Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sunday Music: Petula Clark

In honor of the good folks in Old Blighty having the good sense to kick their PM RTFO, some happy music from the most delightful British Invasion export of the 1960s.

First, courtesy of the would-be bumper intro to Bill Whittle's YouTube Stratosphere Lounge vlogs (before the copyright bahstuhds made him cut it out):

(Ignore the sync issues. Enjoy the HQ audio)
Which was the follow up to this one that absolutely rocked, all the way to #1:
Memorial Weekend Tie-In Bonus Points if you can remember this being blasted out in the cockpit of a cinematic A-6 Intruder by Brad Johnson and Willem Dafoe over Hanoi, after unauthorizedly shacking SAM City:
But yes, I much prefer Petula's version.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

TV Review: Yellowstone

Yellowstone, with the original cast.

I'd seen the trailers, and Costner generally manages to be likeable and interesting in just about anything he does, even if it sucks, so I figured I'd give this one a look.

He is, and this does.

The Good
This is better TV than 99% of what's out there now.

The Bad
How low that bar is cannot be measured with existing instrumentation.

The Ugly
I'd seen teasers for this last year, mainly in movie theaters (because no one who can help it watches TV anyways, apparently). So when it appeared in the store as a complete season, I figured it was worth checking out as a binge-watch, commercial free, because what's come out as movies lately has been every bit of dung-heap stinky for most of 2018 and 2019.

So, you get to see Kevin Costner as a cowboy (which, after Silverado and Open Range isn't a bad thing). And you think you're going to be getting an anti-PC take from a character who the whole world is coming after, in a turn worthy, or at least vaguely reminiscent, of John Wayne, back from the dead, however dimly.

Instead you get something you've undoubtedly seen before.
Allow me to explain.

Long about Episode 3 of the first season, you realize what you're watching.
It's not the saga of the patriarch of the Dutton clan bravely holding on to a piece of Montana "as big as Rhode Island".

What you're actually watching is Don Vito Corleone thuggishly protecting the Family business, in this case the Yellowstone Ranch, right next to the national park of the same name.

Except, no surprise, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, and Talia Shire did the whole thing so much better, with Francis Ford Coppola telling the story.

Don Vito starts out the wronged man, beset by the Tartaglias, who want to build a condo development in Corleone territory. Connie is out of control and alcoholic. Then the Solazzo mob rustles his cattle. Sonny gets whacked stealing them back, and war hero Michael avenges that, but it costs him the life and relationships he was cultivating outside the family business. Connie is out of control and evil, and Tom Hagen saves Sonny, only to become Fredo, because he's not a war-time consiglieri, leaving Don Vito with only Connie and Michael to stand with him against the cops, TPTB, and the rest of the Five Families.
That's all of season one in a paragraph.

Like I said, you've seen this before.
Except the original cast was far more compelling, much better actors, and the story was more interesting before they all put on cowboy hats. And it's beyond tough for Costner, surrounded by a cast of basically nobodies, to carry this whole thing by himself, try mightily though he does.

It's well-shot, and the scenery is nice for not being NYFC or anywhere within the Thirty Mile Zone centered at Beverly and Vine, with intermountain Utah doubling for Montana. (I leave it for actual Montanans to tell me how well they do with making Utah pull off Big Sky country. My guess is it's okay, but not quite the real deal.)

And they keep pulling off a few human interest moments to misdirect you into not noticing that Costner's character is just a criminal p.o.s. with a better legacy and better real estate location.

I'm telling you this to save you time, and possibly money.
I've worked on countless TV shows where the plot was a 42-minute version of Any Great Movie You've Ever Seen, and they always turn out exactly like you'd expect of lobster and champagne, time compressed, and shot on a beer and Cheese Whiz budget.

This is a teensy bit better than that in the looks department, but the drama suffers, and the plot literally comprises every point I outlined above, and that's 10 hours of TV, which means 10 weeks of production minimum, to get something Coppola did better in 6 hours over two movies.

The only reason I can figure for Hollywierd doing this series this way is to undermine decades of the Ponderosa, the Barclay Ranch, the High Chaparral, the Wilder farm, Paladin, Matt Dillon, Bret Maverick, and everything you might remember of that and countless other beloved Western shows, to the point that by the fourth or fifth season of this crap, you'll be rooting for the Indians and the EPA when they both swoop in and peck this miserable criminal enterprise to death, pick the carcass clean, and crap it out.

This is lazy storytelling rebranded and camouflaged, and mediocre TV at its most mediocre, and the only hero in this whole sad tale will be anyone with the sense to switch channels or turn the damned box off. Having done that a decade and more ago, experiences like this confirm the perpetual wisdom of that decision.

Unless the whole thing goes belly up before they can pull that off.
Which, judging by Season One, should probably happen about 3/4ths of the way into Season Two, if there's any Nielsen box office justice involved.

Never have I seen a show that more richly lives up to The Biz standard T-shirt punchline:
Theater is life.
Film is art.
Television is furniture.

More's the pity. They could have made a modern classic Western show.
Instead, they're just filling bags of rose fertilizer, straight from the steer's southern end.

Tip: If you want to see Costner in something far, far better, watch Tin Cup.
And then Draft Day.

Movie Review: John Wick III - Parabellum

Best described elsewhere as a training film, I'll get right to it.

Imagine if William Shatner beamed down to the planet of zombies with just a sharp stick, with the entire non-name cast as the crew of the Enterprise, all beaming down to the planet with him as redshirts.
That's pretty much the pitch room plot for this one.

I enjoyed the original John Wick.
I tagged along for JW II, even though it was as big a set-up for the inevitable sequel as was The Empire Strikes Back.
But seeing this one was almost a chore.
Thankfully I paid matinee price earlier this week, not full boat in prime time when it opened last week.

To its credit (and rather more because this has been one of the most god-awful box office years for Hollywood in some time, when last I checked), a mid-week midday matinee was still half full. Which says more about how atrociously craptastic the "competition" was the week before Memorial Day.
Unfortunately, the main reaction was groans and laughter at the panoply of ways the writers found for Mr. Wick to exterminate all comers with extreme prejudice, from beginning to end.

