Tag Archives: Russia

Nutzis in the Noos: NRA goes North, rest of world goes South

May 8th 2018

It’s official: the NRA picked former Marine and national disgrace Ollie North to be their next president. An admitted illegal arms dealer with a deep contempt for the law or any consequences, he’ll be a perfect match for that terrorist outfit. His first project will probably be continuing to convert rubles to Congressmen.

Naturally there was a mass shooting at nearly the same time in Brookeville, Maryland. No details beyond “multiple fatalities”. This sort of thing is the NRA version of fireworks. Of course there was a another mass shooting because freedumb.

Even as rumors swirl of Trump sympathizers engaging in rat-fucking of anyone involved with the Mueller investigation, the New Yorker broke a story of four women stepping forward to allege abusive and injurious actions against them when in relationships with Erich Schneiderman, state Attorney-General for the State of New York and head of state level (and pardon-exempt) complaints against Trump and his people that are pending.

Like a lot of other people, my initial reaction was this was this was just another GOP ratfucking, but after reading the article, I came away with the strong feeling that despite the lack of physical evidence, the complaints were quite probably true. At least two of the women are fairly well known liberal activists, and no friend to Trump. Their stories are very plausible.

Schneiderman apparently felt the same way, and resigned about an hour ago.

In other news: “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday at a law enforcement conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

Getting harder and harder to see any difference between Jeff Sessions and the Nazis. Yeah, go ahead, Beauregard; sue me.

German, Russia, the UK and France tag-teamed Trump, fighting like hell to get him to not break the agreement with Iran. Nothing good can come of that, and Trump is probably too stupid to realize that if he attacks Iran (which Netanyahu and Bolton want) he risks a wider war with Russia and China, both of whom have plans for influence and access to southern ports and an American attack would definitely threaten.

Speaking of Russia, Vladimir Putin was elected President of Russia, despite a poor showing amongst Russians who sit in middle counties park benches and inhale nerve gas, or blunder into bumbershoots with ricin tips, or like a little polonium in their tea. No doubt hundreds of journalists will launch themselves off fifth-storey balconies by way of celebrating.

He released a video which consists of a four minute continuous shot of him walking to work, where a surprise party awaited. “Six more years? For little old me? Oh, you guys!”

Rudy Guiliani, who unfortunately was not in the twin towers the day the planes hit, has done such a shambolic and chaotic job of defending Trump that even Trump is reportedly considering banning Guiliani from any more live TV appearances on his behalf. Bad move, Donnie: much safer getting between a momma grizzly and her cubs than between Rudy Guiliani and a TV camera.

Melania Trump launched her doomed crusade against cyberbullying. Normally this would be a good cause for a first lady to pursue, and Michelle Obama did. As did Laura Bush. Which would be fine, except they made a pamplet for it, this “Be Best” campaign, and it was pinched directly from one released early in the Obama administration with only the title, the intro, and an image of a cell phone updated to look like it was from this decade. Oops.

It came just as Sessions was saying he would cheerfully rip apart the families of unpapered immigrants, deporting the parents and sending the kids into America’s foster-care maw.

You know what, Jeff? I changed my mind. You aren’t really ‘like a Nazi’.

You are a Nazi.

But cheer up, Jeff. I see where Don Blankenship is leading in the polls in the West Virginia GOP primary for the Senate. Blankenship is a real piece of work. He’s out of jail, where he served a year for conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine safety and health standards and conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials. It resulted in the deaths of 29 miners.

The GOP had two other candidates, but apparently they weren’t big enough dirtbags to appeal to Republican voters. Not a single kiddy diddler or traitor amongst them. But someone who killed 29 people through greed and negligence? Well, it ain’t as good as Roy Moore or Paul Manafort, but it will have to do.

So Jeff, if you can get GOP voters to believe you are a Nazi, they’ll vote for you.

It annoys the grown-ups, you see.

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Stormy Weather — Trumping the Elements

April 16th 2018

We got through a weekend that I had been awaiting with a fair old bit of dread. Yes, we attacked Syria, but apparently managed to do so in a way that didn’t spark a general regional war, let alone a thermonuclear war with Russia. Tactically, at least, the missile strikes apparently hit the intended targets, resulted in no casualties, and of America propaganda is to be believed, set the Syrian chemical production of such weapons back by months.

That the US exercised such restraint is down to a fellow named Mad Dog Mattis. If that alone doesn’t illuminate what lunatic times we live in, I don’t know what would. The Hunter S. Thompson Memorial Temperance Society, perhaps?

Trump, like far too many Americans, believes the way to earn respect and cooperation from people is by bombing the shit out of them. History has endless examples of how well this worked: Britain’s surrender to Germany in 1941, North Vietnam’s surrender to the US in 1967, and Iraq’s decision to abhor and abjure any fanatical Islamic groups in 2005.

