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Just An Earth-Bound Misfit, I

Airplanes, cats, guns, war, the more than occasional rant about the kleptocracy of President Stable Genius and his party of treason, the spinelessness of the Democraps and ramblings about anything else that flits through the somewhat offbeat mind of an ar

Updated: 2018-03-22T17:43:54.947-05:00


The Invention That Destroyed American Politics


The jet airliner. Before the development of jets, most of the United States was too distant in travel time for politicians to easily get back home. So they ended up living in Washington, they became friends, and they had to work with one another. Back in the day, many congressmen lived in rooming houses that were established to provide cheaper housing to federal employees. It's hard to be an asshole to the person that you're going to see at school meetings and at Scouting events.

Now, they pretty much all go home for the weekend. They suck up with their donors, and they never have to get along with each other. This is why, for example, we got intelligent imbeciles like Rafael T. Cruz masquerading as members of "the worlds most deliberative body".

Small Government Stupidity


An Alabama lawmaker says he's against arming teachers because most are women and "are scared of guns."

That's one guy who should have an appointment with Dr. Ruth, who once was a Haganah scout-sniper.

Back on the other side of the country, it seems that a certain anacephalic by the name of Trayon White Sr., who was elected to the D.C. Cidiot Council, blamed Jews for snowstorms.

These clowns aren't running hot-dog carts. They write laws, people. That should scare any rational person.

Kill One, Educate Ten Thousand


I wonder if the real reason that Trump had McCabe fired in such a public and humiliating fashion was to send a message to other senior career federal employees: Toe the Trumpian line or lose everything you've worked for.

Trump clearly has had designs to turn the Department of Justice into his private legal team and to turn the FBI into his strong-arm force. Beyond that, with his personal attacks on McCabe and Mueller, he's behaving more like a New York mob boss who knows that he's guilty as sin, so his only recourse is to get the people trying to prosecute him.

If Trump were as innocent as he proclaims to be, about all you'd hear from him would be, well, nothing. Maybe a few initial comments about "full cooperation" and such, for that's what the innocent do.

Doctors used to do initial examinations by touching suspected areas: "Does it hurt when I press here?" If the patient winced, then that was something that needed to be looked into.

Mueller's been probing Trump and Trump has been squealing like a stuck pig. That should indicate, to a casual observer, that Trump is hiding something. Something that might cost him the presidency. Something that, more likely, will end with indictments of his family members and associates.

Meanwhile, this:
Sen. Lindsey Graham gave a stern warning Sunday to President Donald Trump against firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

"As I said before, if he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency," the South Carolina Republican said on CNN's "State of the Union."
I'll bet that Trump believes none of it. When has Lindsey Graham actually done anything? He is the Cowardly Lion of the Senate: All roar and no tooth.

And then there is this: Jared Kushner's company filed false documents so they could push out long-standing tenants. What they did was lie about what tenants were in their buildings, so that they could make life miserable for them and encourage them to leave. It's a well-known tactic of scumbag landlords like Kushner and, yes, his father-in-law.

Kushner's probably going to end up like his father: A multi-year "guest" of the Bureau of Prisons.

The Crisis Behind Your Power Outlets


The demand for electricity is falling. That hasn't happened since electrification began spreading outside of the cities.

The linked article has a lot of details.

What I wonder about is whether we're going to see a death spiral start forming. Death spirals are when businesses that see a drop in revenue begin raising rates (or prices) to make up for the shortfall. Customers start going elsewhere and that rate accelerates.

For electricity, if the utilities are not selling enough of it, look for them to be coming back to regulators, again and again, seeking rate increases. Businesses that use a lot of power may start rethinking the idea of self-generation of one form or another. Residential customers will look for ways to save electricity. A sign that this is going on will be when the other sources of heat start heavily advertising the lower costs of conversion to another heating method (oil, propane, natural gas). Rate increases will continue to spur conservation and searches for alternative sources. There will be massive consolidation of electrical utilities as they search for efficiencies and close unneeded plants. The death spiral will force them to do it.

Trump's desire to have a renaissance in coal is dead if the utilities don't have the increased demand to justify building new power plants. Even if they do, natural gas is cheap enough and a natural gas-fired plant doesn't need to deal with bottom ash or fly ash or come up with ways to store thousands of tons of ash. Between the need to handle the combustion by-products of coal, the need to maintain a coal yard and to have the machinery and people to move the coal to the inlet conveyors, coal has to be significantly cheaper than anything else in order to make it economical to burn the stuff. Right now, it isn't. The less-efficient power plants that will be the first to close will be the coal-fired ones.




It seems to be widespread within the NYPD. They basically lie like politicians: Often, withour tremorse and without any consequences (most of the time).

One has to wonder whether or not it is widespread everywhere else. My bet is that it is.

Your Sunday Morning Silent Prop Noise


Airline service from London to Paris in 1923.

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The airplane was probably a Handley Page Type O, which was a converted WW1 bomber. They flew for Handley Page Transport, which later became part of Imperial airways.`

2.5 hours of flying time; the airplane probably cruised at 90 mph. But as there was no security and a rudimentary customs inspection, it probably doesn't take any less time to travel from downtown London to downtown Paris by air now than it did 95 years ago.

"Petty, Vindictive and Dickish" are All Adjectives That Perfectly Describe Donald Trump


Why Trump might have wanted to fire Andrew McCabe was apparent weeks ago. But waiting until the man was just over a day away from retiring was the mark of a petty, vindictive, small-fingered, dick of a man. It's a move that will only please the microcephalics among the Trumpanzees.

Apparently, once again, the person being fired learned of it from outside sources. Which is another hallmark dickish and cowardly Trump move. Not to mention the overt boot-licking of Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, who seems to be filling the role of the ultimate toady of the Trump administration.

It's probably a safe bet that McCabe's got some information that the Special Prosecutor's team will soon know. And so will the reporters, unless he decides to save it for the book he'll soon write. For McCabe clearly has no fucks left to give.



One of Pat Kelley's "out of the box and to the match" reviews.

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he has some interesting videos on his YouTube page.



Casper the Friendly Shelter Cat:

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:

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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


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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.

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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.

Trump is a Craven Coward


For someone who used to brag that his catchphrase was "you're fired", Trump does not have the stones to call a man into his office and fire him.

No, he has to send someone a letter or do it over Twitter.

Because Trump is a fucking coward.

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.

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:

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Kick the Ball, Donnie!




Chip chills out.

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.