Month: June 2017

This Has Disaster Written All Over It

Theodore Roosevelt Full Ship Shock Test

The US Navy wants to defer shock testing on the Ford class carriers until the 2nd ship and got a provision in the latest defense appropriation bill allowing them to do this, because, after all, it’s not like it’s ever going to see combat, or have a weapons handling accident, or run aground, or collide with a garbage scow.


This ship has a new catapult and arresting gear using a new electromagnetic technology, a new reactor, a new radar, a different computer architecture, a new ordinance handling system, a modified hull, and increased automation to reduce crewing.

Any of these systems could be impacted very differently by shock than the legacy systems on the Nimitz class, and the Navy wants to deploy the first ship in class without testing.

This is simply insane.

What a Useless Self-Important Narcissistic Sphincter

I am, of course, referring to Cory Booker, the junior Senator from New Jersey, who after being excoriated for voting against drug reimportation after taking thousands in donations from big pharma, had had an epiphany.

He “Will “Pause” Fundraising from Big Pharma Because It “Arouses So Much Criticism”.”

According to him, the problem is not that he sold out his constituents and the American public for campaign donations, but people were mean to him for doing so.

Cory Booker, go Cheney yourself.

It’s Like Asking for Mercy as an Orphan after Murdering Your Parents

In examining the much ballyhooed “rescue” of the New York City subway by Governor Andrew Cuomo, people are noting that his complete hostility to mass transit, particularly his hostility to the subway, created this mess in the first place:

The New York City subway system, by far the largest and best public transit system in the United States, has reached a crisis level of dysfunction over the past few months, with serious congestion, delays, and a recent derailment in Harlem that injured 34 passengers. In a delayed response, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) declared a “state of emergency” on Thursday and ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to produce a reorganization plan to fix the problem.

Don’t fall for his shtick.

Cuomo has been directly responsible for the subway for over six years. It has been obvious since he took power that something like this would happen and he’s done nothing but make it worse. The crisis is a clear result of his incompetence, his abysmal politics, and his odious personality.

I’ve seen commentary in the same vein from The New Republic, the Village Voice, and on the cover of the New York Daily News (sorry, no link, I saw it on a news stand), so I think the upside to all of this is that I don’t think that Cuomo will be able to run for President in 2020 as the savior of the system.

Instead, he will have to defend the fact that he broke them in the first place.

California is F%$#ed Up and Sh%$

We’ve all heard that the head of the California State Assembly killed the single payer bill.

While you are condemning lobbyists and timid Democrats, it should be noted that the bill had no funding mechanism, and because of California’s out of control initiative petition system, which passes bills with all the sophistication of the saying in fortune cookies, every dollar of benefits would require two dollars in taxes:

In the days since California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelved for the year SB562, which intends to establish a state single-payer health care system, he’s been subject to mass protests and even death threats. The bill’s chief backers, including the California Nurses Association and the Bernie Sanders-affiliated Our Revolution, angrily point to Rendon as the main roadblock to truly universal health care.

They’re completely wrong. What’s more, they know they’re wrong. They’re perfectly aware that SB562 is a shell bill that cannot become law without a ballot measure approved by voters. Rather than committing to raising the millions of dollars that would be needed to overcome special interests and pass that initiative, they would, apparently, rather deceive their supporters, hiding the realities of California’s woeful political structure in favor of a morality play designed to advance careers and aggrandize power.


It’s because you can’t do the funding without help from the voters, because of California’s fatal addiction to its perverse form of direct democracy. The blame, in other words, lies with ourselves.

To figure this out, you need only turn to the actual legislative analysis of the Senate bill, which passed in early June. It states very clearly what Rendon alluded to in his announcement shelving SB562: “There are several provisions of the state constitution that would prevent the Legislature from creating the single-payer system envisioned in the bill without voter approval.”

To cut through the clutter, let’s focus on the biggest constitutional hurdle, known as Proposition 98. Passed in 1988, Prop 98 requires that roughly 40 percent of all general fund revenues — money the state receives in taxes — must go to K-12 education. If you include community college spending, it must exceed 50 percent.

