, paralyzed. Instead of stopping and calling EMS, the cop drives to the cop shop. There, he and other cops drag the prisoner, who has a broken neck, out of the van, drop him in into a wheelchair, dump him on the floor of a cell and then, only then, do they call the paramedics.

And nobody's being charged with anything over this deliberate indifference to the health and welfare of a man in custody? They're lucky the prisoner hasn't died (so far), because a manslaughter or murder charge would possibly result.

One thing is clear: New Haven had better be warming up the city checkbook, as this is going to cost them, a lot. the city's taxpayers may want to ask some hard questions as to why their mill rate is going to go up.

Yeah, Like Nobody Saw That Coming

Elon Musk announced he will walk away from his tumultuous $44 billion offer to buy Twitter, leaving the deal on the verge of collapse. The Tesla CEO sent a letter to Twitter’s board Friday saying he is terminating the acquisition.

But Twitter isn’t accepting Musk’s declaration. The chair of Twitter’s board, Bret Taylor, tweeted in response that the board is “committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement. We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.”

Color me shocked (not).

Because It's Friday

It takes a lot of work to prepare a steam locomotive for operation.



There is a piece from 1990 on how to boot a steam engine. FEC #153 was damaged by Hurricane Andrew; she hasn't run since.

Shinzo Abe Assassination

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said.

Abe, 67, was shot from behind minutes after he started his speech in Nara. He was airlifted to a hospital for emergency treatment but was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He was later pronounced dead despite emergency treatment that included massive blood transfusions, hospital officials said.

This is the alleged murder weapon:



It appears to be a homemade, very short-barrelled, double-barrelled shotgun, which, at short range, is a devastating weapon. From the puff of smoke in the videos of the assassination, I would presume that the propellant is black powder. That can be obtained by dismantling fireworks, as the Boston Marathon bombers did. All that's then needed is obvious parts and a way of igniting the charges