Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

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

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dunkirk, the Movie

I don't know how well it'll do at the box office, especially when the kids are going to see Valerian, but Dunkirk has to be near the top of great war movies. It doesn't focus on the leaders; the highest-ranking officers in the movie are a naval commander and an army colonel.

As far as I can tell, the film took very few liberties with the history of Dunkirk. The story gets told, but as an undercurrent to the chaos and terror of the battle.

I saw it in 2D. But they shot it in IMAX and if you can see it in that format, do it.

Leading Contestant in "The Most Despicable Person on Earth; Political Division"

A day after news came out about Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) brain cancer diagnosis, his onetime political opponent urged the ailing senator to think about his political future sooner rather than later — and expressed interest in the possibility of her taking over his Senate seat.
Dr. Shitbird said that she is only making this offer out of the goodness of her heart.

Apparently Shitbird was once an ER doc, which may make her qualified to remove the shiv that she tried to firmly place in McCain's back.

Just another one of those "compassionate conservatives."

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise


The C-5 program had a bit of a gestation problem. Wing cracks developed early on. The entire fleet had to be reworked. But ultimately, the airplane was successful and, finally, the Air Force had the heavy-lifter that it needed to retire its C-124s and C-133s.

The wings on the C-%as were replaced in the 1980s. The current reworked airplane is known as the C-5M.

C-5s are planned to be in use for another 25 years or so. There is currently no planned replacement.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

World's Largest Rock Band

About 65,000 people, who were waiting for a concert, began singing along to the recorded music that was playing before the concert began.

I thought it was pretty neat. But it's a thing with Green Day.

The Criminal Enterprises of Donald J. Trump. Maybe.

President Donald Trump acknowledged in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday that there was a certain red line he thought special counsel Robert Mueller shouldn't cross while carrying out the Russia investigation: digging into his finances.
I can't really imagine Presidents Obama, Bush 43, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter or Ford telling an investigator "you can't look at my finances."

It's be like John Wayne Gacy telling the cops "you can search my house, but stay out of the crawl space."

The sharp-eyed reader will note that I omitted President Clinton. There were three different investigations into the alleged Whitewater scandal and all they produced was a steaming and expensive heap of nothingburgers.

But Teflon Don? He doesn't want anyone, especially people with badges and subpoena powers, looking into his finances.
He and his lawyers are burning the midnight oil, trying to figure out ways to undercut the investigation.

Which, I respectfully suggest, is a strong indicator that there is something to find. Soemthing that could land a lot of people in prison, especially people with the last name of Trump. Or Kushner.

Kushner's an odd duck in this. One might rationally assume that a man who saw his father imprisoned for financial misdealings would be somewhat careful to toe the line.

Anyway, don't expect much moral courage out of the rest of the GOP. They're nothing more than spineless toadies.

Caturday, Memorial Edition

Ozzarella, 1999-2017:

Ozzarella was the favorite cat of a friend's daughter. Ozzie was her cat from kittenhood through old age.

She was a big cat, but, like Jake, began losing a lot of weight and wasting away. The vet thought it was cancer, probably lymphoma. And, like Jake, she loved to be around people.

The other cats in the household knew that Ozzie was sick. In the last week, a couple of the others had begun lying next to Ozzie, as though they could transfer some energy.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Scaramucc(i), Scaramucc(i), Will You Do the Fandango?

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned on Friday following his opposition to President* Donald Trump’s expected appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier, to be the new White House communications director, according to multiple White House officials.
Right. A guy who has no experience in neither press relations nor government and he's going to do that job.

So why did Trump pick him? Apparently, it's going to basically be something between a no-show job and a payoff:
A source close to the White House press operation said there are serious doubts among some aides that Scaramucci will be able to handle the full scope of the job. “The challenge really here is that Scaramucci was being given a ceremonial title as communications director with absolutely no understanding of what that position means and with no understanding of how government works. So it’s really more of a joke that he’s being offered this position."

The source added, “Trump simply wants a high level White House surrogate on television and wanted Mooch to have something nice to do.”
So Mooch is mooching, having succeeded, finally, at getting on board the Trump White House. Mooch has a track record of supporting whichever horse is out in front. He's supported Obama, Scott Walker, ¡JEB! and now Trump. He does have some TV experience, considering that he bought the rights to a TV show so that he could be on it.

Yeah, this is going to work out.

Because It's Friday

SP 4449:

Trump Tacitly Admits That He is Guilty as Fuck

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.
I am quite sure that the line of "Me and my family did nothing wrong, so that's why I'm pardoning all of them" will no doubt meet with approval with the 35% who would be with Trump if he staked down a bunch of live puppies and drove over them with a tank. He is a wannabee autocrat who believes that the Department of Justice and the FBI exist only to serve his whims.

Can anyone come up with a time when a president pardoned people who had not been shown to have done something wrong? With the exception of Nixon, maybe, everyone else who has received a pardon had been convicted of something.