Prop 98 was itself a reaction to the notorious Prop 13, which sharply limited state property taxes. It was intended to ensure that education received its fair share of funding. But it also created a budgetary straitjacket that affects virtually anything that costs California money.


Substituting a centralized state program for the skyrocketing premiums people pay today would actually be relatively affordable. But if half the money has to be siphoned off to education, that rationale becomes harder to sell.

Self-appointed experts have countered that the state can suspend Prop 98 with a two-thirds vote of the legislature. This has been done twice in the past, during downturns in the economy. But the suspension can last for only a single year; it would have to be renewed annually to keep single payer going. More important, as the California Budget and Policy Center explains, after any suspension, “the state must increase Prop 98 funding over time to the level that it would have reached absent the suspension.”

So legislators would have to vote year after year to suspend Prop 98, but add more money back to cover it in subsequent years. That backfill would grow with every budget, and over time lawmakers would need to vote for ever-increasing giant tax hikes. If this didn’t return Republicans to power in Sacramento within a few years, some enterprising lawyer would sue the legislature for violating the spirit of Prop 98. Suspension is not politically, legally, or financially sustainable.

Until California fixes the network of stupid and dysfunctional initiative petitions that have completely f%$#ed up state government, the best that they can expect is the, “Same Sh%$ Different Day.”


Here is a your feel good story of the day, Luftwaffe ace flies in Spitfire: (BBC)

What Part Of, “Working with Peter Thiel,” Don’t You Get?

Peter Thiel is a gay bashing gay man, an Ayn Rand loving sociopath, and one of the founders of the Big Brother wannabee software company Palantir.

Needless to say, his history should be a red flag for anyone who would want to do business with him.

Subscribing to a philosophy which maintains that self-interest is the only form of morality does not imply that they would deal fairly or honestly with clients.

Case in point, the New York Police are terminating their contract with the firm, and Palantir is refusing to transfer to the department as is required in the contract, because supplying an overpriced and difficult to use product, your business model has to be lock in:

A showdown over law enforcement information — and who controls it — is taking place between the New York Police Department and Palantir Technologies, the $20 billion Silicon Valley startup that for years has analyzed data for New York City’s cops, BuzzFeed News has learned.

The NYPD is canceling its Palantir contract and intends to stop using the software by the end of this week, according to three people familiar with the matter who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The department has created a new system to replace Palantir, and it wants to transfer the analysis generated by Palantir’s software to the new system. But Palantir, the NYPD claims, has not produced the full analysis in a standardized format — one that would work with the new software — despite multiple requests from the police department in recent months.

Lawyers from each side have gotten involved, showing that this dispute — which hasn’t previously been reported — has the potential to escalate into a legal fight. And given the work Palantir does for a host of other government clients, the standoff over a seemingly arcane technical issue has implications for a range of services, from international espionage to battlefield intelligence.


The NYPD has been a Palantir customer since at least 2012, and Palantir has touted the relationship to help it drum up other business. The software ingests arrest records, license-plate reads, parking tickets, and more, and then graphs this data in a way that can reveal connections among crimes and people. In late 2014, for example, the police department used Palantir’s analysis to plan a sting that landed the rapper Bobby Shmurda behind bars, just as his career was taking off, according to an internal Palantir email seen by BuzzFeed News.


The NYPD quietly began work last summer on its replacement data system, and in February it announced internally that it would cancel its Palantir contract and switch to the new system by the beginning of July, according to three people familiar with the matter. The new system, named Cobalt, is a group of IBM products tied together with NYPD-created software. The police department believes Cobalt is cheaper and more intuitive than Palantir, and prizes the greater degree of control it has over this system.

The NYPD was paying Palantir $3.5 million a year as of 2015, according to an internal Palantir email that describes a contract to be signed in late 2014. Other Palantir customers — including Home Depot, which canceled late last year — have also raised concerns about Palantir’s prices.