We managed to get through the week without the world’s two main nuclear powers deciding to show us their love and concern by incinerating us. We aren’t out of the woods, of course, but we managed to step past a land mine in an awfully big mine field.

But as Kathleen Parker over at the Washington Post noted, “The Dogs of War are Howling.” Trump is still frantically searching for a way out of his scandals and know Americans go all glassy-eyed and subservient if there is a good-sized war to distract them. Israel and Saudi Arabia still want the US to come in and destroy countries they don’t like so they don’t look like the bad guys. And Putin is still playing his long game, backing Assad and Iran and very much aware that his puppet president in Washington is imploding.

There’s a lot of people who are skeptical that Assad conducted the gas attacks earlier this month, and they make a good case. Assad simply has nothing to gain from such attacks, and a fair bit to lose. There’s no sensible set of events that could result in a positive outcome for him.

Nonetheless, we know the attacks did occur. The most obvious evidence is the victims themselves; 43 dead and several hundred hospitalized. Because it is easy to detect and can be done so with ammonia, we know for sure that chlorine gas was used. We suspect Sarin as well, but UN and other western agencies have been blocked from testing by Assad and the Russians.

Why the Russians? They have nothing to gain other than weakening an ally who was already a political liability (Assad) and strengthening the hand of their other ally in the area, Iran. And we know Putin doesn’t hesitate to use chemical weapons to further his aims. While making pro forma denials, Putin is usually pretty cavalier about such use, because while he doesn’t want to take responsibility for such ploys, he doesn’t mind reminding Putin’s enemies that Russia will be coming for them one day. Wipe your door knob before turning, beware people in London with umbrellas, and don’t drink the tea.

I think Putin was behind the attacks. He stands to gain, and it matches his MO. He needs to be careful, though: despite what American and Israeli propaganda claim, Iran is steadfastly opposed to the use of such weapons and he needs Iran.

On the home front, things were equally chaotic, although with the redeeming feature of being a whole lot loonier.

It’s a helluva note when you have one scandal in which a presidential candidate’s fixer paid off a porn star to keep her mouth shut and that’s just kind of a sideshow. Another scandal has the president in a public pissing match with the FBI director that he fired for refusing to obstruct justice on his behalf, and each are calling the other morally unfit and stopping just short of calling one another traitors to their country. In today’s America, that’s a side show, too. The two, combined, sound like a bad 1950s torch song by some night club knock-off: “Stormy Daniels” by James Comey. Thank you, folks, I’ll be here all week.

In the background, the Mueller investigation is ticking away quietly. Think of the scene in “A Quiet Place” where the egg timer begins ticking. That’s what it feels like, and you just know something interesting is going to happen when the ticking stops.

The main event this week is the Michael Cohen saga. Cohen is described as Trump’s ‘personal lawyer’ although he matches the description in much the same way as Godzilla is a Formula One racer. He’s often described as Trump’s ‘fixer’, and he fixes things in much the same way that the Vet fixed your cat.

Trump’s other lawyers, many of whom are actual lawyers, are fighting like hell to keep Cohen’s records (including, supposedly, tape recordings) out of the hands of investigators.

The court overseeing this had some reservations about whether Cohen was acting in the capacity of a real, actual lawyer, or that of a Mafia torpedo, so they asked him if, since he was a lawyer and presumably had a client list, he might produce it.

Consternation ensued.

Cohen’s lawyers admitted he had three clients. Three. Just three. One was Donald Trump, a client he shelled out $130,000 for, mortgaging his house in the process, in order to shut Stormy Daniels up. I don’t think they taught that in law school. They sure don’t teach it in business school. Mike, the client is supposed to give you the money for your services, and not the other way around.

Another client was Elliott Broidy, a real jewel who had an affair with a Playboy Bunny, knocked her up, and gave her $1.6 million to take care of the matter as she saw fit. Oh, and to shut her up. Guess who the money funneled through.

The third client didn’t want to be identified, but the Judge in the case promised Cohen a lollipop if he showed the District Attorney where the third client touched him, and he fessed up. It was Sean Hannity, Moral Oligarch of Faux News.

If they ever make a movie about Cohen’s life (with an abridged, “R” rated version for commercial sales) they are going to have to call it “Dances with Douchebags”.

In the meantime, it’s believed that the State of NY, as a result of the Cohen raid, now has, among other things, Trump’s tax returns. And his nuts, assuming he has any.

Yes, we survived this week. But swirling chaos continues.

Astrosmash – Space is out to get us

Astrosmash

Space is out to get us

 

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

February 15th, 2013

OK, it’s official. The ZNN news service has just announced that this morning’s meteoroid strike in Chelyabinsk, Russia, has knocked earth off its axis, with the result that the south pole will be constantly facing directly toward the sun. No more sunrises and sunsets.