As best as I could tell (I didn't bring a clicker, but should have) his final body count was 103, by actual count. Somewhere around #10 they jumped the shark, but Keanu Reeves rode that bitch right up to the end of the movie, hanging on to the dorsal fin right until the finish.
But not content there, they decided to go for a grand slam as well: they set up the inevitable John Wick IV: Moar, Harder, Faster! in the last scene.
Maybe he'll up the body count to north of 150.

Saddest part about III was that the snotty b*tch most deserving of a sticky Wickian ending out of this ride walks away scot-free at the end, an oversight they desperately need to correct in the next training film.

And as always, Ian McShane is worth watching in any film, even if he's just reading a toothpaste tube.

The best news about him is that someone finally pulled their heads out, and Hollywood is apparently releasing a Deadwood movie shortly, to make up for the early and abbreviated Season III cancellation of the most profane Western morality play ever to grace cable TV.

Al Swearengen is one villain/hero c**ksucker who's needed to make it to the big screen for years. They'd better do him justice.

By all accounts, Reeves is a good guy IRL, and put in the hours of prep to learn how to handle firearms for real with live rounds well enough to make this look effortless. And rides and designs his own motorcycles, thus probably did a lot of his own bike riding for the flick as well. For a two-fer, AFAIK, he hasn't pulled the usual Hollywood two-face, and mock decried the guns that have given his career an endless boost since the first Matrix flick.

But the last movie that transitioned a character from presence to farce like this was Schwarzennegger in Commando, (to which I did bring a clicker).

Having seen the first two in the series here, I wasn't expecting Shakespeare, but this was like eating a five gallon bucket of unbuttered popcorn, just because it was there.
If the screenwriters for the next go-around take more inspiration from Aaron Sorkin and less from Sam Peckinpah, it wouldn't be a bad thing. Just saying.

Unless you thought Dexter and The Walking Dead were comedies, skip this one until it's in the fin bin at WallyWorld. Forget about TV or cable: they'd have to cut so much out of it to broadcast, it'd be 30 minutes shorter. Maybe even 120 minutes shorter, IDK.

OTOH, if someone ever commits the supreme sacrilege of remaking The Great Escape, Reeves will have the mileage and chops to almost pull off a creditable turn if they cast him in Steve McQueen's role. Not asking for that, mind you, but if they did, they could do worse. And have.

My Rating: Once more into the breach.
But with the proviso that nobody shoots this many people in real life for the same reason nobody shoots up bricks of .22 by themselves on a Range Day: you just get sick and tired of all the reloading.

Things That Make Me Go Hmmm; and Grrrr!...

...and pretty much thoroughly piss me off at the same time.

A national hot dog company we shall not name used to sell their product in a resealable ziplock pouch, because some of us don't eat eight hotdogs at one sitting, and we don't like the green ones we find when we put the open package back in the fridge for a few days. Then, some eager halfwit flunkie trying to make a name for himself in the marketing department took that feature away. So now, we buy zip lock baggies to fit, and the hot dogs of a different brand as punishment to the idiots who "improved" something that worked as designed. Feeling bright now, jacktards?

When we stop there, why do the counter idiots at the drive-throughs put onions on the mustard and onion dogs as if they were free by the ton, such that more onions fall off into your lap than go into your mouth, try as you might to avoid that, but then backwardly apply the mustard with an eyedropper like it was actual gold, and coming out of their own paltry paychecks? Were their parents never married or something, or were they just bred and fed on lead paint chips?

What corporate retards at Levis, Wrangler, Dickies, et al, decided that it would be a good idea to make a beautiful, simple, functional actual real leather belt, rather than some plastic synthetic "leather-like" piece of $#!^, and then screw up the execution by cheaping out to save 50¢ on the whole thing by putting on some half-assed buckle with a pot-metal cross-bar that will catastrophically fail the very first time you wear it (ask me how I know this), instead of a solid hunk of brass buckle that will function flawlessly for a lifetime, and still be around when your grandkids find it? {Word to your mothers, retards, I have a local leather store that sells solid brass buckles, I own a rivet kit and heavy duty sewing awl, and I can thwart your cheap-$#!^ nonsense in about twenty minutes, and make a belt that will outlive me, and you. But I shouldn't have had to do that, should I? You @$$holes.}

I get that the Fourth of July is coming up in a paltry six weeks, and it sneaks up on retailers with a tedious predictability every 365 days. But why in blistering f**k does any retail genius think that they should start making cupcakes that far out, as though we were going to start stockpiling them over a month and a half in advance?

Whose brilliant idea was it at the FDA and frosting companies to make food coloring for icing that's indigestible, to the point that you make Technicolor turds in brilliant blues, verdant greens, and blood red that would make a hospital lab assistant pop their eyes wide open if it were submitted as a sample?

And while we're on the subject of red and blue, who decided, long about 1992, to flip-flop the party colors? Democrats have always been the Reds in this country, and Republicans have always been Blue. I live in a Red State, complete with the hammer and sickle most days, not a Blue one anymore, and not the other way around. Did they really think no one would notice, or that we'd stop associating communist-lite with the real thing, just because they changed the color scheme that was in play from about the late 1860s?

And so goes another Saturday.

Bring back corporal punishment for such stupidity: make companies hold an open house annually, and have a designated executive on hand for the bitch-slapping to commence.
We'd be a better people and a better country for it.

Friday, May 24, 2019


h/t Borepatch

After doing everything in her miserable grasp to thwart the clearly expressed wishes of the British people regarding Brexit, Prime Minister May December has finally heard the squeaking of the tumbrel cart wheels, and can see the torches and pitchforks of the distant mob approaching, and will be leaving her office after the mother of all drubbings in the recent parliamentary elections.
(LONDONISTAN) Standing in front of 10 Downing Street, Mrs. May said it was in the “best interests of the country for a new prime minister” to lead Britain through the Brexit process.
Good riddance to bad rubbish. Pity she's clinging to the office for another few days.