The emerging dispute is not over the data that the NYPD has fed into Palantir’s software, but over the analysis that the software has produced — all the insights like the one that underpinned the Shmurda arrest.

The NYPD asked Palantir in February for a copy of this analysis, and for a translation key so that it could put the analysis into its Cobalt system, the people familiar with the matter said. But when Palantir delivered a file in May, it declined to provide a way to translate it, arguing that doing so would require exposing its intellectual property, the people said.

The NYPD then asked Palantir for the information in a translated format — asking Palantir to do the translation itself — according to the people. Palantir responded this month, providing a file that was indeed readable. But according to the NYPD’s examination of the file, it contained only the original data the NYPD had fed into the system, the people said. The analysis appeared to be missing.

If the dispute is not resolved by the end of this week, the NYPD can continue to view the analysis by using Palantir software, given that customers retain a perpetual software license even after canceling, two people familiar with the matter said. But this could mean having to switch between systems to see information relating to a case, a situation the NYPD wants to avoid. Plus, as an ex-customer, the NYPD will not have access to the same product upgrades or support should the software fail.

The standoff highlights a thorny issue for companies and governments that outsource their data-mining tasks to outside contractors. Technology experts say software companies have little incentive to smooth a customer’s transition to a rival’s product. In some situations, a software company would genuinely risk devaluing its intellectual property if it shared information with a customer, since that could show the customer how the information was created, according to Tal Klein, chief marketing officer of IT monitoring company Lakeside Software.

I may be a bit unfair to Thiel and Palantir here:  It appears to me, at leastdescribed Mr. Klein, that this is a part and parcel of privatized IT operations and the cloud.

In a truly competitive and open market, the profits approach zero, so any business would put as much friction into changing services so as to maximize its power over its clients.

This is why you should not privatize this sh%$ or move it to the cloud. 

It’s a computerized roach motel:  Your data checks in, but it never checks out.

Speaking of Democratic Party Consultants

In an article belittling the standard Democratic Party “The Sky is Falling” fundraising email, this little factoid is thrown in:

And that means the party’s relationship with its consultant class will have to change. Amidst the wreckage of Ossoff’s campaign there emerges only one winner: Mothership Strategies, which reportedly earned $3.9 million for its work. Everyone else—voters, the party, the candidate Mothership promoted—lost.

This is economics 101:  The incentives for consultants are for spending money profligately, not on winning campaigns, or efficient allocation of resources, because they are given a cut of that spending. 

All the pious assertions otherwise are unmitigated crap.

Giving Money as an Insult

When Bernie Sanders did his tour with Tom Perez in their mutual political tour, he paid his way for his expenses so as not to be beholden to the DNC:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who clashed with the Democratic National Committee during his 2016 presidential campaign and continues to criticize the party, gave $100,000 to the DNC in May to help cover costs from his cross-country spring tour with DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

Sanders and Perez embarked on the nine-state “unity tour” earlier this year after Sanders’ endorsed candidate, Rep. Keith Ellison — who supported Sanders in the 2016 presidential race — lost the race for DNC chairman to Perez. Sanders moved the money from his presidential campaign account to the DNC to help pay for the tour, according to campaign finance records and Sanders spokesman Josh Miller-Lewis.

The rare transfer of money from Sanders to the national Democratic Party comes after the unity tour and addition of Ellison as a “deputy chair” at the DNC, two changes that could signal a thaw in a high-profile, often-icy relationship. Former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile, who led the DNC after Wasserman Schultz resigned, were both Hillary Clinton allies — a fact that roiled Sanders supporters when hacked emails showed DNC staffers discussing Sanders unfavorably during the primary.

The Sanders campaign also filed a lawsuit against the DNC in 2016, alleging the party wrongly revoked his campaign’s access to voter data during that year’s campaign. The lawsuit had marked a particularly low point in relations between Sanders and the party, which pulled Sanders campaign access to certain databases before the first 2016 primaries and caucuses, after discovering that Sanders staffers had improperly accessed data used by Clinton’s rival campaign. Sanders withdrew the lawsuit last year.

