Year: 2011

Yes, this is a Change for the Better

One of the things that happens in the US Navy is that, after a long deployment, there is a passionate reunification on the dock.

Well, the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has caught up with this:

A Navy tradition caught up with the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule on Wednesday when two women sailors became the first to share the coveted “first kiss” on the dock after one of them returned from 80 days at sea.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Placerville, Calif., descended from the USS Oak Hill amphibious landing ship and shared a quick kiss with her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles. The crowd screamed and waved flags around them.

Both women, ages 22 and 23 respectively, are fire controlmen in the Navy. They met at training school and have been dating for two years.

Navy officials said it was the first time on record that a same-sex couple was chosen to kiss first upon a ship’s return. Sailors and their loved ones bought $1 raffle tickets for the opportunity. Gaeta said she bought $50 of tickets. The Navy said the money would be used to host a Christmas party for the children of sailors.

The happy couple.

Wanker of the Day

Actually, the week, and likely the month, and possibly the whole year, is the so-called “fact checkers” at Politifact.

Basically, they declared that statements that the Paul Ryan “destroy Medicare” plan did in fact destroy Medicare was the “lie of the year.”

I get it: Reality has a well-known liberal bias, but when you are replacing a single payer health insurance system with vouchers that won’t cover private insurance, you are destroying Medicare:

This is simply indefensible. Claims that are factually true shouldn’t be eligible for a Lie of the Year designation.

It’s unnerving that we have to explain this again, but since PolitiFact appears to be struggling with the relevant details, let’s set the record straight.

Medicare is a single-payer health care system offering guaranteed benefits to seniors. The House Republican budget plan intended to privatize the existing system and replace it with something very different — a voucher scheme. It would still be called “Medicare,” but it wouldn’t be Medicare.

It seems foolish to have to parse the meaning of the word “end,” but if there’s a program, and it’s replaced with a different program, proponents brought an end to the original program. That’s what the verb means.

(emphasis original)

It’s very simple:  If you eliminate a program, even if you come up with something completely different that you give the same name, you’ve eliminated that program.

Furthermore, if you want to take 10+ years to phase it, you’ve eliminated that program.

I’m in complete agreement with Krugthulhu:

The answer is, of course, obvious: the people at Politifact are terrified of being considered partisan if they acknowledge the clear fact that there’s a lot more lying on one side of the political divide than on the other. So they’ve bent over backwards to appear “balanced” — and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant.

And not only do they go with complete bullsh$%, but they overruled their own polling (even after a ‘Phant congressman attempted to encourage astroturfing, it still came in 3rd) to declare the truth to be a lie, so they doubled down.

Needless to day, Politifact won’t get links from me.

There are too many bastions of truthiness out there.

All that Blood, So Little Cat

Well, it looks like catching that stray cat last night came to naught.  It jumped up on the shelving, and found its way into the ceiling of the basement, as I noted last night, and it appears that there is a passage between that and the outside.

When I came home, I saw it running away from the (still somewhat full) cat dish of food.

It’s a bit of a relief actually, because I was concerned that I would have to cut a hole in the ceiling to rescue it.

We do want to get another cat, but I think that we will go the Humane Society route.

Now I have to get all the ceiling panels back into place.

This is chapter 2 of the tale of RP the Cat.

Happy Hanukkah to You Too, Dad

So, I got this from my Dad for Hanukkah.  Yep, it’s a real Richard Nixon campaign button.

Have I mentioned that my family is just a wee bit bent?

Nixon is an interesting character:  The worst president from 1933 through 1973 1974, and the best president from 1969 through the present.

If he were running these days, he’d be the smartest, most pragmatic, most ethical,* and most liberal person in the White House since his own inauguration.

America is in decline, QED.

*Really, seriously.  Just on the issue of supporting civil rights, he’s light years ahead of the competition.
Really. Opened the door to the People’s Republic of China, created OSHA and the EPA, etc.
We are living in Bizarro World, seriously.

It Appears that I Do Have Time to Bleed

Since Tudza has died, we have been trying to catch/adopt a young (my guess, less than 9 months) stray cat in our area.

Well, with the aid of a rescue trap, we got him, and he’s hiding in the basement ceiling now.  (I’m giving him a few minutes to cool down before I try to extract him)

In getting him out of the trap though, he expressed his displeasure with his treatment in a most forceful manner.

John Stewart Weeps

Well, it was fun while it lasted, but Newt Gingrich’s numbers are imploding.

