two Rus pilots get free vodka for all time

It’s amazing that catastrophic bird strikes don’t happen more often.  I know most major airports employ various forms of anti-bird action, but birds are, like, everywhere.  Anyways, here’s a Ural Airlines Airbus 321 belly down in a field.

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Everybody walked away.  Take a gander at this map.

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So many different bad ways this could have gone.  So many areas of concrete to avoid.  Less than a mile down from the runway, mere seconds to act.  Fortunately, there was a nice smooth cornfield to set down in.

Even so, this is an insane feat.  These pilots deserve every bit of credit they’ll get.

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is there a global leader who’s not a closet felon?

From Trump to Clinton to British royalty to [insert any elite person here] it seems there wasn’t anybody in power or money who didn’t deliberately fall into the spider web woven by Jeffery Epstein and his no doubt very large army of enablers and flunkies. Remember folks, these are the people who make decisions for you, and generally speaking, are supposed to be improving your lives. Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work, but no longer does.

What makes all this even more comical is that Epstein got the chance to off himself in a federal prison. Forget the conspiracy theories where a gaggle of coked out drunk alien assassins were hired by the illuminati to do him in. Dude literally hung himself with a bedsheet while a government contractor making minimum wage was in the loo browsing a dating app on his smartphone and wondering when the fuck his watch was supposed to end.

In an era where all our elite leaders are too deeply in the flesh trade to actually govern, it’s no wonder why the most junior of all government employees is so bad at their job they can’t prevent a grown man from hanging himself in a high security federal prison. It’s a true metaphor for failure from top to bottom.

And the best part is, none of this was a secret. Just like how apparently all of Hollywood knew what that Harvey guy was doing, so everybody seems to have known what Epstein was doing. It was just the way things were.  It went on for decades in both cases.

If any of these guys made $12 as a Walmart packer, they’d all be in prison for decades. Instead, they’ll get to move on in life because nothing says the game isn’t rigged like being able to rub palms with a known sex offender without consequences.  There are rules for the weak, and impunity for the powerful.

The federal justice system convicts at a stasi like rate of 99%.  They’ll put a 19 year old who gets caught on the streets of Baltimore with a baggy of crack behind bars for two decades.  But damned if they’ll get around to cleaning house with a powerful senator, or banker, or celebrity who enabled a 15 year old to be raped.

This is how societies and cultures fail. Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, all these consequential leaders who carved the world we live in today, gee these dudes sure did have their own flaws. But I’m pretty sure closet felon wasn’t among them.

PS.   By the way, there’s no picture to this post. Why? Because almost every photo on this issue seems to already be doctored (faked) in some way, by one side or the other, to emphasize that Epstein was associated with [insert political rival here]. As if, one should be forced to forget, that everybody was in on this game.  It’s cultural suicide.

the spin cycle continues

I’ve probably been in that El Paso Walmart half a dozen times, but still: Kindly observe (again) another act of senseless evil by human scum(s).

Kindly observe (again) how said human scum(s) will now be given a platform by the shameless media to become famous and get their message out.

Kindly observe (again) how the political, business, entertainment, and/or educational elite express the same pointless platitudes without ever proposing any concrete solutions whatsoever thus ensuring its continuation for the next few decades at least.

Kindly observe (again) as the usual rhetorical bomb throwers use this event to justify whatever preconceived notions they have on religion, terrorism, guns, culture, and/or whatever and compete to see who can shout the loudest.

Kindly observe (again) as this spin cycle continues.

Kindly observe (again) that it will happen (again).

We recommend you do as I do, which is to not pay attention. For the average person on the street, it’s not even worth it anymore. You can’t change it, and you’ve got problems of your own to deal with each and every day as you live your life. This sort of thing is now as common as the changing of the seasons, and it’s not going to stop, so why bother expending your very valuable mental energy on it?