She's indeed fortunate that her leaving isn't for a piano-wire necklace at the end of a lamppost, after being ritually scourged from 10 Downing Street to Traitor's Gate.

Apparently the actual British citizens remaining there would have had to blow up the Chunnel to get any respect, if politically beheading the ruling party at the polls didn't send the message across clearly enough.

I had written No Longer great Britain off completely, but perhaps there's still some life in the old corpse left.

And after the examples of Trump, Bolsonaro, Oz, and now this, I wouldn't go long on the chances of the Evil Party here in 2020.

Cheer up: things are not as bleak as they seem. And they never are.

(For those inevitably wondering about the title, it starts out "Don't Let the Door Hit You...". You can work the rest out for yourselves.)


h/t Irish

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Boring is The New Black. And It Always Has Been.

I like John Wilder's blog.

Can't help posting this clip. I love it.

That's why I added it to the Blogroll over to the right --->
the first day I found it. (And binge-read about two years' worth.)

Today's offering is another good one. He talks about a familiar Hollywood trope.
And I share his opinion, yet again. Our agreement so frequently is an indisputable measure of how brilliant he is.
(Although I do not share his fascination with PEZ. I would just buy a bag of candy, and forego the ritual of loading tiny candies into a sawn-off dispenser decorated with someone's head, because I'm a cut-to-the-chase kind of guy.)

Today's post put me in mind to reply there. But it got too long, so he lost a long comment, and I get a blog post. And now, so do you.

One of many differences between Hollywood scripts and Reality v1.0:

IRL, the hero-become-bum doesn't wake up, decide to turn himself around, and become Rocky.
He lives in squalor, catches a cold, works it into pneumonia, and he dies, right there in that rat -infested alley.
Every. Single. Time.

People IRL with their crap together never become the bum in the alley, because they're not that stupid to begin with.

To stab another trope in the heart, they don't get on the suicide mission with the Hero, not even with a parachute.
Because they never get on the Plane Ride Of Death to begin with.

Kids have fairytale storybooks.
Grown ups have movies.
Some of them are valuable, accurate, and teach valuable life lessons, or they're just hella good entertainment that scratches our cultural itch for a happy ending. (Not many of those lately, but the few we get tend to be exquisite.)

But the best life lessons don't make good theatre.
Stay in school.
Get married before you have kids.
Stay married.
Live within your means.
Save for what's important.
Make prudent preparations for tougher times.
Don't play stupid games; don't win stupid prizes.

There's a stack of those scripts in a landfill, because no one would pay money for such predictably obvious common sense.

Hollywood (like some blogs) has learned that Bad Decisions Make Good Stories.
"Tragedy is me stubbing my toe.
Comedy is you falling off a cliff."
- Mel Brooks

We've noted in these pages that the ironclad recipe for every drama, good and bad, is always the same as the template for every episode of Rescue 9-1-1:
a) Intractable forces of Nature
b) Human stupidity


"A rattlesnake crawls into the yard.
Marge left her three-year-old toddler playing outside unsupervised, so she could concentrate on her soap opera.
Let's see what happens next."

"The Coast Guard forecast a full gale warning.
But Biff has a shiny new 25' cabin cruiser to take out for his first day on the water, with no radio or safety gear.
What could possibly go wrong?"

That's not just Rescue 9-1-1 melodrama, it's every day life.
I work in the ER. Ask me how I know.

"An M-80 has a substantial amount of explosive force.
Timmy elects to hold a lit one in his hand anyways, because beer.
What happens next?
Tune in tomorrow to hear the sad ending of 'My New Nickname Is Lefty.'"

This sort of reality-that-isn't-news is true in courthouses everywhere.
And jail booking desks.
And unemployment counters.
And loan shark offices.
And every search and rescue call center, since about ever.
And casinos from coast to coast.
And on and on and on.

Take either component A or B away, and you lose the whole drama.
(And hey, good luck getting Nature not to be intractable.)
So that leaves the one variable that can always be changed.

Skid Row is full of people who jumped into "B", with both feet.

It's never to early to not make poor life choices.

But the world is full of people who realize that after they jump into the enclosure to pet the polar bears.

We call these people "examples".
And if fortune smiles on their efforts, we call them Darwin Award Winners, First Class (no offspring).
Because those genes aren't going to cull themselves.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quoted For Truth

This embiggens.

And with one flowchart, he undid the last 40 years of Guns&Ammo, Guns, Gun Digest, twenty-seven lesser rags, two FBI weapons selection tests, and the last three military attempts to find a new standard service pistol…

RTWT over at Commander Zero's internet bunker.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Storm Warning

From comments:
Aesop, do you anticipate any of that (the indictments and prison time you mentioned) actually happening? I have zero faith that it will. Zero.

You may be right.

I know what should happen, but not what will.

That uncertainty alone is cause for great alarm for anyone with any common sense.
The entire point of law is that it be fixed and reliable for all.
Without that, when it's random and capricious, it's worse than no law at all.

If there aren't indictments, trials, and convictions over what's gone on, I can tell you what I do have faith will happen: there's going to be war.

Not a tantrum, or a disturbance, or a riot, or even some low-intensity nonsense.
It's going to be a full batshit war. It will come in its own time. Maybe slow unfolding, maybe all at once. But come it will.

People are going to start looking for an excuse, any excuse, and then they're going to find one, and hunting season will be open. And once it starts, it's going to spiral out of control, like things do, and one side or the other will become extinct before it's over.

The social construct in this country is that every two to four years, we have peaceful revolutions at the ballot box.

Now one side doesn't want to play by that any more, and has spent two years subverting every branch of government to support a slow coup against an elected president. Either we nip that nonsense in the bud, and people responsible pay with their lives spent in prison for a decade or two, or we're going to start getting governments by hard coup, with all the trimmings, and we've seen how that's played out, from Russia in 1917 to Venezuela yesterday.

Folks won't wait to be rounded up, they're going to go looking for the troublemakers, and standing them up against the nearest wall.

And anybody, including police, government, or military, who picks the wrong side, will get stood right up against one too, to the last man.
And if they're very, very fortunate, we won't go looking for their wives and kids after that.

