Seen on the street in Kyiv.

Words of Advice:

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

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

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

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

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

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys in the ground since 1873." -- Unknown

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

"The Dildo of Karma rarely comes lubed." -- Unknown

"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,
A/K/A P01135809, A/K/A Dementia Donnie

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Supreme Court is Corrupt.
Change My Mind.

The Supreme Court did not disclose its longstanding financial ties with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff even as it touted him as an expert who independently validated its investigation into who leaked the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
The estimated payments to Chertoff’s risk assessment firm, for consultations that extended over several months and involved a review of the justices’ homes, reached at least $1 million. The exact amount of money paid could not be determined. Supreme Court contracts are not covered by federal public disclosure rules and elude tracking on public databases.
The court’s decision to keep secret the prior arrangements with Chertoff, whose professional path has intersected over the years with Chief Justice John Roberts and other court conservatives, as it used him for a seal of approval, adds to controversy over the leak investigation itself

Just a bunch of good ole boys, handing out fat contracts to their friends, because they can and because they're not accountable to anyone.

If it looks rotten and smells rotten, it probably is rotten.

Do You Provide Data to ADS-B Exchange?

ADS-B Exchange has been an open-source provider of flight information. People around the world have set up stations that collect ADS-B data and then transmits it to ADS-B's servers. The commercial flight tracking companies buy their data from the FAA, which censors it. ADS-B didn't, so you could see anyone who was in the air.

But now, ADS-B Exchange has been sold to some skeevy private-equity firm. Because one guy had set up the site and owned it, he cashed out. Everyone pretty much assumes that the new owners will try to charge people to see the data on the site and will also censor the data of rich people who don't like the unwashed masses seeing where they go. People like Mr. Bonesaw and Elon the Loosely Tuned, for two examples.

So, as you might imagine, that hasn't gone over too well. ADS-B Exchange depends entirely on volunteers, people who put together somewhat eeasy-to-build ADS-B receivers and tiny computers to send in the data. Volunteers often don't take well to people making bank off of their efforts, so people are unplugging from ADS-B Exchange.

With any luck, the private-equity guys will end up having bought an empty sack.

Fuck those guys and the greedy mofo who took their money.

(Brain-Farting on Verbs) These Down, Here

Monday, January 30, 2023

A Question for China

Is it better to have a strong Russia or a weak Russia on your northern boder?

Is it better to run the risk of being tied to Russia as a pariah nation or to make common cause with those nations who make up your largest markets?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Women to South Korean Men: Go Fuck Yourselves, Because We Won't Have Sex With You Assholes

Women in South Korea have come to realize that becoming married and raising children is little more than slavery.

So more and more of them are not doing it. South Korea is steeped in misogyny. South Korea is so steeped in women-hating that women there regard a "safe breakup" as one where they're not killed. But women speaking up threatens the fragile egos of men. So what happened is that the Koreans went even further right, elected a government that proclaims that feminism is the problem, is working to dismantle what few protections women have and trying to shame women to go back to having children.

The response in South Korea is about what it would have been here: A round "go fuck yourself." South Korean birth rates are the lowest in the world, to the point that the country will have half its population by the end of the century. My guess is that it'll happen much faster than that.

Interesting Data Points

President Joe Biden called 26-year-old Brandon Tsay to thank the California man for disarming the Monterey Park shooting suspect over the weekend.
“I wanted to call to see how you’re doing and thank you for taking such incredible action in the face of danger,” Biden told Tsay. “I don’t think you understand just how much you’ve done for so many people who are never going to even know you. But I want them to know more about you. … You have my respect. You are America, pal. You are who we are – no, no, you are who we are. America’s never backed down, we’ve always stepped up, because of people like you.

I'm not saying that the call was not deserved. Mr. Tsay is a hero and he has earned his accolades.

But what about this guy? Is he not also a hero?

Dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, Elisjsha Dicken was shopping with his girlfriend when a gunman opened fire on a food court at a Greenwood, Indiana, mall Sunday evening, killing three people and wounding two others.

While the shooter, 20-year-old Douglas Sapirman, fired 24 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle, Dicken did not hesitate to use the Glock handgun he was legally carrying. Sapirman was “neutralized” within two minutes, police said.

“Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly within the first two minutes of the shooting,” Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said at a news conference Monday


Chip helps with document editiong.

Friday, January 27, 2023

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

That's today. today marks the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army.

Me, I would prefer either May 7th (the day Nazi Germany surrendered) or April 30th, in keeping with a very old joke. As for how I feel about the day, see this.

The Apollo 1 fire was also on this day, 53 years ago. NASA has a track record of getting complacent about safety and then killing a crew in the process, oh, every twenty years or so. Those who may fly on the upcoming Artemis missions might want to keep that in mind.

