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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cops Shooting Cops (and Everyone Else)

An off-duty black St. Louis police officer who joined the pursuit of individuals believed to have stolen a car ended up being shot by one of his white colleagues, reports say.
This has happened before, again and again and again.

A black cop in plainclothes who goes toward a bad situation with his gun out is running the risk of being shot by his colleagues who will conclude that he's a bad guy. A white cop, in a similar situation, does not run that risk.

A black cop in plainclothes is either incredibly brave or incredibly foolish. Or both.
Meanwhile, three cops in Chicago are being charged with conspiracy and obstruction for trying to hush up the murder of Mr. Laquan McDonald.
Another cop on why the shooting of Philadro Castile was a bad one.
Here is what bothers me the most: In almost any field of endeavor that you can think of, professionals are held to a higher standard of care than the general public.

Except police work.

Cops get away with killing people in situations where, if it were two shmoes, the surviving shmoe would go to jail. If you are awakened by a noise at 0-dark-30 and you suspect that your house is being invaded, if you then shoot someone else, you'll go away for manslaughter. But not a cop. A cop is allowed to claim that he was afraid and, despite his superior training, he gets a pass.

You shoot an unarmed man because you thought he had a gun? You go to prison. A cop panics and shoots a guy with a wallet (or for the old standard "a furtive gesture")-- no big deal.

Fun Fact About the Senate's Version of TrumpDoesn'tCare

If you took everyone who would be denied health insurance by the Republicans and had them stand, shoulder to shoulder, the line would go from the U.S.-Mexican border to the North Pole and then back down to Vancouver.

The bill does what the Republicans want: Deny health insurance to poor, chronically ill, and disabled people, while giving a massive tax cut to the rich and to corporations.

Did anyone expect anything different from the Party of Hoover?

Kellyanne Conway said that everyone who works for WalMart or a fast-food joint should just go get a better job so they can afford insurance. If that isn't a "let them eat cake" moment, I don't know what is.

The difference, of course, is that the person to whom the saying was attributed really had no clue. That can't be said for Conway.

Aux guillotines!

(Also: No wonder Trump hired that guy.)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Is Three Minutes' Worth of Research Too Much to Ask?

So I read a mystery a couple of weeks ago. In the story, Sumdood was rubbing out people with a Ruby pistol. Which was probably realistic, as there had to have been a buttload of them brought back as souvenirs following each of the two world wars.

The author even mentioned that the gun was based on a Browning. But then the author, repeatedly, referred to it as a revolver.


Look, I'll spot someone writing that their character made a call from a telephone booth in postwar Rome and inserted coins into the phone instead of a gettone telefonico. Who'd think to research that point? But guns, especially when one is the central murder weapon in the story, are dirt-simple to research.


The marbles championship story had a self-launching video that was annoying.

I've replaced that with a link.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Musing Whilst Waiting for My Food

People who have ornate and visible tattoos should not be upset or annoyed when other people stare at them. Same goes for "ear gauges" or any of that sort of adornment. It's not like a disfiguring injury or a birth defect; they chose to do that to themselves.
I wonder about the sanity of people who "donate" shit that can only be described as trash to a charity. Do they think that they are doing the charity any favors? (Go take a look in a dumpster at a charitable thrift store if you are unclear on this.)
Ever notice that radio stations never play anything that was recorded before the late 1950s? Did recording technology advance enough around then so that the recordings that where made were of high-enough quality to still be commercially viable?
In a busy restaurant, standing around other people's tables and shmoozing with friends really plays hob with the flow of the servers.
Where the fuck is my food?*
* They lost my order. The manager put it through, again, as a rush job and comped the meal.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise


Compare the engines to those on the E-8, posted a week ago.

The KC-135 is an earlier airframe than the 707. Boeing had proposed basing the 707 on the KC-135, but the airlines didn't want it, because it could only handle five-across seating (2+3) in coach. Boeing widened the 707 to accommodate 3+3 seating and the rest is history.

Convair went with 2+3 seating for the CV-880, which is why Convair made 65 880s (and 37 990s). Boeing made over 1,000 707s and variations thereof, plus over 800 KC-135s.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Yet Another Trump Crime?

Both Trump and Gingrich said that Trump's tweet about tapes was designed to affect the testimony that James Comey gave to the Senate Intel Committee.

Comey was under oath. What Trump did, therefore, was try to influence the sworn testimony of a witness.

Which may be witness tampering. That's a bit of a crime.

Even if Trump isn't charged with that, his little tweet adds more weight to the scales to substantiate that he has been obstructing justice.

Meanwhile, someone else pointed out that Trump promised that he had a "very secret thirty-day plan to defeat Isis". Maybe he ought to get cracking on that, instead of yelling at televisions.


Chip is taking a break from watching the birds.

It was cool the other morning and the windows were open. A cow crow landed on the grass and just stood there cawing. It was facing the house.

The birds seem to be upping their game.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trump's Latest "Brainstorm"

A solar wall:
President* Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration's proposed US-Mexico border could pay for itself -- if it was solar.

A "solar wall" could "create energy and pay for itself," the President said during a rally at the US Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money," Trump said. "And that's good, right? Is that good? You are the first group I've told that to. A solar wall. It makes sense. Let's see. We are working it out. Solar wall panels."
Vertical solar panels. Is Trump ingesting high-speed chicken feed?