That's the lit road flare the current crop of jackholes in Congress, and the perpetrators of the Russian collusion hoax, are juggling in a wading pool of gasoline.

They're about one more cover-up, one gun grab, or one attempted impeachment, away from finding out what the old rules look like in practice. When you have to take a hand, and you won't be left in peace, there's no percentage in sitting it out for another day, and a lot of people are going to start taking a close interest in their neighbors, with a view to culling the problem from hell to breakfast, until they work their way all the distance to the top of the totem pole.

I suspect a lot of other societal dysfunction is going to get a blowtorch up its tailpipe as part of the show.

The prospect of such times frankly scares the hell out of me, but not as much as the prospect of sitting on my hands and watching the crooked communists in power march ever onward, and plant 100M of their friends and neighbors in mass graves.

Because that's where we are headed if nothing happens, and no one cares.

Now imagine if, ten or twenty or thirty years ago, someone had told you such a thing would be discussed seriously.

As CA says frequently over at WRSA:
This is where we are now.
Imagine where we'll be.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Robbespierre Denoument

All revolutions turn around and bite their instigators.
Ask Trotsky.

Comey, Clapper, and Brennan, along with twenty to forty lesser-tier crooks and thugs, should be looking at the ass-end of 10 years in the federal pen for committing fraud, abuse of official office, conspiracy to violate civil rights, and the treason of a slow coup for everything they did from 2015-present, and it should probably drag in a couple of former AGs, a former Secretary of State, and Hopey Dopey himself.


Otherwise this is purely a banana republic, and you'd better get ready for what happens when the Chavistas are back in power, because all bets about any law will be null and void at that point.

You will either be shooting your way out of socialism afterwards, or on your way to the cemetery or the gulag.

Same old same old will no longer be an option. They want you dead.
This is how you get a civil war, wanted or not.

Sunday Music: Gimme Shelter

The pre-eminent rock anthem of all time, unbelievably 50 years old, and if I were pressed to do without all of the Rolling Stones catalog but one song, the one I would choose.

Dedicated to local weather, which was shorts-and-t-shirt July yesterday, but schizophrenically cold, drizzly March today.

Dig it.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

What Is Best In Life?

h/t daily timewaster

Stolen shamelessly. Great work to whoever did it.

And, and from earlier/further down in his blog (which should be a daily visit) yesterday, in 2016 when the Trumpinator took office, Rs were outnumbered on the federal Ninth Circus Court (most overturned bastion of liberal jurisprudential stupidity in the entire country) by Ds at a worse than 3:1 ratio,  by an actual 19:6.
It is now 16:11, and about to be 16:13.

That means if 2 more Democrat Communist judges retire or die on the 9th Circus before Trump leaves office, we flip that sumbitch for the next 20 years. With about half a dozen lawsuits regarding Califrutopia's asinine firearms laws on the pending docket. (At current trajectory and speed, the Ninth Circus will become where stupid gun laws go to die.) Oh, and once the majority flips, those jackasses in robes in Hawaii issuing injunctions against common sense will be en banc slapped silly, and told to STFU, in about a New York minute.

BTW, the Ninth Circus has jurisdiction over AK, HI, and seven Western states: CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, NV, and AZ.  So this affects the BLM grabs the Bundy clowncar was about, the nonsense at Malheur, and everything else west of the Rockies all the way to Micronesia.

The NeverTrumpTards out there can shove that and a pound of C-4 up your tailpipes and self-detonate.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Queen Alheimer's, Doing What She...Um...What Was I Saying...?

h/t 100% F'ed Up

Posted with only one comment:

Second (after the V.P.) on the list of Presidential succession.

Let that thought sink in, and remember who voted her into her leadership position.

Kleine Nazis On The March

The absolute Thought Nazis over at Wordpress continue their reign of terror, unabated.
(And if your site is over there, you should be hearing the goosesteps coming at you by now.)

This week alone, they've knocked off Chateau Heartiste, and now Creeping Sharia.
Both were just occasional reads, but the trend is clear: the Leftards will silence all dissenting views.

What this leads to is either a monotone 1984 world, where all non-SJW speech is binned and banned; or else a bifurcated world, when someone decides to provide a safe space for the Right, and does the exact same thing to liberal asstard attempts at sites, but lets right-wing speech stand unopposed.

Which just fuels the Them/Us paradigm, fractures the culture a little deeper, and makes going from a war of words to one of actual conflict that much easier.

Which, evidently, is what the Thought Nazis think they want.

They won't like us when we're angry.

And when the mob comes to pull the WordPress Nazis out of their bunker, I'll be one of the guys tying a hangman's noose for the ones who surrender.

But I'm thinking rather than a quick yank, we'll be wanting to lift them slowly, a few seconds at a time, and gradually lengthening the levitation period.

For entertainment.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Education Occurs. Reality Hits. Hilarity Ensues.

h/t Gun Free Zone

Keyboard Alert!

IANAL, but she isn't just a thief.

Taking the sign constitutes an assault by bodily force.
When asked if she has ID, she first says no.
When asked again, she confesses that yes, she does have ID. That's making a false statement to a police officer during an investigation.
And she could probably be charged with damaging the sign, which was in fact damage to private property.

But the look on her unprepossessing face when she realizes that laws are real, and she's about to get her criminal ass hooked and booked, is priceless.

So the next question is what the university's policy is on students who are multi-offence violent criminals, committing crimes on university property, and what the taxpayers of the state  of NC have to say about letting such violent criminals continue to attend a public institution where she might offend again, against their precious sons and daughters.

I would suggest a class-action lawsuit against her, her parents, and UNC officials should be pursued with vigor, by all potentially affected parties, if she's not expelled. That would include speakers on the campus and vendors thereto, as potential crime victims as well.

Then there's the federal case for deprivation of civil rights, by someone almost certainly receiving federal funds at the time.
That has to be about ten federal crimes, and none of them likely to be misdemeanors.

Snowflakette is about to become an awfully popular person.