Because It's Friday

Mt. Washington cog RR:

Russia is Not Just Evil,
Russia is MCU-Level Evil

I've mentioned it before, but the StrategyPage has a discussion of Russia's submarine weapons, including the Poseidon torpedo.

The Poseidon torpedo shows that Russia is not just evil, it is cartoonishly evil. Poseidon is supposed to go into the harbor of an enemy and detonate an enhanced-radiation thermonuclear warhead. A few days after there has been a general nuclear war and the likely targets of such a weapon have already been hit a few times by nuclear weapons, this thing swims in and goes bang, in some insane Russian desire to do what? Irradiate the rubble even more?

The Poseidon speaks to the ingrained lunacy of the Russian state. They'll spend trillions of rubles on something that does not move the neeedle on strategic deterrence even a single micron.

As for the Loshanik submarine, it seems to be yet another Russian death trap.

What Is It With These Canadiens?

A Canadian woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to mailing a threatening letter containing the poison ricin to then-President Donald Trump at the White House.

The letter from Pascale Ferrier directing Trump to “give up and remove your application for this election,” was intercepted at a mail sorting facility in September 2020, before it could reach the White House.

The 55-year-old Quebec woman also pleaded guilty to sending similar threatening letters to Texas law enforcement officials. She is expected to be sentenced to 262 months in prison, just short of 22 years, under the terms of a plea deal with prosecutors. A sentencing hearing is set for April

Between this clown and the lunatic that tried to beat Paul Pelosi to death, what's the deal with these asswipes? They don't have enough weird politics in their own country to occupy their paranoic bozos?

"Speaker of the House"

Randy Rainbow hits a homer with this one:

I first saw it last night, but for some reason beyone my understanding, I can't embed videos with my smartphone. I probably damn near killed the battery of my phone in repeated watching

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Tanks for That, Joe

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that the U.S. will send 31 M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, reversing months of persistent arguments that the tanks were too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain.

I suspect that the senior bureaucrats/generals in the Army are making the Classic Russian Mistake: Underestimating the Ukrainians.

31 tanks is a start. 155 would be better. The Ukrainians need enough high-quality weapons to push the Russians out of every square meter of Ukraine. Shame on everyone who isn't making that happen. (Looking at you, Herr Scholtz.)

Or maybe the Army tankers are worried that their Abrams tanks will be shown to be not as good as advertised?

Somebody Please Get That Poor Lad Some Professional Help, Bless His Heart

M&M is withdrawing its "spokescandy" ads after Fox's Tucker Carlson railed about the candies' de-sexualization as part of a push for a "woke" society. Maya Rudolph is the new face of the ad campaign.

Tuckyo Rose has to be one sick piece of work if he fantasizes about banging animated candy characters. Maybe he's taking a break from masturbating to his autographed photo of Vladimir Putin.

It takes some really weird kink to get turned in by "spokescandies." But that seems to be par for the course at Fox News.

There Goes Another Idiot

A federal judge on Tuesday convicted a Pennsylvania restaurant owner of storming the U.S. Capitol, where she screamed at police officers to bring out then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi so the pro-Trump mob could hang her.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden decided the case against Pauline Bauer after hearing testimony without a jury. The judge convicted her of all five counts in her indictment, including a felony charge that she obstructed the Jan. 6, 2021, joint session of Congress for certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory, court records show.

Apparently she's one of those "sovereign citizens" morons and she defended herself. She adequately proved the old saying that anyone who acts as their own attorney has an idiot for a client.

Back to jail, asshole.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Meanwhile, In the Russian War on Ukraine

In what would be a reversal, the Biden administration is poised to approve sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, U.S. officials said Tuesday, as international reluctance to send tanks to the battlefront against the Russians begins to erode. The decision could be announced as soon as Wednesday, though it could take months or years for the tanks to be delivered.

U.S. officials said details are still being worked out. One official said the tanks would be bought under an upcoming Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package, which provides longer-range funding for weapons and equipment to be purchased from commercial vendors.

The U.S. announcement is expected in coordination with an announcement by Germany that it will approve Poland’s request to transfer German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, according to one official. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been made public

It's about fucking time.

In other "it's about fucking time" news:

Several senior Ukrainian officials, including front-line governors, lost their jobs Tuesday in a corruption scandal plaguing President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government as it grapples with the nearly 11-month-old Russian invasion.

Ukraine’s biggest government shake-up since the war began came as U.S. officials said Washington was poised to approve supplying Kyiv with M1 Abrams tanks, with international reluctance eroding toward sending tanks to the battlefront against the Russians.
Transparency International, in its 2021 report on worldwide corruption, ranked Ukraine 122 out of 180 countries, with 180 representing the most corrupt. Russia ranked 136

Anyway, Meduza is reporting that Ukraine will forbid its officials to travel abroad without special permission.