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Version #37 of 83 – Circa 2019

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Version #38 of 83 – Circa 2019

DNC’s master plan to reelect Trump makes headway, say sources

“We couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve made, particularly in the last two nights,” said a smiling Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez. “We’ve had a well-oiled, styled plan to get the job done and we’re doing just that.” Perez referred to the latest incarnation of the Democrat’s master scheme where the 47 viable presidential candidates spent the better part of a lauded CNN debate insulting each other over things they said when they were twelve. “The way we figure it, we want to leave a final candidate to face Trump who’s so battle scared, so discredited that they stand no change in the general election. It’s the way to get the job done,” Perez commented as he donned a MAGA hat, cackling, “lots of people talk about a circular firing squad, well, we’ve got that, only each candidate has a flamethrower!” Local Democrat activists seemed most pleased with the prospect of a second Trump term. “It just warms my heart to hear our front running candidates propose policies that are both simultaneously unaffordable, making the Trump tax cuts look tame, AND also sound like lunatic fringe ideas concocted in a Moscow salon that are toxic to 84% of American voters,” said Michelle Anderson of Soho, “my friends and I couldn’t be happier with how this has played out.” Perez ended his interview early as he was offhand informed by an aide (that this reporter overheard) that the planned candidate-on-candidate sexual assault (with racists remarks included) scheme was going according to plan. Perez seemed pleased, stroking his MAGA hat as if it were a white fluffy kitty.

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everything is not a sound byte

Depending on what bad news article you read this week, you probably got the wrong idea of what was going on in Jamestown. This is understandable when the goal of a writer, or television presenter, or whoever is not to inform you but to shape your brain, one way or the other. There is no history anymore, I guess, it’s just what can be used to shape contemporary politics. Well, sorry, everything is not a sound bite. History matters.

But when you look at the insanity of it, it’s quite wonderful in how depressing it is. It is (despite bad news) not the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. It’s the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the first General Assembly of Virginia. Some news articles have called this the birth of democracy in America. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it’s a rough approximation.

Accordingly, Virginia went ahead and held an event. After all, the Virginia General Assembly can trace its roots to this original creation. So, if you were into history, and wanted to commemorate an event in today’s hyper insane world, why would you invite anybody of consequence? Instead, they went ahead and invited the most toxic president since Franklin Buchanan and Virginia’s governor (a guy who either has amnesia or is a liar or both).

Hmm, maybe instead, maybe just leave both those guys on the bench for this event, eh? Maybe not? Oh, they did it anyways? And it turned into a big political event and shitstorm? Gee, who ever could have foreseen that? Isn’t there like a firefighter who’s a mayor somewhere in all of Virginia. Like some guy who once pulled three urchins from a burning orphanage and as a farewell life tour he ran for mayor at 73? Get that guy to give the speech! For fuck’s sake.

What you have to remember about Jamestown goes beyond sound bites. Per the info garden of Wikipedia: “Of the 6,000 people who came to the settlement between 1608 and 1624, only 3,400 survived.” Hey anybody want to go to Antarctica with me, with some dogs and a sled, and we’ll set up a colony there and play with penguins. You’ve got a 43% chance of fatality within 15 years. Interested?

Jamestown was a failed business venture established on one of the worst sites for human habitation you could imagine. So much so that the original site was eventually abandoned completely. The only reason Jamestown survived was a sheer stubborn force of will and contempt for death which would serve the British Empire rather well (and also rather poorly) throughout its history.

By 1776, Virginia was the most populous and richest of the 13 colonies. Don’t think that didn’t come without a commensurate level of nightmare. Between disease, a challenged food supply, constant warfare, disease, and a health care system that still thought bleeding helped it’s a wonder anybody survived. Colonial America was many things, it was also a big meat grinder.

It’s worth remembering just how precious life was back then. Particularly when so many can’t see beyond the latest tweet. The act of establishing a General Assembly in the middle of a failed colony where everybody was walking death is quite the act of community. It’s a challenge to life itself, that despite all the hardships, they would survive and prosper. That they had a future.

Quite the gamble. But none of them could have done it alone. It’s worth remembering when everybody apparently hates everybody else that a sense of community is likely one of the only things that allowed them all to survive. In most ways, what America is traces its roots to these very early, first, dangerous steps. It’s worth our time to ponder it. Because we became that future.

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Monty Python character to be devoured by Brexit monster

I suppose one is meant to congratulate Boris Johnson on becoming prime minister, which seems like a big deal and quite the life goal achievement. After all, every aspiring mommy and daddy would love for their kid to become president or prime minister. Unfortunately for Boris his tenure involves getting mauled by Brexit as if he were a sick, deranged zebra getting hauled down by a pack of rabid lions. Brexit has already devoured two prime ministers, Johnson will surely be the third.