Maybe she can do her future scholastic efforts online, after she finishes her community service and probation, and after getting her ass kicked out of UNC for what must also be black-letter law violations of the official campus code of conduct for students and faculty at an official state-run public university. She can probably be banned for life from all campuses.

Best wishes getting a job anywhere (except NOW or NARAL) with no degree, and a criminal record, Cupcake.

That education is going to be the best one you ever got.

MOAR of this, please.

A Good Rant Requires A Fact Or Three

Sorry, but just no.
Here’s a classic case of media slant:
Had They Bet On Nuclear, Not Renewables, Germany & California Would Already Have 100% Clean Power
This is what we non-journalists call “complete bullshit”.  In the first place, neither Germany or California “bet” on anything.  Germany closed all their nukes in a panicked reaction to the Fukishima disaster in Japan, and California deliberately closed their existing nukes and prevented new ones from being built because Californians are a bunch of fucking Green morons (as, by the way, are the Krauts).  There was no “gamble”, because everybody already knew that Green “technology” would be totally incapable of completely filling anybody’s power needs except maybe for the average sub-Saharan African country north of the Limpopo River.  For Germany and California?  Not even close.  And when even Al Gore is calling California foolish…

Natzsofast, Guido. While the origin of the headline slant may be exactly as described, this is what we sane people call it when kneejerk rant is faster than neurological processing speed. This is a classic case of letting your prejudices write your article before engaging your common sense, let alone 30 seconds of research.

Japan got into trouble with nukes (reactors, not the matching bookened gifts from Paul Tibbets, Curtis Lemay & Co.) because of...why, cupcakes?

Oh, right, that little 9.0 earthquake on a faultline right off the coast made a wee little tsunami thingie.

Maybe some of you read about it; I think it was in most of the papers.

Fortunately, there are no such seismic problems anywhere in California.
Oh wait, turns out there are.
Just a wee bit.

For the benefit of those who flunked or skipped basic geography and geology, California has a coastal mountain range running the entire length of the state, and the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range well inland of that, because the Pacific Ocean Plate is grinding against the North American Plate, to the point that the highest mountains in the Lower 48 of North America, i.e. not including Alaska, are not the piddly-ass Rockies, but Mt. Whitney and the Sierra Nevadas. (Sorry, Coloradoans, but facts and reality are harsh. If it makes you feel better, the Rockies are probably prettier.)

There are a bit fewer faultlines in NE California, because Mt. Shasta and surrounds are only fucking dormant volcanos!

"Dormant"? Here's how geologists define that term.
Mt. St. Helens ring any bells??

"Dormant" volcano, Oregonian version. Note the missing real estate.

Because when they speak of dormancy, they're expressing it in terms of geological time, which makes dog years shorter than the teenage years of fruit flies.

Now look, I know how tempting it is to bash our succession of Califrutopian moonbat leaders, and the Birkenstock-wearing tofu-slurping soyboi minions from West Hollyweird and San Franshitsco who elect them, even though 75% of them are actually the expat cousins of your own toothless, banjo-playing kinfolk in Bugfuck and Pigknuckle, transplanted here so they can pick a gender and save the whales. If you want to bash them, go ahead on. Take a number. The line just on this blog, is four miles in length, and 50 persons abreast.

Look, I've even got quite a sense of humor when it comes to bashing TPTB here in Califrutopia (as that name itself should suggest). But if you have an IQ higher than fungus, and two neurons to rub together, we should probably be able to agree without too much difficulty that the last goddam place to put more nuclear plants is next to an ocean, in a state with 100-something active faults (and that's just the ones we know about, now), all overdue for a huge seismic relocation event, and most in exactly the coastal zone such plants would be built upon, and half a dozen "dormant" volcanos in the vicinity of most larger rivers and water supplies. The best place to put California's nuclear plants would be in eastern Arizona, or Utah, or Texas, or maybe Kansas. Give a holler when they're interested in that. Last I looked, we can't even get Nevadans to agree that their desert mines are the best place for nuclear waste, even when they are.

And let's remember that the entire nuclear industry was touting the near impossibility of a nuclear plant malfunction ("a one in a BILLION likelihood"), and the safety of the industry,

President Peanut Brain's photo op did more for nuclear power in the Western
world than the Hindenburg crash did for airship travel.
right up until the evening news had shots of POTUS wading around in hazmat boot covers inside Three Mile Island, the same month that The China Syndrome opened. So you can thank Metropolitan Edison not just for a nuclear power debacle, but also for reviving middle-aged Hanoi Jane Fonda's flagging movie career. Thanks a pantload, guys.

Thus attempting to pin the anti-nuclear power urge purely on deranged Greenophilia is flatly silly, and descending into Fred Reed territory, and last I looked, you had to move to Mexico, sell your soul, and lose your mind to do that on a blog. Best not undertaken.

California does have solar energy in abundance. Not, nota bene, as a primary source, nor ever could be, but taken advantage of properly, it would make enough of a difference in total use to both cut demand on the deliberately antiquated grid, making mandatory brownouts unnecessary, and oh, BTW, make the average person with a wee bit of foresight and a few spare bucks completely independent of both random seismic events and the whims of the morons in Sacramento.

It's not good because it's cheaper (which it absolutely isn't) it's better because it's priceless when the grid falters or fails.  

We've also had morons in charge hereabouts who halted all offshore drilling since the series of spills in the late 1960s ruined miles of beaches. Goddamned tree-hugging hippies.

That can be fixed with a few penstrokes (and will, someday, when people get desperate enough). Because people aren't going to freeze, or sweat their jingly bits, or pass up literal billions of dollars just sitting there a couple of miles off the coast, especially if it mainly pisses off Barbra Streisand and her ilk.

And BTW, the San Onofre nuclear plant was shuttered, not because of "green" concerns, but rather because of critical parts failures, and the revelation that the whole thing was waiting for one jiggle to shatter miles of obsolescent and about-to-fracture piping, and the cost to replace/repair it would have bankrupted Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Just the thing you want, in a plant next to millions of people, and $M homes, right next to an ocean, and a key military base, is a nuke plant with pipes made of glass. Or just old, rusted, and ready to shatter, spewing nuclear contamination into the atmosphere and offshore.
As Casey Stengel used to say, "you could look it up".