Before we start throwing rocks at Ukraine, it is worthwhile to remember that corruption and profiteering during wartime are well known in our own country. There were plenty of allegations of defense contractors overcharging the shit out of things during the Wars of the Chimperor. it was endemic during the 19th Century (one example) and the Truman Committee found plenty to do during the Second World War.

Finally, the Pentagon will sextuple the production of 155mm artillery shells. Again, IAFT.

Pass the Popcorn; Classified Documents Ed.

Documents with classified markings were discovered in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana residence last week, his lawyer says, the latest in a string of recoveries of confidential information from the homes of current and former top U.S. officials.

The records, which were taken into FBI custody, “appear to be a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently boxed and transported to the personal home of the former vice president at the end of the last administration,” Pence’s lawyer, Greg Jacob, wrote in a letter to the National Archives shared with The Associated Press.

Note that Moralist Mikey didn't exactly trot right out and inform the country that there were classified documents in his home. You'll probably have to wait a long time to find a Republican politician eager to criticize him about that.

The difference between Vice President Pence and President Biden, on the on hand, and the TOFF, on the other hand, is that Messers. Biden and Pence have not pretended that the documents were theirs and have cooperated with the National Archives and the FBI. The TOFF, on the other hand, lied, dissembled and refused to turn things over, hence the need to get a search warrant.

But then there is the fact that Pence earlier said that there was no way that he could have taken any classified documents:

“Before we left the White House, the attorneys on my staff went through all the documents at both the White House and our offices there and at the vice president’s residence to ensure that any documents that needed to be turned over to the National Archives, including classified documents, were turned over. So we went through a very careful process in that regard,” Pence said.

Glass houses and rocks, you know.

Shaving These Down, Here

Monday, January 23, 2023

Grifters Gotta Grift

Two of Trump's Truthers have been raising money for a hospital that will never be built.

Seditious Bastards

Four members of the Oath Keepers were convicted Monday of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack in the second major trial of far-right extremists accused of plotting to forcibly keep President Donald Trump in power.

The verdict against Joseph Hackett of Sarasota, Florida; Roberto Minuta of Prosper, Texas; David Moerschel of Punta Gorda, Florida; and Edward Vallejo of Phoenix comes weeks after after a different jury convicted the group’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, in the mob’s attack that halted the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory

Follow the Big Lie, go to prison. As this guy is finding out, too.

Mass Shooting in LA Basin

Authorities searched for a motive for the gunman who killed 10 people at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club during Lunar New Year celebrations, slayings that sent a wave of fear through Asian American communities and cast a shadow over festivities nationwide.

The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday in the van that authorities say he used to flee after being prevented from attacking another dance club. The New York Times reported that a man whose family runs that venue wrested the gun from the assailant.

Is it wrong to feel some sense of relief that, at least this time, the killer wasn't some Trumpist white-supremacist acting on a deluded desire to spark a racial/civil war?

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Dragging Along the Germans

The German government will not object if Poland decides to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, Germany’s top diplomat said Sunday, indicating movement on supplying weapons that Kyiv has described as essential to its ability to fend off an intensified Russian offensive.
Germany’s tentativeness has drawn criticism, particularly from Poland and the Baltic states, countries on NATO’s eastern flank that feel especially threatened by Russia’s renewed aggression.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that if the fellow NATO and European Unio member did not consent to transferring Leopard tanks to Ukraine, his country was prepared to build a “smaller coalition” of countries that would send theirs anyway.

The Poles dragged the Germans to yes by telling them that, whether or not the Germans liked it, Poland would give their tanks to Ukraine. The Germans may be content to being near the trailing edge, but they didn't want to be seen as being wholly recalcitrant (or being, effectively, Russian tools).

The Russians are displaying an astonishing level of hypocrisy:

Earlier Sunday, the speaker of the lower house of Russia’s parliament, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin, said governments that give more powerful weapons to Ukraine risked causing a “global tragedy that would destroy their countries.”

“Supplies of offensive weapons to the Kyiv regime would lead to a global catastrophe,” Volodin said. “If Washington and NATO supply weapons that would be used for striking peaceful cities and making attempts to seize our territory as they threaten to do, it would trigger a retaliation with more powerful weapons.”

The Russians have been pounding peaceful Ukrainian cities since the beginning of the war. They have been indiscriminately bombing hotels, schools, apartment buildings and hospitals. I guess that they are worried that the Golden Rule of Warfare may apply: Do Unto Others as They Did Unto You. Beyond that, nobody has seriously proposed invading and occupying Russian territory. That would be an exceedingly stupid move.

