Sunday, July 21, 2019

Don't Be A Sucker

Produced at Warner Bothers by the US Army Signal Corps in 1943.  Below is a three minute plus segment.

The guy on the soapbox belting out hate messages is famed Dick Lane.   An early TV announcer for professional wrestling, kind of like Trump's hosting of WrestleMania.  Those early 40s and 50s bogus wrestling matches were the reality shows of 70 years ago.  Our own  reality show TV personality, Citizen Bone-Spurs, seems to be a duplicate of Dick Lane.  It's time to yell Whoa Nellie and get rid of this whining diva-wannabee.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Bastille Day

Mr. DoUntoOthersBeforeTheyDoItToYou is green with envy.  Why didn't the Pentagon give him a flying hoverboard and a three and a half hour show?

My favorite as always was the axe wielding Pioneer detachment of the Légion étrangère.  Axes for their Pioneer duties.  Tough buffalo hide aprons for their Sapper role to protect the family jewels from 18th century breaching blasts.  I need to grow a beard like those.  I'll pass on the epaulets though.  They won battle honors at Sevastopol, North Africa (three times), Italy, Mexico (Camarón), China, Việt Nam, Madagascar, and Macedonia.

I do like that UAV mounted on the yellow pick-up.  It appears capable of being launched from the truck bed.  What about landing?  Can't find any data on it.  Kind of a mini-UAV.  For tactical level recon maybe?  But it clearly has French Air Forrce markings and NOT French Army.  The launch catapult rails look similar to a ground-based version I've seen before, can't recall which system.

The hoverboard which got all the raves was piloted by the civilian inventor, Franky Zapata, and NOT by a member of the French military.   Apparently the French Army has wisely not bought it yet and it is just there for the show.   I am not a fan either.  At least not for the high-flying part.  If it could skim along a foot of the ground in real nap-of-the-earth fashion maybe I'd change my mind, but that would take some major upgrades.   And how about unmanned for hi-value logistics delivery?


Franky Z's next Flyboard show will be critical for his ambitions — On July 25, he plans to cross the English Channel.   I wish him good luck and fair weather.  But he reportedly will need mid-air refueling.  It must be a gas hog as the Channel is only 33 kilometers (<21 miles) wide at the Strait of Dover.   The 25 July date is the 110th anniversary of Louis Blériot's historic flight across the Channel:

Zapata claims his Flyboard has a top speed of 190 km/h (118 mph).   Maximum load is 100 kg (220 pounds), perhaps 200 kg for short distance3 low speed runs.   Maximum altitude is 3,000 meters.

Friday, July 5, 2019


For the out-of-towners, forget the First Toddler emceeing for an imitation of NorKo’s Kim Il-sung Square.  Here is what a normal American small town looks like on the Fourth of July.  No tanks and no B-1s.  And best of all no pompous windbag bloviating while staying dry from the rain behind bulletproof glass.  

More typical is my small town,  We had a Shopping Cart Drill Team from the local non-chain grocery, 

the Daffodil Ladies,

and the Butterfly Bicycle Troop.

Plus half a dozen gearheads showing off their antique cars, and Shriners in funny hats and trick cars.   

The only military presence was six old men from the VFW marching out of step, mishandling the colors, and winking at certain ladies in the crowd of onlookers.   

The only politician was a county commissioner in a convertible throwing candy to the kids.  No speechifying!  

Plenty of hot dogs and watermelon afterwards. 
I skipped the fireworks.  I miss the huge bonfires of stacked railroad crossties from my youth.  They lit up the night until dawn.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Tanks but no tanks

A couple of thoughts, based on this Politico piece that Sven provided in the comments on the previous post:

1. For a dude who claims to luuuuuurve his military guys El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago has no problems with making at least some of the poor bastards work over the holiday weekend rather than hang out at home or drink with the guys in the billets. I wonder who drew the short straw down in Ft. Stewart to drag ass all the way to D.C. to babysit the Brads and tanks and the M88 so somebody who would rather not have dragged ass to Southeast Asia when he had the chance (cough!bonespurscough!) could pose with the heavy metal and get a little woody?
2. There's a big reason that the Fourth isn't like Bastille Day.

For all that both republics were born in war and the use of force, the U.S. deliberately pushed the troops back into the barracks - hell, the Founders and Framers didn't want "troops" in the sense of regular GIs at all - in a way that France did not. And, in part because of that the U.S. has been spared the sort of man-on-horseback problems France has had with it's armed forces. There's a reason we here revere George Washington; for all his flaws (and he had them, like all of us) he could easily have been Napoleon and consciously turned away from that.

It's a sad comment - not so much on Trump, who is a ginormous toddler with the soul of a cinerious lump of coal and the intellect of a howler monkey who can only be expected to crave the fake toughness of being close to soldiers and military hardware, but - on the state of this nation that the vast bulk of Americans are reacting to this ridiculous Red Square propaganda show with vast indifference.

I'm sorry I'm 3,000 miles away, because somebody owes those 3rd ID guys a beer for having to be part of this Reichsparteitag shit, and I'd be buying.

And someone owes Trump a finger, while they're at it, and I got one of those for his orange ass, too.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Lovers in a Dangerous Time

The latest media take on the "legendary" Trump-Kim border stroll is that in so doing Trump has "normalized" the NORK nukes.
Far be it from me to hand El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago any diplomatic props whatsoever, but...what the hell else could he do?

The DPRK has nuclear weapons. Crude, perhaps, but certainly no cruder than the weapons used in 1945. Donnie Trump hasn't "made" North Korea a nuclear power; North Korea IS a nuclear power. Short of risking nuclear detonation on the Korean peninsula, what the hell is the U.S. going to do to change that? Kim, as big a sonofabitch as he is, is not a fool. He knows his survival and that of the Kim Dynasty depends on making his little fiefdom too nasty for a larger enemy to take down without paying an unacceptable price. He's seen what happens to the Saddams and the Gadaffis of the world. He's no more going to "denuclearize" than he's going to appear on The Apprentice in a cheap suit.

Only a monstrous simulacrum of a human being with the intellectual capacity of a brain-damaged marmoset would think or expect otherwise.

Oh, wait...

Christ, what a maroon. What an im-bessal. Can anyone explain why the Mustache of Stupidity still has any geopolitical credibility whatsoever?

Christ, what an asshole.

So while I'm perfectly willing to dopeslap the Tangerine Tinpot for his behavior at the G20, where he did his best to imitate his boss from Moscow and follow the boss' direction for continuing his efforts towards the demolition of the Western hegemony (his comments on the 1951-1960 US-Japan agreement were particularly moronic), I can't really get too arsed about this little jaunt around the bricks at Panmunjom.

The notion that the U.S. can do what it can and the NORKs must suffer what they must died the moment the first fission test succeeded north of the DMZ.

North Korea is and will be a nuclear power; regardless of what gas Trump and the Trumpkins may expel, the U.S. is going to have to accept that unless and until the people running the show in the U.S. are willing to risk a nuclear, biological, and chemical attack on their Korean and Japanese allies. Bolton may be willing to do that, and Trump may be ignorant enough to let him, but almost no one else in the U.S. government is.

For the U.S. "news" media to bloviate otherwise simply makes that acceptance more difficult and fraught.