So if we're going to stick to actual common sense energy policy, let's try it from that tack, and save the kneejerks for when the doctor is doing your annual physical.

Just a humble suggestion.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

R.I.P.: Tim Conway

h/t Bayou Renaissance Man

Comedy legend. Television icon. More funny packed into 5'6" than you should ever expect to find in one lifetime.

Like Peter, we post the unbelievable "Elephant Sketch", completely ad libbed by Conway just to tear up his co-stars, that cracked up Carol Burnett and Dick Van Dyke cold, and absolutely killed. Until Vicki Lawrence topped him with one line. It still makes our sides hurt to watch:

"One'd sneeze, the other's eyes'd get REAL big..."

And will probably rack up another 24M views this week (which won't count, because we've already been counted by youTube's viewcounter).

But there was more. So much more.

Ensign Parker on McHale's Navy. Sadly wasted as a straight man/Gilligan most of the time.
Riding with Don Knotts in all those Apple Dumpling Gang flicks.
Sports lessons aplenty as Dorf.
Destroying his partner-in-crime Harvey Korman in The Dentist sketch.

After losing at the Emmys to co-star Korman, and standing on stage just behind him as Harvey gave his thanks speech.

And on and on.

We express our heartfelt condolences to his family upon his death, our sorrow only tempered by the fact that his comedy magic will live on, via YouTube, digital discs, and whatever comes next, for another 85 years.

Not too shabby for a short kid with no prospects.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Bad Idea File

h/t  Kenny

I Dun Tole Ya...

Breaking a promise, but I'm lazy, and after taking the time to lay this out on his site, I'm posting it here.
Zero has posted a frightening link to future events in Congo with regard to Ebola.
And the title asks: The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?

If you're looking at me, just like 2014, that answer is a resounding "Hell, NO!"

We have learned nothing from 2014.
Nothing whatsoever.

Now a word from Reality:

1) Ebola is spread by coughs and sneezes.
That’s droplet precautions, not contact.

2) Coughed and sneezed particles of virus-laden material travel 25 feet, and are suspended in air up to ten minutes.

3) The minimum number of Ebola viruses sufficient to ensure infection is one.

4) In the current DRC Ebola outbreak, 50% of victims show no sign of fever once infected.

5) The only symptom airport screeners over there and over here look at, to screen out potential Ebola victims from travelling, is (wait for it)…fever.

6) There are 11…ELEVEN…total BL-IV hospital beds to properly care for Ebola victims, in all of North America, and three of those are permanently reserved for military victims near the US chem/bio research labs.

7) In 2014, we had filled 10 of those beds at once with the victims of Ebola we were treating, including the two ICU nurses from Dallas from one case of Ebola in the wild, in the US.
IOW, we were two patients from being Liberia then, or Kivu province now.

8) Once it hits mainstream US hospitals, society here is functionally over, in about a week.
So, you do the math on how well airport screeners (known worldwide for looking the other way for a sawbuck) and possessed of a 6th-grade education on average, and hazy acquaintance with scientific thought or even math above ten without taking their shoes off, will do at protecting the First World from the pestilence of the Turd World.

Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

Afterwards, you’ll probably want to review Zero’s posts and links on the local LDS cannery nearest you, and start stocking up on buckets, and water barrels, along with the sort of canned goods that come in square olive drab metal cans.

The question isn’t whether such pestilence is coming here, it’s simply a matter of when.
After that, YOYO.
God help you if you’ve ignored preparations for such an eventuality, at that point.
Nothing else will.

{Where I’m working currently, they’re doing decon drills, which, exactly like the ones the .mil had me do in the 1980s, mainly serve to underline that with chem/bio threats, in any serious outbreak, the first people infected are going to die, quickly, and the most prudent response besides running for the hills and living behind concertina wire for weeks to months (if you can manage that, because you should), will be to bend over, grab your ankles, and kiss your @$$ goodbye.}

I'm not kidding.
I'm not exaggerating.
I don't know how to put this any more plainly.

You will see this material again.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

Best Wishes.

Local Girl Drops By For A Visit

On my travels yesterday, I was heading in to work, when the full rumble of proper radial piston engines caught my attention, just in time to see a truly rare sight overhead:

one of the few surviving B-17s passing overhead on its way to John Wayne Airport for a local show. Not looking too shabby for being 74 this year. It started its life in Long Beach in late 1945, coming off the Douglas line at nearby Long Beach, back when California still built airplanes.

It isn't often one sees a B-17 in the pattern anywhere, and I'm happy to note that I stood there watching it pass until it couldn't be seen any longer and the rumble died away on the breeze.

And then, to reward me for stopping to notice, came the pursuit to that opening act, with a sound that cannot be mistaken for anything else:

I'm going to have to move getting a ride on both of those things up on my bucket list, before the chance for such a ride goes away forever.

Spendy? Yeah, a tad.
But compared to never getting the chance?
I'm game.

Hell, I'd pay a couple of C-notes just to get the chance to thumb through the original logbooks of the real Nine-O-Nine (the current one went into service in 1945, too late to see action, though it was around for a couple of 1950s A-bomb tests, and put out a lot of wildfires after leaving the military), and see what scenic parts of Europe it visited and redecorated circa 1943-44.

And I wish I could trace the same history for my 5-digit Garand, purchased as ROK hand-me-down, after being manufactured in late 1940, it must certainly have whacked some Commies, at least, before finally being left behind south of the 38th Parallel after 1953.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sunday Music: Feelin' Alright

Because I am.
The epitome of blue-eyed soul, from the blackest white Englishman to ever pick up a mic.
Still can't hear this or any other Joe Cocker classic, without imagining him in full Joe Cocker writhing soul mode, with John Belushi standing right beside him, and doing it better than the original.

If this song can't get you happy, there's something wrong with you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Fartacus Breaks Wind Over His Fever Swamp Fantasies

h/t WRSA

Bill of charges at Ace of Spades HQ

Some people are worried about this.