Seriously, this makes Rudy Giuliani’s flame-out in 2008 look look like when Saddam set fire to half the oil wells in Kuwait.

PPP notes that, “Gingrich has now seen a big drop in his Iowa standing two weeks in a row.  His share of the vote has gone from 27% to 22% to 14%.”

He’s lost almost half of his support over the past 2 weeks.

His campaign isn’t doing a Dorian Gray, it’s a face melting Raiders of the Lost Ark thing that he has going.

FWIW, I think that the cause of his numbers dropping is not that he is saying batshit insane stuff, but because people are starting to realize that he is doing so as a sacrifice at the church of Gingrich, and that there is nothing that he wouldn’t say to sate his own ego..

One wonders if RuPaul Ron Paul starts getting some coverage of his decades long history of explicitly blatant racism if he wins Iowa.

I’m sick and tired of the press ignoring this, because he gives good article.

The JSF, It Just Gets Better and Better

Seriously, this is seriously f%$#ed up:

When the Joint Strike Fighter team told Guy Norris about the jet’s first run to its Mach 1.6 design speed, a couple of minor facts slipped their minds. Nobody remembered that the jet had landed (from either that sortie or another run to Mach 1.6) with “peeling and bubbling” of coatings on the horizontal tails and damage to engine thermal panels. Or that the entire test force was subsequently limited to Mach 1.0.

(emphasis mine)

So, they took the aircraft to its design speed, and it melted.

In addition to this, we have (to name a few):

  • The helmet mounted display that gives the pilot 360° visibility, and “makes maneuverability irrelevant,” does not work, and has been replaced by a less capable system.
  • The emergency fuel dump system, is likely to cause flammable accumulations of fuel next to the integrated power package (IPP) exhaust.
  • The IPP itself is unreliable, and has been failing and throwing out bits that have punctured fuel tanks.
  • The arrester hook for the naval version is improperly located, and simply won’t work, requiring a relocation, and a major structural redesign.
  • Excessive buffeting, causing control as well as fatigue issues.

The problem here has been exacerbated by the fact the, true to the latest theories of American techno-whiz bank, everything was supposed to work out of the box, because analysis and simulation techniques have become so sophisticated.

So testing became validation, and every test is supposed to be a success, and this (erroneous) assumption allowed to proceed and build of systems in parallel, even though a failure of one system could (and has) cause a disastrous cascade of delays.

Epic fail

Oh, This Doesn’t Sound Good

It is increasingly looking like the Iranians took down the RQ-170 drone using electronic warfare techniques, rather than an accidental crash:

Iran guided the CIA’s “lost” stealth drone to an intact landing inside hostile territory by exploiting a navigational weakness long-known to the US military, according to an Iranian engineer now working on the captured drone’s systems inside Iran.

Iranian electronic warfare specialists were able to cut off communications links of the American bat-wing RQ-170 Sentinel, says the engineer, who works for one of many Iranian military and civilian teams currently trying to unravel the drone’s stealth and intelligence secrets, and who could not be named for his safety.

Using knowledge gleaned from previous downed American drones and a technique proudly claimed by Iranian commanders in September, the Iranian specialists then reconfigured the drone’s GPS coordinates to make it land in Iran at what the drone thought was its actual home base in Afghanistan.

Rather unsurprisingly, the GPS exploit has been known for nearly two decades, which reminds me about how the Serbs took down an F-117 in the ’90s: it was sent on identical routes, at the same time every night, which is like painting a target on your back.

This is what happens when you think that technological whiz bang means that you can be stupid with impunity.

Unfortunately, this means that smart people with more limited resources sometimes kick your ass.

Apparently, the reason that it crashed, and did damage to the underside of the the drone, (hence the shroud on the bottom) was because there was a slight difference in elevation between the Iranian airfield and the home airbase, and it was either too high or too low.

My only question now is what they are asking the Chinese to give them for a peek at their prize.

It’s Bank Failure Friday!!!!

And here they are, ordered, and numbered for the year so far.

  1. Premier Community Bank of the Emerald Coast, Crestview, FL
  2. Western National Bank, Phoenix, AZ

Well, we had a three week hiatus on bank closings, but we’ve seen some action again.

This breather does mean that this will be the first time since 2008, (25 closings) we will have less than 100 bank closings.

Of course, if you want to be a pissant about this, you could add in the credit union closings, which would take us into 3 figures, but I’m not quite that much of a pissant.