If Trump starts issuing preemptive pardons, that would be an overt admission of guilt. No doubt in my mind that Republicans would do nothing. Because they love their party more than their country.

UPDATE: As explained in the comments, pardons won't get Trump out of all trouble. It could even make things worse, as in any civil cases, pardons would remove the 5th Amendment shield of not having to disclose information that could result in criminal charges.

BOLO for Robber with Steaks

St. Louis police released photos of a woman they need help in nabbing who robbed the Reliance Bank at 4301 Manchester Road on July 5.
Police described the robber as a white, about 40 years of age, 5-feet-6 inches tall, slim build, dark short hair with orange and pink steaks, wearing all black clothing and a hat with stripes on the bill.
They badly need to hire copy editors.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Shorter Cop's Lawyer: "Cops Can Kill Everyone in Sight If They Hear a Loud Noise."

That's pretty much what he said.

So if a cop hears a loud noise, he gets to act like he's firing off the "death blossom" in The Last Starfighter?

Best not to approach a police officer out in public, then. You can never be sure that he isn't going be startled like a bunny rabbit and begin shooting at everyone he sees.

Stay Classy, Republicans; John McCain Ed.

A member of the Republican National Committee in Nevada apologized after retweeting an article that begged for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to die.

Diana Orrock, a national committeewoman for the Nevada GOP, shared a story headlined “Please Just F‑‑‑ing Die Already.” In retweeting the piece, which was published on Medium, Orrock wrote “Amen.”
The Washington Post article has a link to the hate-filled piece of sputum that somebody who masquerades as a journalist vomited forth. If you want to read it.


Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Vietnam prisoner of war and political maverick in Congress for more than three decades, has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain tumor.

The 80-year-old Arizona lawmaker has glioblastoma, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday. He and his family are considering further treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation.
My heart goes out to Sen. McCain and his family. In the ranking of cancer, glioblastoma is a four-starred motherfucker.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Airline Executives Will Be Offering Their Family Members to Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney has apparently perfected a geared turbofan engine for airliners. The gearing is 3:1 between the stuff in the back (compressor and hot section) and the big fan in front.

The upshot is P&W is promising a 16% reduction in fuel burn, 50% reduction in carbon emissions and a whopping 75% reduction in noise. they seem to think that they can improve on that and get fuel usage down by 20% over current engines.

For the airline industry, this is huge. It's beyond huge.

It may be hype, too, but even a 10% reduction in fuel burn will be the sort of thing that airline executives would sell their mothers for.

I'd expect that if this is as good as they are promising, P&W will end up licensing their technology to the other engine companies. albeit maybe under considerable pressure to do so.

Trump Got More Face-Time With His Master

After his much-publicized two-and-a-quarter-hour meeting early this month with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Germany, President Trump chatted informally with the Russian leader for up to an additional hour later the same day.

The second meeting, undisclosed at the time, took place at a dinner for G-20 leaders, a senior administration official said. At some point during the meal, Trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to Putin. Trump approached alone, and Putin was attended only by his official interpreter.
Trump and his choir of apologists are saying "nothing happened" and "oh, it was just normal after-dinner conversation with the other G-20 leaders."

Which is bullshit. Anyone who has been to a party knows the difference between circulation around and chatting up other people versus parking your ass in a chair and having a solo conversation with another person for a solid hour. Joe Scarborough is right: Assume the worst.

The latter is either you're trying to do a business deal or get in their pants. And with no other American as a party to the conversation, not even an interpreter, Trump and Putin are free to put out whatever lies they choose. For you know that if Putin's translator leaks anything, that person will soon catch a bullet from a Makarov.

Total Eclipse Next Month

This tool allows you to determine the particulars for anywhere.

If you need to travel to get to totality and if you need to stay overnight, good luck with that. Even campgrounds in more populated areas are booked up.

Bag of Hammers; Dumber Than a

Dana Rohrbacher

This clown is on the House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee. Evidently, he knows nothing about any of those areas.

Maybe he was going to follow up on this bullshit.

This post, from four years ago, still stands. If anything, it's getting worse.

The War on Drugs is Simply Evil


Republicans: Just Laughing at Their Lies on Their Failed Health Care Bill(s)

President* Trump on Tuesday put blame on Democrats and "a few Republicans" for the collapse of the Senate GOP's healthcare bill.

"We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans," Trump tweeted.
Here's the tweet:

It is a really moronic lie that the Democrats are responsible. The Republicans tried to do this entire mishegoss under budget reconciliation rules, so that they would only need fifty votes in the Senate and the Democrats couldn't filibuster it (a point Trump doesn't understand). The plain truth of the matter is that the GOP's plan was always to enact TrumpNoCare without any support from the Democrats.