I can’t figure why anybody would actually want this job? I mean other than just to say you had it. Theresa May was a control freak whose strategic planning instincts consisted of a dart board and a bottle of magic elixir, but, she can still tell folks at the pub that for at least a few years she was top dog.

Whatever one thinks of Brexit one way or the other, it’s just about the most impossible task an executive arm of government could be asked to execute. And the British parliamentary system makes it even worse.

To the American eye, there’s something really antidemocratic in changing prime ministers this way. The Australians have had a similar problem for the last decade or so. To my brain, if a prime minister resigns, that should automatically trigger a general election. That way the public can choose their leader instead of back alley party hacks. This is especially a vivid problem right now.

The issue with Brexit as it currently stands is this:

1) Europe holds all the cards and promises they won’t renegotiate

2) Boris does not possess the ability to fold space, time, or the Irish border

3) Parliament has an overwhelming majority who will oppose any effort to conduct a no deal Brexit

This was what derailed May, and it will derail Johnson too. All the Tories have done is shift human beings, they haven’t shifted the problem. An election would have offered the chance for a course correction of some form. Without an election, nothing has changed, the situation remains the same and thus Britain will remain bogged down in political chaos and deadlock.

Nothing about Boris Johnson indicates he’s the kind of visionary leader who can overcome such a huge challenge. If the original Monty Python had made a character of Johnson way back when, it would have been rejected as too farfetched. The guy is a meld of insanity, humor, charisma, liar, opportunistic, lucky, and with the looks of a c-grade stuffed animal made in Bulgaria. His supporters really think this guy has what it takes to get the job done? Trust me, he doesn’t. Maybe nobody does.

The problem with modern democracy is essentially two things: it’s a rigged game, and it’s currently deadlocked. America’s Congress would be challenged to pass a bipartisan bill saying that Abe Lincoln was awesome. Britain is no different. Asking this parliamentary system to solve any problem at the moment is a chore, asking it to solve Brexit is near impossible.

To me, the only way out of this is for the EU to simply lay down the line. Regardless of what parliament says or does, if 01 November comes around and Britain hasn’t taken their deal, they should just kick Britain out. Otherwise they’ll just keep extending the deadline until the end of time, because that’s all that British politics has left. However, will they actually do this when it gives Boris exactly what he says he wants? Who knows?

In the meantime, I would say enjoy the ride, but you won’t. And neither will Boris.

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Mr Prime Minister, eight seconds before a nine year old girl throws a chunk of cinder block into his front wheel spoke

beware the Internets

More and more the Internets can turn into a nightmare.  Granted, it’s like being hit by a car.  For the most part, everybody goes online and it’s just fine, you get to see happy cat videos.  But if you get your identity stolen or your bank accounts drained (while your circumstances are rare) it’s an absolute nightmare that can temporarily ruin your life.

I’ve personally known folks who had their data ripped which resulted in ruined bank accounts, they couldn’t use a credit card, buy a car, do their taxes, etc, etc, etc.  It’s a nightmare folks.  You could see the daily stress on their faces.

When the Washington Post isn’t busy shaming itself and mortgaging its remaining credibility by banging on the incessant defeat Trump at any cost bandwagon (regardless of impartiality or honor) they still do some no kidding real hardcore journalism.

I don’t normally do this here, but you dear blog reader need to read everything that Geoffrey A. Fowler writes for the Post.  He knows the Internets, he knows how to get into the face of questionable Internets companies, and he knows privacy values.  You can find his latest piece on browser extensions here.  I don’t use browser extensions for these very reasons, but apparently millions of people do.  If you personally do, stop, please get away while you can.

Be sure to click on his author name too and read some of his other Post pieces.  You can then indulge in the true mess of the Internets where you (the customer) are basically just a doomed farm animal as bad people make money off of spying on you without your knowledge or consent.

There might be a reckoning, eventually, for all of this.  I say might because asking Congress to accomplish anything useful is like asking a rabid panther to walk your dog safely.  But there might be movement, witness Facebook’s disastrous introduction of its evil Bond villain digital currency recently.

But, until then, it’s truly the Wild West out there folks.  You can’t arm yourself with a revolver, so you’ve got to do it with knowledge.  Learn.  Protect yourself.  Beware the Internets.