Meanwhile, there seems to have been a pause in Russia's campaign of aerial terrorism. Maybe they have come to realize that video and photos going around the world of Ukrainian resuce workers trying to save people from the wreckage of an apartment building leveled by a Russian missile isn't advancing Russian interests.

Amazon to Charities: "Fuck You Guys, We're Keeping That Money."

Amazon is ending its charity donation program by Feb. 20, the company announced Wednesday. The move to shutter AmazonSmile comes after a series of other cost-cutting measures.

Through the program, which has been in operation since 2013, Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to a charity of the shopper's choice. The program has donated over $400 million to U.S. charities and more than $449 million globally, according to Amazon.

Amazon launched a driver tipping promotion on the same day it got sued over tip fraud "With so many eligible organizations — more than one million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin," Amazon said in a letter to customers

Gentle Reader, that's just a bunch of bullshit. The donations for 2020 were over $60 million, according to Amazon's pet news organization. That's a goodly chunck of change that the rapacious entity of retail wanted for itself.

And the Almighty forbid that the customers might have even a little say on charitable donations! Horrors if they direct donations to entities that are not politically correct in the eyes of Lord Bezos and his minions.

The ending of the AmazonSmile program is just yet another example of corporate greed. There is not a single largish corporation in this country that does anything that is not of absolute benefit to itself. Even if they deign to make a charitable donation, they will likely spend more money on press releases and advertisements proclaiming their goodness than they gave.

Corporations are psychopathic entities and they are run by such people who, if they weren't borderline sociopaths before going to work there, are molded into them. Neighbors care more about what happens on their streets than do corporations, who are more than willing to screw their workers if it gets them a buck.

So Amazaon ending a charitable giving program so they can keep that 0.01% it cost them from their gross revenues is about par for the course.

Your Sunday Morning Rocket Noise

Artemis was pretty loud from seven miles away;

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Santos Apparently is Trying to Top the TOFF for the Most Lies Uttered

Well, it turns out that his denial if being a drag queen is, as expected, yet another lie.

A Wikipedia page accessed by POLITICO shows a user named Anthony Devolder — a Santos alias — writing that he “startted [sp] his ‘stage’ life at age 17 as an gay night club [sp] DRAG QUEEN and with that won sevral [sp] GAY ‘BEAUTY PAGENTS [sp].’”

The Wiki biography was last edited on April 29, 2011. It contains basic information that matches up with the newly sworn-in congressman, including Devolder being born on July 22, 1988, to a Brazilian family with a European background
. ... The Wiki bio for Anthony Devolder, which is full of spelling and grammatical errors, appears to contain fantastical descriptions of his supposed career in show business. It claims that he had a part in Disney’s “Hannah Montana,” among other examples.

You'll have to wait for a long time, I suppose, for the Proud Boys and the rest of those far-right lunatics to start picketing Santos's local office to accuse him of being a "groomer".

This is some epic trolling:

Meanwhile, the name of another Black Republican Jewish immigrant from Long Island has surfaced as a possible candidate for the special election in the event that Santos is forced out, but unlike Santos/Devolder/Zabrovske/Ravache/Jingleheimer-Schmid, she is the real deal.

Putin Takes Comfort Wherever He Can

Germany has become one of Ukraine’s leading weapons suppliers in the 11 months since Russia’s invasion, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz also has gained a reputation for hesitating to take each new step — generating impatience among allies.

Maybe the Germans will get there. Maybe they'll eventually agree to provide tanks to the Ukrainians. But every bit of foot-dragging along the way gives a little comfort to the Russians, that they can split the Western alliance apart and then prevail in their war of conquest. And it it clear that, every step of the way so far, that Germany has been lagging the problem of countering Russian aggression.

The Russians are trying to rebuild and reorganize their army to regain the offensive. It's up to the West, including Germany, to ensure that the Ukrainians have the support they need in order to break any Russian offensive into pieces.

Look for Cuts in Veterans Benefits

Two congressmen are once again urging Americans to express support for troops and veterans by saying "thank you for our freedom" instead of "thank you for your service."

Republican Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan, a retired Marine lieutenant general, and Rep. Lou Correa, a Democrat from California, first introduced the measure last fall as a way to "renew and affirm" Americans' commitment to troops. But it failed to pass

Yes, I am cynical in this regard. There's a local hospital that, on the one hand, has big banners up on the parking garage lauding its staff as "health care heros" while, at the same time, trying to pay much of its staff poverty wages and providing really shitty medical insurance to them.