Once They Start Looking at You; Trump Ed.

They go around, kicking over the rocks, to see what squirms out.
Paul Manafort and his son-in-law, who embarked on a series of real estate deals in recent years fueled by millions of dollars from Mr. Manafort, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The transactions involve the financing of apartments and luxury homes in New York and California using money from Mr. Manafort, as well as from other investors solicited by the son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, including the actor Dustin Hoffman and his son. F.B.I. agents have reviewed financial records related to Mr. Yohai, who has been accused in a lawsuit of defrauding investors, the sources said.

It was not clear if the F.B.I.’s interest was part of the broader investigation that has ensnared Mr. Manafort, who was President Trump’s campaign chairman until he resigned last August amid reports that he had received millions of dollars in off-the-book payments for his consulting work in Ukraine. Mr. Manafort has been the focus of several inquiries looking into his business activities, failure to file foreign lobbying disclosures and possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island suggests that fired national security Mike Flynn has made a deal with the FBI and will testify against President Trump. There is no evidence for this, but Whitehouse says he has 'connected dots' of unrelated evidence to deduce this conclusion.

One Way Cops Can Avoid Shooting People

As one long-time officer has advocated, stop pulling people over for stupid shit.
I don’t make pretextual traffic stops. I don’t stop vehicles for minor equipment violations that don’t endanger the motoring public. I don’t run the plate on every car I see looking for the dude who has a suspended license because he didn’t pay his child support. Most of the people you catch by making these kind of stops aren’t truly criminals. They’re broke! Yes, they have likely made numerous poor decisions that have resulted in their warrants/suspensions, but most of these folks aren’t a real danger to your community. Don’t make it a habit to focus your attention on these “small fish.” Your community would probably prefer that you spend your time doing something more productive to enhance your residents’ safety.
The piece also advocates better training.

It's worth a read.


Shorter TrumpCare: "Die, You Fuckers."

Remember when Trump promised that his health care plan would be better than Obama's and it would cover everyone?

Not so much, it seems. Mostly, it's another excuse for giving Trump's peeps a massive tax cut while cutting spending on health care to poor folks.

Like all of those coal miners and other guys who are receiving disability and who have health coverage through Medicaid. You guys get to go shuffle off and die of untreated medical conditions.

And I supposed I should be outraged. But this is the thing: In rural counties where a significant percentage of the population is on disability, well, those counties went overwhelmingly for Trump.

Hey, we tried to tell you that Trump didn't give a shit about anyone else. We tried to tell you that his focus would be on doing anything so he and his wealthy buddies could make money, even if it meant screwing over all of those who voted for him. We tried to tell you that Trump was a fake populist and that he would be the President of the 0.1%.

But you didn't listen. And now you get to pay the price so Trump and the Oligarchs can get richer and richer.

TrumpCare is going to be very bad for a lot of people, but it's likely that a majority of them will be Trump voters. It's going to suck to be those folks, but they're getting what they voted for.

Whether they like it or not.

Because It's Friday

Remember: Trains have the right-of-way!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Forgery Failure, Probably, or
Buffoon-in-Chief At Work

Apparently the "Covfefe file" was empty:
President* Donald Trump on Thursday said he did not make nor does he have any “tapes” or recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, despite having previously teased at the idea that they did exist.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets on Thursday afternoon.
My completely unsupported guess is that there were recordings that were falsified by Trump's people (or his sympathizers), but then cooler heads pointed out that manufacturing evidence in the midst of a number of Federal investigations would be a sure ticket to the Big House.


In an exclusive interview with ABC News, a juror in the Bill Cosby sexual assault case said that after dozens of hours of grueling deliberations in a tiny room, 10 of the 12 jurors agreed he was guilty on two counts. On a third count, only one of the jurors believed he was guilty.

The final, intractable votes on the first of the three counts was 10 to two to find Cosby guilty of digitally penetrating accuser Andrea Constand without her consent, the juror said. On the second count, that she was unconscious or unaware during the incident, the juror said the vote was 11 to one to acquit. On the third count, that the alleged assault occurred after Cosby gave Constand drugs or intoxicants without her knowledge, substantially impairing her for the purpose of preventing her resistance, the jury was deadlocked at 10 to two, in favor of a guilty verdict, according to the juror.
Of course it'll be up to the prosecutor, but with a 10-2 split for conviction on two counts, I imagine that they'll retry the case.


Yes, that's a word.
Allegheny County [PA] is guaranteed to have at least one national marbles champion as two local girls are facing off in today's finals at the tournament in Wildwood, N.J.

Also, a Pittsburgh teen is in the boys final.

Mibsters Sierra Ricci, 12, of Shaler and Lauren Shutey, 13, of the South Side Flats, will play in the girls final.

In the boys division, Eli Murphy, 14, of Squirrel Hill, will compete against an opponent from Michigan.

If Murphy wins, the county will dual boys and girls champions, which also happened in 2008 and 2011. The Pittsburgh area has long been a powerhouse in the National Marbles Tournament, now in its 95th year.
Advance word is that Eli Murphy did win, in a nail-biting comeback. Apparently the first to win 8 games takes the crown. Murphy was down 1-7 and then won seven straight.

Update: Yepper! Good work, kids!