So, here is the graph pr0n with last years numbers for comparison (FDIC only):

Someone Gets It in Europe

Vice President of the Portuguese Socialist Party has been taped saying that default is a preferable alternative to dismantling the social safety net:

“We have an atomic bomb that we can use in the face of the Germans and the French: this atomic bomb is simply that we won’t pay,” said Pedro Nuno Santos, vice-president of the Socialist Party in the parliament.

“Debt is our only weapon and we must use it to impose better conditions, because recession itself is what is stopping us complying with the (EU-IMF Troika) accord. We should make the legs of the German bankers tremble,” he said.

Angela Merkel and the rest of the sanctimonious “Good Germans” can natter all they want about responsibility, but if one of the debtor nations says, “f%$#k you, we’re defaulting,” it’s game over for the German banking sector and their economy.

What the “Technocrats” and “Very Serious People” don’t realize is that their demands are going to make this scenario happen sooner, rather than later.

There is a saying, “If you owe the bank $1,000.00, the bank owns you, if you owe the bank $1,000,000.00, you own the bank.”

OK, this has Been a Good Week for Economic News

Yesterday, we saw the best number for initial jobless claims in 3½ years, dropping to 366,000, with the 4-week moving average dropping to 387,750, though continuing claims rose marginally, and extended claims jumped by almost 10%.

Still, overall, this is good news, particularly when juxtaposed with the fact that inflation is still nowhere to be seen, though the “very serious” central bankers are still chasing that phantom.

I Know that this is Stating the Obvious……

Barack Obama did not “Keep his promise” to get out of Iraq.

We still have thousands or armed mercenaries contractors, and Obama did not pull the troops out voluntarily.

The Iraqis kicked us out, and Obama wanted to stay.

He wanted thousands of troops, a number of bases, to remain in Iraq.

As I’ve said before, Obama claims to oppose “stupid wars”, but he refuses to acknowledge that any war can be stupid.”

Yeah, It’s a Black Thing

Jon Stewart and Larry Wilmore parse Newt Gingrich’s bigoted dog whistles, and take him to town.

Unfortunately, anyone who is considering voting for that bloated sack of bleached excrement sees validation for their own racism.

I would expect the “professional” press to ignore this as well, because they have effusively rubbed elbows with American Bund wannabee Pat Buchanan for years.

It’s depressing that the best news show on TV is a comedy program.

I Was In the Zone This Afternoon

I was working on a design at work today, and lost track of time.

I came up with a sweet design though. (If I told you, I have to kill you).

As a result of this, was a little bit distracted on the way home, and I took the turnoff to I-70, instead of I-695, and was almost half the way to Fredrick before I realized what the f%$# I was doing.

It appears that the zone I was in was The Twilight Zone.

My wife was a bit concerned, because I got in kind of late.

I hope that this isn’t early onset dementia.

We Won’t See John Corzine Being Frog Marched Out of His Home in Handcuffs

Because, this is America, where the rich and powerful are above the law.

However, it appears that the CFTC is saying that they know where all the customer money went.

I should note that Corzine is claiming that he has no idea where all the client funds went, which, if true, means that he is in violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley, which should still qualify for the bracelets … Or it would, if we were a nation of laws, instead of a nation of men …

It’s On Wisconsin!

With over a month to go to gather signatures to recall him, the petition drive has already collected 97% of the signatures required:

Organizers of an effort to kick Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker out of office said Thursday they’ve collected nearly enough signatures to force a recall election, though their financial backing is far behind the Republican governor’s fundraising.

The state Democratic Party, unions and disgruntled citizens started organizing amid growing anger over Walker’s polarizing measure approved in March that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for public workers. Now, the United Wisconsin coalition reports that it collected 507,533 in 28 days; the group must submit 540,208 signatures by Jan. 17 to force the recall.

“The people of Wisconsin have said enough is enough,” Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said.

But the coalition and Democrats have raised roughly $1.4 million since July, compared to the $5.1 million that Walker raised over the same period, according to reports from both sides Thursday.

Of course, Walker’s response is to try to tie it up in the courts, and he and the ‘Phants in the legislature are trying to replace the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board with lapdogs as well.

Oh, and did I mention that state senate leader is attempting to make signing a recall petition a possible cause for a felony investigation as well? (2nd link)

You know, I think that the protestations of Walker and his bully-boys that the voters will reject the idea of recalling them are ringing awfully hollow.