This bill to encourage people to thank people for serving is cringeworthy. It's the short of no-cost, feel-good measure that one might reasonably expect from a bunch of politicians who are looking to be able to say that they did something for the troops.


Tuxedo Cat Standoff:

Priss is on the left, Speck is on the right.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Gun Stuff

Henry, which is best known for making lever-action rifles, is offering a 9mm semiautomatic carbine.

This is interesting. It pretty much allows for a pistol-caliber carbine in states that ban guns because they look evil. It's not showing up in their catalog, yet.

In other news, I shot a USPSA match with a compact S&W 9mm:

Most of the other guns used in the match were full-sized 9mms, more than half with "carry optics", so I was definately an oddball. Which meant that I wasn't competitive, but I wasn't trying to be. I shoot those matches to work on my own abilities.

Here's a for-instance: One stage opened with two targets visible. There was a bar across the bay which marked the closest one could go. The start position was a good 25' back from that. Everyone else ran up to the bar before shooting those targets. Me, I shot those targets *immediately*. Then, when I had to reload, I ducked back behind cover to do that, while everyone else just stood there and reloaded. I'm not saying that I'm any great shakes at this shit, but I am trying to keep a distinction between what I might have to do for real and what it takes to place high in a match.

One of these days, I might shoot a subcompact 9mm, just for fun. And because nobody is bringing an optically-sighted racegun to any sort of defensive fight. Because, FFS, if there's advance notice of a fight, you're going to bring a rifle or a shotgun and a friend with the same.

On the other hand, optics are starting to appear more and more on carry guns, so maybe I need to learn them.

Santos's Story Keeps Getting Weirder

Now it seems that he was allegedly doing drag performances in Brazil:

Former friends of Republican congressman George Santos said Wednesday that he performed as a drag queen in Brazil, more than a decade before he was elected as a member of the party that is now pushing to limit drag shows across the country.

Eula Rochard, a 58-year-old drag queen in the Brazilian town of Niteroi, published a photo to her Instagram last week purportedly showing her and Santos, who allegedly went by the drag name Kitara Ravache at the time. She repeated that claim in interviews with the newsletter The Handbasket and Reuters, and another person from Niteroi told Reuters that Santos competed in drag pageants and wanted to be Miss Gay Rio de Janiero

Since almost everything Santos has said about his past and his family have been proen to be lies, this storyis likely also true. Which is pretty ironic, given that he's a member of a party that would like nothing better than to criminalize being anything other than a straight (and, presumably, white) frequent church-goer.

The TOFF Loses in Court, Again

A Florida judge sanctioned former President Donald Trump and one of his attorneys, ordering them to pay nearly $1 million for filing what he said was a bogus lawsuit against Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and others.

In a blistering filing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks accused Trump of a “pattern of abuse of the courts” for filing frivolous lawsuits for political purposes, which he said “undermines the rule of law” and “amounts to obstruction of justice.”

Being dinged nearly a million clams is nothing for the Agent, who will easily raise ten times as much from the mouth-breathing MAGAites.

The next steps would be to designate Cadet Bone Spurs asa vexatious litigant, requiring him to seek court approval before suing anyone.

And, while they're at it, disbarring his attorneys.

Because It's Friday

Steam on the Everett RR:

Not a Perfect Correlation on Abortion, But Still...

The states that ban abortion:
The States of Treason:
It leads to a suggestion that the mindset hasn't changed: A class of people have fewer rights than others and the state can tell them how to live their lives in granular detail.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Inspector Clouseau Has Been Hard at Work; SOCTUS Ed.

The Supreme Court said Thursday it has not determined who leaked a draft of the court’s opinion overturning abortion rights, but that the investigation continues.

Eight months after Politico published its explosive leak detailing the draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade, the court said its investigative team “has to date been unable to identify a person responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.”

I'm reasonably certain of whom the SCOTUS leaker is and I'll bet that you are, too.

Excreting These Down, Here

Bulgaria to the Rescue

In the initial months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when the Ukrainians were running low of ammunition for their Soviet artillery pieces as well as diesel fuel, it was the Bulgarians who met those supply needs. In order not to cause too many political issues, the Bulgarians quietly sold the war materiel to a third party, which then sent them into Ukraine. (And yes, it was the UK and the US that paid for them, in part because Bulgaria is not a wealthy company.)

The Russians were not fooled. They cut off natural gas to Bullgaria, whidh was made up by shipments of LNG from the US. The Russians also engaged in other fuckery, which was why the Bulgarians kicked out a boatload of Russian "diplomats".

Bravo Bulgaria for standing up against Russian aggression in the fact of Russian retaliation and their useful idiots in Bulgaria.

(Thanks to a frequent commentator)

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Savage 1911

Savage is making a 1911.