Boys and girls,

Mercenaries always know two things, which for them, are the Prime Directives:

You can't collect if you're  dead.
You can't collect if the client  is dead.

The sort of gun control espoused by Fartacus and his minions violates both those core tenets, with rapidity and certainty, which is why the enthusiasm for such horseshit runs at a steady and exact 0%, even in Chicongo, NYFC, Bahstun, Detroitistan, and San Franshitsco, to this very day, and always will, especially amongst the JBTs voted Most Likely To Get Shot In The Face For Trying It.

The life expectancy for anyone enforcing Fartacus’ fever-swamp dreams of ass-raping the Bill of Rights would be measured in seconds after the third or fourth outing.

By Tuesday noon, they’d be out of not only cops, but troops too.

And when the pendulum swings the other way, Madame Guillotine rules for the rest of that month. Then Fartacus would end up hanging on a crossbar just like his cinematic namesake. History and the survivors alike would laugh at the irony.

The thought of 20M Dorners would make runny shit run down half the trouser legs in police HQs from coast to coast.
The other half would likely be on Team Dorner, especially the farther out in the countryside of flyover territory you got from libtard bastions.

Never. Going. To. Happen.
And if ever foolishly started, over in about an hour, due to lack of interest by the survivors.

This nonsense is just red meat for the 60-IQ base.
While Fartacus would like to enact his moronic fantasy slate, there are still enough old pols in the DNC that remember the debacle of 1994, and what caused it, so it’s never going to happen again.

The Uniparty in DC knows promises are for the idiots, never meant to be kept. Keeping them is what happens in Venezuela, and also why it is what it is today.

But even making them should still be grounds for that final tumbrel cart ride for the perpetrators. The only good thing is that they’ve dropped forever all pretense of “we’re not coming for your guns”, and are now enthusiastically stating that’s exacty what they’re about.

Okay, Leftards.
Call that toss in the air.

This is just Fartacus, setting himself on fire politically, to draw some pittance of a crowd, before he's predictably primaryed out, along with 15 other political dwarf lackwits.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan called out this sort of nonsense out way back in 1991 B.C. (Before Clinton), in calling Lying Bill's used-car salesman populism "boob bait for the bubbas". DPM nailed that in one.
Fartacus is polling at what now, 3%?


There are only three actual contenders at this point:

Commie Sanders, heir to 100 years of failed state-run communism.
Gropey Joe, eight year heir to HopeyDopey.
Shrillary Not-Running-Yet Cankles, 40-year heir to the Clinton Family Crime Syndicate.
(And one more gin-soaked face plant in public, and she's done forever.)

The rest of the clowns in that Volkswagen are just there to fill out check-boxes on the Diversity Bean Card.
One of the others, maybe two, may make it to the semi-finals.

Stop worrying. It's too early.
Stock up on beverages, chips, and popcorn.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Game Of Flubs

Peter muses over at his blog that the rogue Starbuck's cup seen in one scene must have been a deliberate plant, because Hollywood craftsmanship and duplicity.

I don't watch the series in question, and other than being aware of its mere existence, could care no less for it were it filmed on Mars, and broadcast only on cable access in Farsi and Serbo-Croatian. But I do know a thing or three about The Biz, firsthand.

Keep in mind that "Hollywood craftsmanship" is an oxymoron on a par with "military intelligence", "government help", and "jumbo shrimp".

Allow me to elucidate.

Bear in mind I've only done 20-something years in Hollywood.
You could strafe every movie lot in Hollywood with miniguns, for days, and never, ever hit anyone smart enough to earn a Ph.D.

Then remember the stupidest things these geniuses say and do when they put on their 0-diopter glasses to "look intelligent", and bear in mind this is when they're trying to look bright.

Now imagine them on the set, in hour 14 of a 16-hour day, amidst an 80-hour week, on take 9 of a complicated scene, on a set teeming with extras pulling down minimum wage and a bologna sandwich.

The miracle isn't that there was a Starbuck's cup in a shot; it's that there isn't one in every shot.

Go back and watch Twister sometime: in the opening sweeping shot after the flashback, as the camera zooms across the fields of Oklahoma to Bill Paxton's truck, and notice that right on the front quarter panel, you see a beautiful full reflection of a Bell JetRanger, with the cameraman hanging out the door filming the scene.
In a movie directed by a well-acclaimed former director of photography.

Watch Pretty Woman, in the scene where Richard Gere and Julia Roberts are meeting Ralph Bellamy for dinner, and watch the sorbet cups appear, disappear, reappear, magically refill, disappear, then come back again.

And a million other goofs, flubs, and such.

I might even know of an incident where a raccoon tail was shoved up the nostril of a moose head on set, and no one noticed until they'd moved on, and saw it in the background of several shots during dailies the next day, and it was too late to re-shoot the scene, so it's in the final cut, but I ain't saying anything more about it. Maybe the moose snorted a raccoon.

In the silent version of Ben Hur, they ran over an extra with a chariot. Killed him deader than canned tuna.

In Last Of The Mohicans, one of the special-ability extras firing a black powder musket fired a ramrod into another actor. The target actor survived, after they pulled three feet of steel out of his body.

In Twilight Zone: The Movie the entire production staff conspired to set off explosives under a low-hovering helicopter, lied to the parents of the kids in the scene and the fire marshals watching the stunt, then lied their asses off in court, after they'd killed Vic Morrow and two kids.

The producers were on planes to Acapulco within a half an hour, out of subpoena range and unable to be extradited, until the movie wrapped.
And nobody went to prison for three counts of manslaughter.

This is Hollywood, 24/7/365.
Better than your family home movies? Certainly.
Safer than the drunk redneck who says "Hold my beer!"? Most days, but not by much.
Flawless production geniuses?

My sides are splitting.

And BTW, nobody gets fired for something like this.
They get thanked at the end of the day, and the next day, their name isn't on the call sheet anymore.
It's called "employment at will".
(If it was talent, their pay gets docked for the cost of the digital removal. And they get a rep with the entire production crew as dumbasses, and they're watched like a hawk watches prey, lest they screw up another shot. Ask me how I know.)