Remember that it took the Obama Administration ten months to get the ACA through Congress. There were weeks of hearings on the bill. President Obama appeared at forums to discuss, in detail, the proposals of the ACA.

Trump, on the other hand, did nothing other than make a few vague remarks here and there, along with his nearly-brainless tweets. At one point, he even expressed surprise that enacting health care legislation was difficult
"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject," he added. "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."
Which, of course, means that he didn't know it would be difficult. Anyone else who has paid even a modicum of attention to the issue of health care knew that it was a very complex issue. The original legislation itself was about 2,700 pages. Obviously, he had no inkling of that fact.

The mind boggles.

Any person with even a little bit of political experience could have seen this legislative train wreck coming before they even lit fires under the boiler.

(And this, too.)

Donnie Jr.'s Mystery Guests

It seems that every few days, we're finding out that there were more and more people at Don Jr.'s collusion meeting last year. Now we're up to eight people, a guy who was originally described as a translator, but he turns out to be a senior employee of the Russian oligarch who set up the meeting. The 8th dude allegedly was involved in laundering money for the Russian oligarchs.

And now it seems that at the meeting, Minor Donnie was given a folder of dirt on Hillary Clinton. Which violates a number of laws, including the Espionage Act.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Party of Treason and How It Came to Be That Way

One might wonder why the GOP seems to be finding itself in bed with Vladmir Putin, a long-time Russian/Soviet spy who has dedicated his life to the destruction of American influence in the world.

This article, by a conservative writer, seeks to explain why.

What's the Difference Between Donald Trump and Iran?

Iran keeps its word.
The Trump administration certified to Congress late Monday that Iran has continued to meet the required conditions of its nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers.

Badged-Up Robbers Are Getting a Boost

Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is ramping up the practice of police stealing people's shit.

Let's be clear about this: Asset forfeiture, when there has been no criminal conviction, is nothing other than legalized theft. The cops get to grab your shit and, if you want it back, you have to sue them. The only criteria for the cops stealing your shit is that they have to not like you for some obscure reason.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Paltry Joke or Three

A few days after her beloved husband disappeared fishing, a woman in Lubec, Maine answered her door to find two grim-faced Fish and Game officers.

"We're sorry, Ma'am, but we have some information about your husband."

"Did you find him?"

One officer said: "We have some bad news, some good news, and some really great news!"

Fearing the worst, she said: "Give me the bad news first."

The officer said, "I'm sorry to tell you, but this morning we found your husband's body just offshore."

"What could possibly be the good news?"

The officer continued: "When we pulled him up, he had 15 of the best looking lobsters that you have ever seen clinging to him. Haven't seen lobsters like that since the 60's, and we feel you are entitled to a share of the catch."

Stunned, but thinking of fresh boiled lobsters, she asked: "If that's the good news, then what's the great news?"

The officer replied: "We're gonna pull him up again tomorrow."
A Russian spy, a con artist and a billionaire walked into a bar. The bartender looked up and said: "Good evening, Mr. President."
How may pallbearers are there at a Mob funeral?

One, to close the trunk lid.

Historical Reading Material

The book was published in 1990. So it should be rather interesting.

New Trump Attack: "It's the Secret Service's Fault!"

That's what President* Trump's personal mouthpiece said on the Sunday morning talk shows: That it was the fault of the Secret Service for letting Donnie, Jr. meet with people purporting to be peddling Russian intelligence on Clinton.

The Secret Service responded by pointing out that Donnie the Lesser wasn't one of their protectees at the time. As they observed, ensuring that people not under their protection don't do stupid things isn't their job.

Meanwhile, Trump is using campaign funds to pay for his son's lawyer. Which may be legal, but it's a little sketchy. When you donate to a campaign, I don't believe that you've contemplated that you've donated to a legal defense fund to keep the candidate's kid out of stir.

Yet Another Police Shooting

A 40-year-old woman who family members said called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home Saturday night was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer.

The shooting happened at the end of the alley on W. 51st Street between Washburn and Xerxes avenues S. in the city’s Fulton neighborhood.

The woman, Justine Damond, from Sydney, Australia, and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.

Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said. No weapon was found at the scene.
Shooting a woman who was unarmed, in her PJs, and who was the complaintant in the 911 call?And shooting her not just once, but several times?

I've kind of wondered what would happen when the cops got to shooting white folk, especially women, under sketchy circumstances.

Guess we're going to find out.

The New Dr. Who

The BBC has revealed the new thirteenth - and as somewhat expected - the first female Doctor Who, actor Jodi Whittaker (Attack the Block).

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said in the anticipated Sunday announcement. “It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
I'm sure, without doing any looking, that conservative Dr. Who fans are, right now, losing their shit over the idea that the newest Dr. Who is a woman.

To which I say: Get a grip. It's a goddamned television show. If you don't like it, watch something else. There are, after all, only about a pasta-bazillion channels out there these days.