All right. At this point, it would be simpler to list the names of American gun companies that don't make 1911s. If you include foreign companies that have factories here, then maybe three? Henry, Glock and Beretta? Marlin's now owned by Ruger.

Gun Up in SEMO

Five bad guys are on the run.

UPDATE: All are back in custody. Four of them made it as far as Cincinnati.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

How Those B-29 Turrets Worked,

Borepatch fond this gem.

Pretty amazing stff for the time.

Pegging the Irony Meter, Bobert Ed.

Lauren Boebert believes that conspiracy theorists should not be on congressiional committees.

I take it that the mirrors in QAnon Barbie's offices have been covered with drapes, been shattered, or have been removed. Boebert has been one of the foremost proponents of Trump's Big Lie. She has promoted QAnon conspiracy bullshit that essentially alleged that the election would be overturned and that the TOFF would be reinstated. She has spoken approvingly of Q and QAnon. Boebert has been known to parrot QAnon conspiracy theories. Something comes out on QAnon and Boebert is there to spread it.

There are enough QAnon lunatics in the House of Representatives to form a caucus. Boebert is one of the den mothers of that ragtag pack of foaming mouth-breathers.

Boebert, by her own standards,is unfit to serve on a congressional cmmittee. Not that it will matter one whit to the gutless tool now sitting in the Speaker's Office, for his desk chair has been replaced by the ball-bearing mounting for a weathervane.

Shnorring These Down, Here

This is What Republican Election-Denying Gets You

Albuquerque police arrested a former Republican state House candidate in connection with recent shootings at the homes of Democratic lawmakers.

At a news conference on Monday night, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina announced that Solomon Pena, 39, was in police custody following a SWAT standoff in Southwest Albuquerque Monday afternoon

The perp lost his election to the state house, denied that he lost and allegedly not only hired people to shoot up the homes of Democratic officials and did some of it himself. He also apparently was at the Trump Coup attempt in 2021.

This particular Republican clown has been convicted of a felony before, so he's going to go away for awhile as a felon-in-possession gun charge, let alone for the rest of his fuckery.

More Corporate Fuckery

Restaurants have been funnelling part of the fees paid by workers for mandatory training to a lobbyist operation to keep worker's pay low. This particular brand of evil fuckery is done by a company named ServSafe. That company once was run by a charitable organization, but the restaurant association bought it with the clear aim of using the profits generated by ServSafe to lobby against paying workers more.

The profits are high from those courses, which are mandatory in some states, because the courses are done online and each additional participant paus $15 and the courses cost the company pennies.

About the only thing that would be more evil is if a kid had to take an online Bar/Bat Mitzvah training course from a company that was owned by David Duke and Nick Fuentes.

Like Nobody Saw This One Coming, Sino Ed.

China’s population shrank in 2022 for the first time in more than 60 years, a new milestone in the country’s deepening demographic crisis with significant implications for its slowing economy.

The population fell in 2022 to 1.411 billion, down some 850,000 people from the previous year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced during a Tuesday briefing on annual data.

Analysts said the decline was the first since 1961 during the great famine triggered by former leader Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward.

Demographic declines has been hitting a number of other countries. For the most part, the declines are hammering countries that either effectively ban immigration (Japan) or are countries that no sane person would choose to move to (China, Russia).

Monday, January 16, 2023

Battling Conspiracy Theorists

So someone I know told me that Hillary Clinton murdered three people.

I replied that I hadn't heard that, but that Trump used to run cocaine into Atlantic City with his yacht in the '80s.

When asked who told me that, I said: "Oh, you know. Some guy."

One piece of madeup bullshit is as valid as any other.

Republicans Love Denying Servicemen the Right to Vote

Absentee ballots from deployed servicemen don't always come in by Election Day. Probably half, or more, don't. But, in the name of protecting against mythical voter fraud, Republicans are doing their level best to disqualify the ballots of those serving our country overseas.

Ohio’s restrictive new election law significantly shortens the window for mailed ballots to be received — despite no evidence that the extended timeline has led to fraud or any other problems — and that change is angering active-duty members of the military and their families because of its potential to disenfranchise them.

The pace of ballot counting after Election Day has become a target of conservatives egged on by former President Donald Trump. He has promoted a false narrative since losing the 2020 election that fluctuating results as late-arriving mail-in ballots are tallied is a sign of fraud.

Republican lawmakers said during debate on the Ohio legislation that even if Trump’s claims aren’t true, the skepticism they have caused among conservatives about the accuracy of election results justifies imposing new limits.