Stars and directors have died during productions, and they worked around that.
No one on set is irreplaceable.

The Starbuck's cup?
Small potatoes.
You have no idea about even 1% of what goes on.

We will say no more at all about something which, to engineer and pull off, would require the complicity, acquiescence, and conspirational silence of about 500 lawyers from both HBO and Starbucks, which is only slightly less probable than Bigfoot, chemtrails, and the faking of the lunar landings.

If that last sentence gored your ox too, your tinfoil hat is wrapped way too tight to comment on my blog.
Stifle that urge.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ebola FAQ File

Questions from comments to yesterday's post.

Q.: Have the "authorities" identified the host species (other than humans and I use humans loosely here) yet?

A.: We have no wild idea where or from what species Ebola originally sprung, or how it spreads, other than people once there's an outbreak.
It has been found in rats, bats, monkeys, baboons, and various field hamsters and such, but generally as benign in those species.
We suspect bats improperly prepared as a possible source of the outbreaks, but there's zero empirical evidence of this.
So getting rid of it forever would probably require killing everything in Africa. NTTAWWT.

Humans are a target species, not so much the host species.
We do have the capacity to spread the disease once it's acquired, and thus far, every "survivor" of the disease tests positive for the disease as far out as we've re-checked, AFAIK.
IOW, it never goes away, and re-infection and subsequent outbreaks may be spawned by "survivors" from prior outbreaks.
Cheery thought, huh?

Q.:  While total cases have increased the percentage of deaths per total cases have remained the same. What can we make of that?

A.: A couple of things.
1) WHO and Wikipedia can't do math.
The dead are not percentage  of dead now vs. total current cases.
because the disease incubates for 2-40+ days, and takes about 21 days, on average, from acquisition to mortality.
If you take the number of cases from 21 days ago, and number of deaths now, you'll get the actual mortality percentage of this disease.
Doing it the way WHO/Wikipedia does makes it look less lethal.
Why do they do this, knowing it's wrong?
2) WHO and Wikipedia are trying to stem panic and put lipstick on the pig.
3) The disease kills a pretty static percentage, between the high sixties and low eighties.*
Roughly, 8 out of 10 people who get it will die outright, and the 2 out of 10 who don't will almost always be lifelong victims of Ebola Virus Syndrome, with blindness and other problems being a virtual certainty over time. And they'll be contagious carriers pretty much for life (blood, semen, breast milk, vaginal secretions, etc.). Good times.
In short, surviving it is only slightly better than dying from it.

*(Bear well in mind this is among Africans, with medieval sanitation, room temperature IQs, lousy health and health care - if any at all, and abysmal nutrition, already debilitated with malnutrition, malaria, dengue fever, parasitic and fungal infections, TB, and about 100 other problems last seen as widespread in the West prior to 1850 A.D., i.e prior to vaccinations, germ theory, and Florence Nightingale levels of basic sanitation.To find a representative population here like that, you'd have to sample the homeless. Now, imagine Ebola gets here, and gets to the homeless population...
Welcome to Zimbabwe/Ebolaville U.S.A.)

Q.: What role can the experimental vaccine play in these proceedings?

A.: By all accounts, Merck's invention, rVSV-ZEBOV, has shown a 97.5% effectiveness in this outbreak, i.e. nearly no one who's been vaccinated with it has subsequently gotten Ebola during this outbreak. To date, over 100,000 people in DRC have been vaccinated.
That, and that alone, is the reason this outbreak stands at 1600+ cases, and nearly 1000 deaths, rather than 10-20 times those numbers by this point in time.
Stockpiles will eventually be exhausted, as stupidity in DRC is outpacing ability to produce enough vaccine to contain the spread.

I have no idea what Merck's lead-time is for vaccine, nor how much they could produce and distribute, should  Ebola arrive (or when it actually does) in the West (London, Paris, NYFC, etc.).
I suspect that answer would (and will) lead to riots, once it's no longer merely an academic inquiry.

Creating your own defensible Ebola-free quarantine space, OTOH, will be 100% effective.
Concertina wire should be on your shopping list.
And possibly a small supply of wine bottles full of high-octane for emergency field decontamination operations.


Q.: If it's so communicable, how did the dipshit NYC doctor not infect the entire bowling alley he went to? How did Bellevue [not] have any additional cases? Seems like we shouldn't have been able to dodge this one and the one in Dallas.

A.: The dipshit doctor was asymptomatic when he went on walkabout, and it was only after he developed symptoms that he had any virus to shed and spread. He was immediately placed in full hazmat isolation for his entire stay, very nearly died, and needed 30 doctors and 100 nurses caring for him around the clock to survive. We can't do that for very many people. And we won't.

When they tried the same thing in Dallas, using the strictest CDC protocols in their ICU, Ebola there achieved the exact same r-naught as the virus in the wild in Africa, with zero protection: it exactly doubled in 21 days.

That's pretty effing contagious, and we didn't dodge anything.
Both those nurses will carry the virus for life, as will the NYFC doctor, and they can look forward to the expected sequellae of Ebola Virus Syndrome, including blindness, and being a host reservoir for the virus indefinitely.

Q.: Is the Ebola Virus effected by subfreezing temps?

A.: Yes. It gets frozen in place, and then when things thaw, there it is, right where you left it.
From the MSDS Online relevant section:
SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The virus can survive in liquid or dried material for a number of days. Infectivity is found to be stable at room temperature or at 4°C for several days, and indefinitely stable at -70°C.
IOW, sub-freezing just preserves it until it thaws. Forever.
At anything above 39° F, it's still fully infectious. And it thrives at the equator.
You want to make it go away, you want fire.

Two other cheery thoughts from the MSDS on EVD: 1-10 organisms will infect. That's one virus.
Vectors: unknown. Not a clue.

I hope that answers the questions regarding this outbreak adequately.
Short of this thing escaping containment, I'm unlikely to look at it further this side of June.
If you've got further questions, ask it in comments to this post.
Even if I've posted the answer 50 times before, I'll probably cover the ground again.
And remember, just like my drill instructor said,
"There are NO stupid questions, there are only stupid people."