But it’s a moot point, because it also knocked the earth out of orbit, and it is now receding from the sun. Folks are advised to exhale as much as they can in order to increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere so we can stay warm. It’s a little-understood factoid that CO2 actually warms the air. Radioactive chemical reactions or something.

But that’s not important. Earth may be spiraling out of control toward the stars, some of which are a surprisingly long way away, but it’s going to collide with Pluto. That will warm us up. That’s the good news. But it will kill anything left alive after the mutant space radiation sickness.

Oh, did I forget to mention the mutant space radiation sickness? The meteorite had radioactive space germs on it, some sort of space flu but with plutonium, and it’s going to drive us all insane. We will believe in Republican economic policies, with the result that 99% of us will starve before we hit Pluto. That’s the not-so-good news.

Be sure to pass this along to any NRA survivalists you know. They’ll immediately spend the next three months in caves and remote cabins shivering in fear until their food runs out, and be out of our hair for a while. By the time they reappear, naked, shivering, and no longer toilet trained, Chelyabinsk will have fixed up the damages done by the meteoroid (mostly broken windows) and hopefully all the injured will have made full recoveries.

 

What happened there isn’t really that uncommon. Earth gets hit by objects that size two or three times a century on average. Most hit in uninhabited regions, in the oceans or in the millions of square miles where humans are sparse or nonexistent, such as the polar regions or the Sahara. A bigger explosion, generally believed to be a meteor strike, hit in Siberia in 1908. We know about it because the sound traveled half-way around the world, and because we later discovered several hundred miles of forest that had been flattened by the blast. Nobody was hurt in that one.

Oh, darn. I just gave away the whole plot of my next novel. Oh, well. I did it for science.

This meteor will get far more attention (and panic) than that far bigger one just 105 years ago, because hundreds of video cameras caught it, and because people were hurt—about 1,000 people, mostly by flying broken glass—and because at least one building suffered major structural damage.

The strike did beat some pretty impressive odds anyway. Everyone was watching an asteroid that passed within 17,500 miles of earth this morning, at 1125 PST. By astronomical standards, that’s frighteningly close. Think of it being like having a 50-caliber round nick your earlobe. Disconcerting.

The odds of two such events at once have to be in the range of billions to one. Indeed, my immediate response was the belief that this had to be a preceding outrigger of 2012DA14, the asteroid in question. It’s not too unusual for asteroids to have clusters of other, smaller rocks around them. But Russia was on the wrong side of the planet at the time, and in the wrong hemisphere. Analysis of the meteoroid showed that it came from an entirely different direction. Completely unrelated.

What are the odds of such events in one day? Billions to one.

I felt a chill when I heard that it struck in Chelyabinsk. That was the locale of what at the time was the world’s worst nuclear accident (since exceeded by Chernobyl and Fukushima) at the top-secret Soviet plant at Mayak. It didn’t hit in any of the irradiated areas, and other nuclear plants in the region report no significant problems, so it’s ok to exhale again.

We’ve known for the better part of a century now that the solar system is something of a shooting gallery. We’ve come from disbelieving that stones could fall from the sky to realizing that not only are many features of the Moon and Mars the result of objects striking them, but that quite a few of our own planet’s features are the result of such strikes. Oh, and one big strike sixty-six million years ago is why we don’t have any dinosaurs about. We’ve had the strike in Siberia, and more recently, the spectacular collision between parts of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet and Jupiter which resulted in earth-sized explosions on the giant planet’s face. Something else hit Jupiter just six months ago with the force of a large nuclear weapon. We still don’t know what that was all about.

Most of the debris in space that might hit us lies between us and the sun. We know it’s there, and we track some of the bigger ones that we know about. Chances are for every one we know about, there’s thousands we haven’t spotted yet. Space is big. Even the space scopes—Hubble, Kepler, and this year’s Gaia—can only cover a tiny fraction of one percent of the sky at any given moment, so they aren’t likely to notice an object big enough to do damage, like this morning’s. Or even something bigger. The one that hit this morning was from inside our orbit. They are hard to predict over a long period of time because as they pass near Mercury, Venus, or Earth, that affects their orbits, and they affect one another in small but sometimes significant amounts.

What are the odds of something really big hitting us, say in the next ten years?

Millions to one against.

But the odds of the two events happening on the same day were even more stacked, more improbable. That should make anyone pause to consider.

We need to work on a more comprehensive way of tracking near earth objects. We might not be able to do anything about something really big that comes our way, but we can deflect smaller stuff that is big enough to cause significant damage.

And we need to keep working to get humans off earth and on other planets. As Heinlein said over half a century ago, we can’t keep on just keeping all our eggs in one basket.

Today’s events show that high odds don’t preclude the possibility that we may be the universe’s next omelet.