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

Friday, March 16, 2018

Promoting War Criminals

Trump wants Gina Haspel to be the next head of the CIA.

Other than being a woman, Haspel is notable because she oversaw the use of torture and then helped cover it up by overseeing the destruction of evidence.

So this is where the United States is today: People who should be doing time for war crimes are being rewarded and promoted. Chuckie Taylor, Prisoner 76556-004, is probably laughing at the irony.

Because It's Friday

Kiwi steam:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


The mother of a suspected vehicle burglar said she's outraged police are not pursuing charges against the El Cajon homeowner who fatally shot her son.

Early Sunday morning, an El Cajon resident said he shot someone he believed was breaking into his truck. In the midst of a confrontation, the homeowner said he fired off several shots from a .357 revolver style handgun.
Outraged? They ought to give the guy a parade and the ceremonial Key to the City.

Yeah, yeah, same old "my son was this close to turning his life around and why'd they have to go and shoot him" story. He told his momma that he "wanted to get sober so bad", but the dead guy was in and out of eight rehab centers by the time that the critter life found him catching one or more bullets.


Bullshit from the Army; 1943 Edition

Some of this was bullshit. Machine gun ammunition generally has a wider accuracy specification than rifle rounds. This is because a machine gun is not a point weapon, it is an area weapon. The place where the bullets are landing is the "beaten zone". A wider dispersion of fire for a machine gun is not a defect, it's the point. You want to shoot at one guy, use a rifle. You need to shoot at a bunch of guys, get a machine gun.

Which is why the touted accuracy of the American guns in the piece was just bullshit.

Dictators Can't Stand Sarcasm

The Chinese government is having a cow over a reporter's eyeroll at a news conference. They've issued orders banning all mention of it.

Liang Xiangyi, the reporter who launched that epic eyeroll, has undoubtedly been fired and will soon collect the 7.62mm retirement package for people that displease the regime.

It's also a little interesting that there is an American media company that functions as a propaganda outlet for the Chinese state.

Pi Day

Stephen Hawking has died. It'd be superfluous for me to write about him, as I trust that you are familiar with who he was, the briliance of his mind, and the fact that in spite of having a debilitating medical condition, he never gave up an inch to it. We have truly lost one of the great men of our time.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Ya Think?

Highly likely Moscow behind attack, says Theresa May.
But don't worry. Trump and his duty mouthpiece, Huckabee-Sanders, will issue statements saying that it's fake news. As soon as Donnie gets his marching orders from his handler.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

All Hail Chairman Xi Zedong (or, if you're older, Tse-tung), or Else!

China’s rubber-stamp lawmakers have passed a historic constitutional amendment that abolishes term limits and will enable President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.

The National People’s Congress’ nearly 3,000 hand-picked delegates endorsed the constitutional amendment Sunday, voting 2,958 in favor with two opposed, three abstaining and one vote invalidated.
I would not be surprised if there hasn't already been six quick executions.

The Chinese Communist Party abolished the job of chairman (Xi is the General Secretary), but don't be too surprised if the title comes back. The Party has been fomenting a cult of personality around Xi (one term for him is "Papa Xi") that has not been seen in China since the days of Mao.

In the long term, this is good news for those nations adverse to China. Autocrats usually stay in office well past the dates that they should retire, for they know that the retirement plan for autocrats tends to consist of something along the lines of a bullet to the back of the head (or a subtle poison). In autocratic regimes, the country stagnates, as bureaucrats and other apparatchicks are loathe to make independent decisions, for fear of being hauled off.

In the near term, things will be more dangerous for nations in the western Pacific Rim. Autocrats have sycophants, not honest advisers. The autocrat is the only one who can run the country, so the autocrat naturally believes that only he knows what path to take.

The next few decades may be a nervous time to live in Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, among other nations.

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

F4H cartridge start:


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Arrogance Has Its Cost for Pharma Bro

Seven years in Federal prison. The "JV team", as Shkreli called the prosecutors, put his ass away. Assuming he makes the maximum in good time and allowing credit for his time in jail after his bail was revoked, Shkreli will do 5-1/2 years in prison.

It's probably a near-certainty that Shkreli talked and acted himself into prison. He seemed to treat the charges and the trial as a big joke and that he, Pharma Bro, would never do time. Even dumber criminals know enough to keep their yaps shut and let their lawyers do the talking once charges are preferred. But not Shkreli.

He's got until somewhere between the fall of 2023 and 2024 to reflect on that.

She Can't Bring Herself to Denounce Nazis?

Actress [and Congressional Candidate] Stacey Dash said she’s “not here to judge” neo-Nazis in a bizarre defense of President Trump’s infamous response to the deadly Charlottesville rally last summer.
She apparently believes that some Nazis have "good hearts".

I'm sorry, but I'm pretty certain that this is a bright-line test: Nazis are not good people. A politician who can't bring herself to denounce Nazis is, frankly, clueless at best.

Because It's Friday

Steam tractors:

I don't know if I'd want to stand next to one of those things.

All Honor to Donald J. Trump (maybe)

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump plan to meet in May for nuclear disarmament talks, a whiplash development that would put two leaders who’ve repeatedly insulted, threatened and dismissed each other in the same room, possibly in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
While I think that fully crediting Trump with this is not accurate, at least he is moving on these developments.

I am skeptical that Trump has the discipline for diplomatic negotiations. He's too prone to run his mouth, whether to reporters, an audience or on Twitter. Trump will likely say something or do something to wreck any chance of a deal, for he seems to have a remarkable talent for self-sabotage. Especially if one of his manipulative advisers obsequiously flatters Trump into it.

And I'm somewhat convinced that the North Koreans have studied Trump and they have a grasp on how they can manipulate him into a deal that is very favorable to them. Hell, a few mentions that Trump might get a Nobel Peace Prize out of it and he'd sell Don Jr. to organ harvesters.

But if Trump can keep his shit together long enough to craft a reasonable deal with the NORKs, then that will go a long way into turning his presidency into a "mitigated disaster".