But despite the unity tour and the May donation, Sanders is still outwardly critical of the Democratic Party, which he recently said needs “fundamental change” and “fundamental restructuring.” During the 2016 presidential race, Sanders set up a joint fundraising committee with the DNC — but no money ever passed through it.

Claiming that the money transfer, “Signals a thaw in a high-profile, often-icy relationship,” seems to me to be a little bit clueless.

If Bernie Sanders explicitly raised money for the DNC, that might constitute a thaw.

Refusing to let the DNC pay his way on a DNC tour is a way of staking out his independence of the Democratic Party establishment.

This is a f%$# you to the DNC, not a rapprochement.

DNC Fails Where the Rubber Meets the Road

After Barack Obama stood up Tom Perez for DNC chair in order to prosecute a petty f%$# you to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, Perez promised to end unpaid internships at the DNC.

Unpaid internships at a place like the DNC are dishonest (they are doing real work, not just shadowing people and learning), an abusive way of dealing with labor, and discriminatory, because poor people cannot afford to work for free.

Well, it looks like Tom Perez was just kidding:

While running for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez pledged to eliminate unpaid internships at DNC.

“Millennials need more than just a seat at the table, they need a voice in every part of the conversation at the DNC,” tweeted Perez during a DNC chairman’s debate in February. “And creating a paid internship program is a part of my plan to bring in more millennials.”

However, it’s been nearly four months since Tom Perez became chairman, and now the DNC— under Perez’s watch—is employing another set of unpaid summer interns and is currently accepting applications for unpaid internships for the fall.

According to the DNC’s website, unpaid interns are required to work 40 hours per week, leaving little time for interns to work part-time jobs to pay their bills.

It’s unclear if the internships meet the U.S. Department of Labor criteria that determine whether the internships financially benefit the employer. The DOL’s six point test is intended to clarify whether unpaid or educational arrangements are truly beneficial to the intern, and whether or not interns must be paid at least a minimum wage.


I understand that money is tight, but paying these people minimum wage is just a rounding error of the money kicked back to various Democratic Party consultants.

There is no excuse for this.


So, Mitch McConnell has put off a vote on the Senate version of Trumpcare because he doesn’t have the votes.

I am amused, though unlike some people, I don’t think that this is the beginning of the complete unraveling of the Republican party, even though they have been promising to kill the ACA for 8 years.

Never underestimate the capacity of Republicans for self-delusion.  In comparison, Trotskyites look like steel eyed realists.

A Good Sign, but There Is Weirdness Here

To understand what is going on here, one needs to engage is something akin to Kremlinology to figure out what is going on here, but my (not particularly well educated) guess is that there is a conflict between those who want to overthrow the Assad regime (AKA “The Blob”), and those who are OK with Assad remaining in power and want to focus on ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Whatever. 

Again, I should note that this is a guess, but my guess is that someone in “The Blob” cherry picked some intelligence in in the hope of either fomenting a regime change scenario or an attack on Assad’s ally Iran.

In any case, it looks like there is some deescalation going on now:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis claimed Wednesday that the Syrian government backed down after the White House said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were preparing for another possible chemical attack.

“They didn’t do it,” Mattis said.

Speaking to reporters aboard a flight to Brussels, the retired four star general gave few details to support the assertion that the Syrian military stepped back from plans for a possible chemical strike. On Monday, the White House warned that Syrian forces would “pay a heavy price” if they carried out another chemical strike.

Mattis’s remarks come a day after the Pentagon said it had seen “active preparations for chemical weapons use” at Shayrat Airfield, the same place struck by more than 50 cruise missiles earlier this year.

It sounds to me like someone caught the rat-f%$#, and decided that the politic thing would be to declare victory, and go home.

Interestingly enough, Mattis is a big advocate of military action against Iran, so the fact that he is declaring victory is rather puzzling.