The new law reduces the number of days for county election boards to include mailed ballots in their tallies from 10 days after Election Day to four. Critics say that could lead more ballots from Ohio’s military voters to miss the deadline and get tossed. ... Board of elections data shows that in the state’s most populous county, which includes the capital city of Columbus, 242 absentee ballots from military and overseas voters were received after Election Day last November. Of that, nearly 40% arrived more than four days later and would have been rejected had the new law been in effect.

Anyone who has served overseas knows full well that the mail is often screwed up. Back in the day, it was that, once the mail was delivered to the APO or FPO, it was the job of the military to move the mail to and from military units. It may still be, for all I know.

Cutting off ballot countint to effectively screw over servicemen is evil.

Meanwhile, in other election denier news, Lycoming County, PA, recounted its ballots from the 2020 election after repeated prodding by Trumpist election deniers. It yook them three days and 560 man-hours of time to do it. The results were effectively identical. Proof that there was no "rampant fraud" in the countydidn't satisfy the insane election deniers one frigging bit.

Because, when it comes to the 2020 election, a significant percentage of Republicans are crazier than shithouse rats.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Criminals Are Dumber Than Rocks

Two men were arrested on New Year’s Eve for allegedly shutting down four Washington state power substations in late December that led to power outages for thousands across Pierce County. ... Investigators identified [both asswipes] almost immediately after the attacks took place by using cell phone data that allegedly showed both men in the vicinity of all four substations, according to court documents. Surveillance images cited in the court documents also showed images of one of the men and of the getaway car.

Committing crimes while carrying a cell phone is only slightly less dumb than criming while wearing an ankle monitor These two idiots allegedly cut power so they could rob the cash registr of a local business. Which makes them sort of a dumb-ass version of Oceans Eleven.

Imma Gonna Drive My Old Car `Til the Wheels Fall Offa It

BMW had one of the more forward-thinking concepts at CES. The i Vision Dee is a talking electric sedan with an artificial intelligence that BMW says “will go far beyond the level of voice control and driver assistance systems we are familiar with today.”

The name “Dee” stands for Digital Emotional Experience. One notable feature is an advanced head-up display that can display driver information on the full windshield at a base level and is capable of projecting virtual reality on the windshield. BMW says the AI can get excited when it sees you and can express its mood via screens on the front grille.

If that wasn’t enough, the i Vison Dee is covered in 240 e-ink panels, including the wheels, that allow it to shift colors at will. You can have a purple car one day and a checkerboard pattern the next

I don't know about you, but if I want to have something that will get excited when it sees me, I'll get a fucking dog. I don't need to have a relationship with a goddamn machine.

A German car that talks to you? "Nein, nein, nein! Ve are not moving until you fasten your seatbelt" "Ach du lieber, you spilled your coffee ON MY CLEAN FLOOR! WIPE IT UP, NOW!!"

I imagine that the DMV and the cops are going to have conniption fits at the idea of having a car that can essentially repaint itself at will. Maybe it can be programmed to display messages, such as "use your blinker next time, asshole."

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Which hasn't been about jets for weeks. So here goes:

Folland Gnats

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Fifty Years of Procurement and Service

To the 1911 and Ma Deuce, add the F-15.

Yes, I know that the B-52 has served that long, but they stopped buying them fifty years ago. Fifty years of procurement for a jet fighter is simply astonishing.

A Modest Supposition: We Will Be Seeing Trials of Russian War Criminals into the 22nd Century

At least nine people were killed and dozens wounded, including children, after a Russian missile struck a nine-story apartment tower in the city of Dnipro, shattering two weeks of relative calm in Ukraine.

The attack on one of Ukraine’s most populous cities came in an early-afternoon wave, the 10th mass missile strikes by Russia since early October. The day’s barrage, which included air and sea-launched cruise missiles, also hit infrastructure targets in Kyiv and Kharkhiv. Ukraine’s air defense said Russia probably launched ballistic missiles, undetectable by air defense, from the north. The Ukrainian military said it intercepted 25 of 38 missiles fired.

The Russians probably are pounding Ukrainian civilians because the Russians believe that there are Republicans in the Congress who have their backs. Oh, you can bet that those wingnuts deny that, but the plain fact of the matter is that if you are not in favor of helping the Ukraininas defend their country, then you are in favor of Russian aggression.

Russian war crimes will be the subject of prosecutions for many decades to come.

Meanwhile, in Missouri, the Reublicans are edging closer to requiring that women wear burkhas. Because men are such fragile creatures and who knows what lavicious thoughts might be sparked if they see uncovered female skin.


Chip grabs what he can of the late aftrnoon sun.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Because It’s Friday

I'll break from the live-steam videos for today. This is an update from the T1 Trust, that seeks to build a new PRR T1 locomotive.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Garland Bows to the Inevitable

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the presence of classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and at an unsecured office in Washington dating from his time as vice president.