Yeah, Throw This Guy Some Coin

Someone got sick and tired of the Indian phone banks that are making thousands of calls in an attempt to scam us, and someone calling himself “Project Mayhem” has written software to call the phone banks hundreds of times a minute to prevent them from reaching real people:

It’s likely you’ve gotten calls from criminals who pose as IRS employees and threaten to imprison you if you don’t pay them thousands of dollars. These crooks work in teams based in Indian call centers. They are scumbags of the lowest order, preying on seniors and immigrants through fear and intimidation. Here’s a security developer who decided to fight back. He wrote a script that called one of these IRS scammers’ phone banks 28 times a second, flooding their phone lines and making it impossible for them to ply their vile trade. It’s fun to listen to the scammers curse at the programmer’s recorded message. According to Twisted Sifter, he has launched something called Project Mayhem to continue his fight against these unscrupulous scammers.” He is seeking Patreon donations to go after IRS scammers, tech support scammers, loan scammers, “you have won” scammers, and “family member in trouble” scammers. ………

You can donate money to this anonymous hero via Patreon.

Unfortunately, he has not released the code, though a number of sources have said that it is a rather trivial programming operation.

Personally, I’ll just lobby my Congresscritter to put a penny a minute tax on all overseas calls in both directions.

For ordinary people the costs are minimal, but for the scammers, it would make their business model, such as it is, untenable.

As to those who would argue that this would cripple the technical support and customer service operations currently operated in India, I will simply quote Randall Munroe, and say:

My experience with Indian technical support and customer service has been less than salutary.

What Part of Ukrainian Nationalist Don’t You Get?

The Ukrainian city of Lviv has decided to hold a festival to honor a collaborator with the Nazis who murdered Jews and Poles, primarily in Volhynia and Galicia:  (The article does not mention the massacres of Poles by Shukhevych)

The Ukrainian city of Lviv will hold a festival celebrating a Nazi collaborator on the anniversary of a major pogrom against the city’s Jews.

Shukhevychfest, an event named for Roman Shukhevych featuring music and theater shows, will be held Friday.

Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, in a statement called the event “disgraceful.”

On June 30, 1941, Ukrainian troops, including militiamen loyal to Shukhevych’s, began a series of pogroms against Jews, which they perpetrated under the auspices of the German army, according to Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder and other scholars. They murdered approximately 6,000 Jews in those pogroms.

The day of the festival is the 110th birthday of Shukhevych, a leader of the OUN-B nationalist group and later of the UPA insurgency militia, which collaborated with the Nazis against the Soviet Union before it turned against the Nazis.

Shukhevychfest is part of a series of gestures honoring nationalists in Ukraine following the 2014 revolution, in which nationalists played a leading role. They brought down the government of President Viktor Yanukovuch, whose critics said was a corrupt Russian stooge.


In a related debate, the director of Ukraine’s Institute of National Remembrance, Vladimir Vyatrovich, who recently described Shukhevych as an “eminent personality,” last month defended the displaying in public of the symbol of the Galician SS division. Responsible for countless murders of Jews, Nazi Germany’s most elite unit was comprised of Ukrainian volunteers.

Displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Ukraine but the Galician SS division’s symbol is “in accordance with the current legislation of Ukraine,” Vyatrovich said.

I would note that I am aware of my family history, and I am aware that there is some Galitzianer* in my background, (my dad prefers a sweet gefilte fish), so I do tend to not to be dismissive of efforts Nazi apologists from that part of the world, though I am not surprised by such efforts.

Ukrainian history is rather more virulently antisemitic than corresponding Russian history.

*My Grandmother also claimed descent from the Goan of Vilna (Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman) which would make us Litvaks (Lithuanian) Nas well, so I span both major divisions of Eastern European Jews. There is also some Yekke (German/Western European) Jewish background in the family tree, so we’re mutts.
Note that the division of Galitzianer, Litvak, and Yekke only vaguely correspond to the current or historical boundaries of these regions.

Oh Sh%$. Someone Wants Regular US Ground Troops in Syria

Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.

— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 27, 2017

The UN Ambassador making this statement allows for an accusation to be made semi-officially, but it can be disavowed later

So, now we have allegations that the Syrians are planning an imminent chemical attack from members of the Trump administration.

First, as was noted by Sy Hersh,  there probably wasn’t a gas attack by the SAA (Syrian Arab Army, i.e. Assad) Khan Sheikhoun, and second, the war is going pretty well for Damascus these days, so another attack makes no sense.

I would note that the statements are assigning direct culpability to Russia and Iran should an attack occur, which implies that someone is trying to instigate an attack against one or both of them.

My guess is that someone wants to hit Iran, and is trying to get the Russians to keep their head down, though there is also the possibility that this is an attempt to deflect attention from the aforementioned Hersh story:

The United States said Tuesday that it has observed Syrian chemical warfare personnel visiting known production facilities, suggesting that President Bashar al-Assad’s government is preparing fresh strikes on the rebel-held north of the country. 

The White House warned late Monday that the Assad government would pay a “heavy price” for any such strikes, indicating publicly for the first time that it believes the Assad government is capable of launching new chemical attacks.

We really need to disentangle ourselves from the the Gulf monarchs supporting Jihadists in Syria (Saudi Arabia and Qatar largely, though they support different ones), and end the support  own state security apparatus for them as well. (There is no moderate opposition outside of the Kurds)

We are being played for suckers, and it will be American blood and treasure that will be wasted as a result.

Not Sure How to Read This

I am referring, of course to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Trump Muslim/Travel Ban.

They allowed limited parts of the injunction to continue, but allowed the ban to come into effect for refugees (without family in the US) and tourists.

Since Trump’s latest executive order is time limited, any final decision might largely be moot, and I am wondering if this is an exercise of judicial kick the can:

Today the Supreme Court agreed to review rulings by two lower courts blocking the implementation of President Donald Trump’s March 6 executive order, popularly known as the “travel ban.” Citing national-security concerns, the order imposed a freeze on new visas from six Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). But the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had put the order on hold last month, concluding that – although it did not specifically say so – the order likely violated the Constitution because the president intended to discriminate against Muslim travelers. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit also blocked the order, but on a different ground: It concluded that the order exceeds the authority that Congress has given the president to regulate immigration. The court’s announcement today means that the justices will review both of those decisions. The justices also granted the Trump administration’s request to allow the ban to go into effect, at least for would-be travelers who don’t already have some connection to the United States.

The announcement came in a brief, unsigned opinion issued by the justices when they took the bench this morning to release opinions in cases argued on the merits earlier this term. The court’s opinion focused primarily on the government’s request to reinstate the ban while the cases are before the Supreme Court. Emphasizing that the purpose of temporary relief like this is “to balance the equities as the litigation moves forward,” the court made clear that it had the authority to “tailor” its ruling so that it applied to some, but not all, of those affected.

That is precisely what it did. The lower courts had considered the hardships that the ban would create for the named plaintiffs in the case: two men with family members who want to come to the United States from the affected countries; and the state of Hawaii, whose state university had admitted students from those countries. But, the court explained today, the lower courts’ orders barring enforcement of the ban “reach much further than that,” because they also apply to people living overseas “who have no connection to the United States at all.” When those people are unable to come to the United States, the court reasoned, their constitutional rights are not violated – because they have no right to come to the United States – and their exclusion from the country does not harm anyone in the United States.

The justices therefore upheld the lower courts’ orders blocking enforcement of the ban with regard to the named plaintiffs and others like them – people who “have a credible claim” of a genuine relationship with someone or an institution in the United States. When that relationship is with an individual, the court made clear, it must be a close family member. And when the relationship is with an institution, the relationship must also be a genuine one, rather than one created just to get around the travel ban.

I think that it was basically a punt, with Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch writing a concurring opinion that goes full black shirt, which should surprise no one who has followed their careers.

And for the next Trick, United Airlines Will Boil a Baby

I wish that I was joking:

While aboard a grounded flight destined for Texas, a Colorado mother said she thought her son was going to die in her arms as temperatures in the cabin spiked.