The similarity between the cases of Biden and the Asset: Both had classified documents in unsecured locations.

The differences:
  • Biden's people went looking for the documents.  The Asset's didn't.
  • Biden's people reported the presence of documents. The Asset didn't.
  • The Asset claimed that the documents were his.  Biden didn't.
  • The Asset claimed that he had declassified the documents with his mind. Biden didn't.
  • The Biden team turned over every document they found. The Asset's people didn't.
  • The Asset had his lawyers lie about the presence of documents. Biden's didn't.
  • The Asset turned over some documents after being subpoena'd. As for Biden, see two points up.
  • It took a search warrant to get more documents from the Asset.  As for Biden, see three points up.
  • Biden has cooperated at every turn. Not so for the Asset.
But the Trump loyalists don't see any differences. Because they are willfully blind or are idiots.

Pandering These Down, Here

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Gym Jordan Will Chair the "The Gummint is Being So Mean to Us" Committee (and more)

Republicans officially labeled one of the committees as reviewing “the Weaponization of the Federal Government,” a name that from the outset suggests the panel’s investigations may be one-sided. The probe will be conducted under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, which is headed by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a hardliner who is a close ally of Trump.

The committee is being given a broad mandate, told to investigate “the expansive role” of the executive branch to “collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States, including ongoing criminal investigations.” Notably, the panel will have access to classified information, a privilege usually reserved for the intelligence committees in the House and Senate

"May be one-sided" is like saying that it might be hot in Death Valley in August. Remember that Jordan is a clown who allegedly closed his eyes to sexual abuse of atheletes while he was a wrestling coach at Ohio State U. He sees what he wants to see, nothing more. Anyone who thinks that this will not be a partisan bashing akin to the Benghazi hearings is smoking crack.

The main thrust of the Trumpist Vengeance Committee will be protecting Trump and white supremacists. That's pretty much a given.

Meanwhile, in Montana, the Republicans are making it clear that only the Christian Taliban is welcome in Montana. They are clear that the rule of law by a written constitution and that democracy is evil. But you can go read the whole story, I haven't got the stomach for it this morning.

Part of this should be laid at the feet of the Great Destroyer of Democracy-- Samuel Alito. He has been at the forefront of enabling the thrust of power by the batshit Christian Taliban. But I don't need to get into that right now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Set Phasers to “Deep Fry,” Mr. Chekov

War in Europe. Antisemitism on the rise. White supremacists trying to intimidate people by acts of murder. Back-alley abortionists and a sort of underground railroad for pregnant women. A global pandemic. A new McCarthy Committee.

Whoever ordered a replay of the worst aspects of the first half of the last century, I'd like a word with you.

That is all.

More later.

Snoozing These Down, Here

A Rough Rainfall Tracker

The NWS has a way that you can see the last three days' worth of weather at any aiport that reports the weather. This is it for Santa Barbara, CA

This is the HTML Code: What you do is strip out the SBA and insert the code for the airport that you want to see (the "K" is common to all CONUS airports). For instance, Sacremento is SMF.

The airport codes in this are case-sensitive.

The News Media Is Not Over Its Case of Missing Pretty White Woman Syndrome

The husband of a missing Massachusetts mother has been arrested for allegedly misleading investigators, police officials said.

Brian Walshe, 47, entered a not guilty plea to the charge of misleading a police investigation at his arraignment in Quincy District Court on Monday. Judge Mark Coven imposed bail of $500,000 cash or $5 million surety bond and ordered Walshe to return to court on Feb. 9

I'm not disputing the seriousness of the matter. Hubby is a criminal awaiting sentencing. He allegedly engaged in activities that look mightily suspicious.

But is some guy whacking his wife a national story? Then why not this one? Or this one? Or this one? Or this one?

The distinction is plain as day: If the victim in the case is a photogenic white woman, the national media will be all over it like fleas on a rat. If not, crickets.

Let the Cries of "Whataboutism" On the Batshit-Crazy Right Commence, Because They're Going to, Anyway.

The Justice Department is reviewing a batch of potentially classified documents found in the Washington office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, the White House said Monday.

Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said “a small number of documents with classified markings” were discovered as Biden’s personal attorneys were clearing out the offices of the Penn Biden Center, where the president kept an office after he left the vice presidency in 2017 until shortly before he launched his 2020 presidential campaign in 2019. The documents were found on Nov. 2, 2022, in a “locked closet” in the office, Sauber said.

Of course, what is not present, in this case, are claims that "them's mine", or refusals to let FBI agents look for themselves, or sworn lies brom attorneys that no such documents exist, but that won't stop the cries about "whataboutism" from the Trumpanzees.

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