Emily France’s 4-month-old son Owen had to be hospitalized after overheating on a United flight waiting to depart Denver International Airport.

France and Owen boarded United Airlines flight 4644 around 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, expecting to take off thirty minutes later.

While sitting in her assigned seat at the rear of the plane, France said the cabin was already noticeably hot. 

After the flight was delayed due to re-fueling and a reroute caused by bad weather, France told the Post she tried to cool her son using wet wipes. Eventually flight attendants brought France and another mother ice to press against their children’s bodies.

France was allowed to exit the aircraft for approximately 20 minutes, according to the Post, but was then asked to return for takeoff. Once back on board, the plane pushed away from the gate, but with temperatures still sweltering, things continued to worsen.

“His whole body flashed red and his eyes rolled back in his head and he was screaming,” France told the paper. “And then he went limp in my arms. It was the worst moment of my life.”

France told the Post that she and other passengers begged to return to the gate, but ground and air crews seemed to be debating how to best handle the situation.

“This should never have happened,” United Airlines said in a statement to NBC News. “We are profoundly sorry to our customer and her child for the experience they endured. We are actively looking into what happened to prevent this from occurring again.”

They could have let people off the plane while they were waiting.

They could have turned on the APU to supply some cooling.

If the APU was not working, they could have cooled off the plane with a start cart.

They did none of these things, because  ……… United Airlines.

“Friendly Skies,” is grammatically correct irony.

Can You Tell What is Wrong With this Quote?

In St. Louis, an off duty black police officer heard a commotion, and headed to the scene to render aid.

He was promptly shot by another officer, because, of course, even an officer of the law is just a “N***** with a gun”.

What stands out though is this quote:

But Rufus Tate Jr., the black officer’s attorney, took issue with that claim, saying his client complied with the other officers’ commands and was never a threat.

“In the police report, you have so far, there is no description of threat he received,” he told St. Louis Fox-affiliate KTVI. “So we have a real problem with that. But this has been a national discussion for the past two years. There is this perception that a black man is automatically feared.”

Tate said the incident was a case of “a black professional, in law enforcement, himself being shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street. This is a real problem.”

(emphasis mine)

This is the lawyer for the cop who got shot, and he says that the problem is not that black men are arbitrarily shot by police, but that they do it to black cops as well.

You see what is wrong here?

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen

Don Tinfoil Hat

Lyndon Larouche abides

Charlie lost his ID card, he does not have a driver’s license, so I took him to the DMV to order a replacement.

On the way in, we noticed these guys with a table with a big sign talking about an FBI conspiracy against Donald trump.

On closer inspection we noticed that their signs referenced, so seriously crazed conspiracy theorists.

We had about a 20 minute wait at the DMV, so he wanted to think about a potential taunt.

He was concerned that he could not come up with one quickly, because this sort of reaction is analogous to a stand-up comic dealing with a heckler, and because he does stand-up comedy now and again, this troubled him.

I reassured him that that comics frequently prepare in advance to deal with potential hecklers, so we can prepare something for the inevitable wait at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

As we are waiting, he floats out some ideas, and I float out some ideas, including his pointing at his hat, and saying, “Chem Trails.”

Charlie wears a blind fold that he made out of duct tape as a hat. He made it for blind folded Rubik’s Cube competitions, and it does evoke the whole “tinfoil hat” thing, so the juxtaposition of the hat and, “Chem Trails,” is a statement that is both amusing, and unclear: It could be mockery, and it could be a statement that one is a fellow traveler conspiracy nut.

He liked that one, so that is what I was expecting when we left the DMV (He took the hat off for the ID pick, BTW).

Instead, he looked the man in the eye, and said:

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen!

And then he turned and walked away, giggling as the guy at the table said, “What did you say?”.

Of course, this phrase is VERY well known to the reader(s) of this blog.

He needs to work on his delivery, he said it too quickly, and he should have pitched the words lower, because it really works better when said in a stentorian manner, but he worked out what would be the best quick take down.

FYI, here is some stand-up from a year ago: