Sep 252017

So the media is currently ulcerating over Trump suggesting that he’d like to see NFL owners fire players who decide to disrespect the US flag & anthem before games. Here’s the thing:

1: It’s the players right to disrespect the flag, the anthem, the US.

2: It’s any citizens right to say that he’d like to see these people fired.

3: It’s the team owners right to keep them or fire them

4: And it’s the fans right to stop spending time and money on games with players who are over-paid rude jackholes.


The NFL gets neither my time nor my money, so the NFL doesn’t care what my opinion is. But when you have an audible fraction of the people in attendance in the stadium *booing* the players behavior, the NFL should probably take some notice. And if you’re one of those fans who watches and/or attends and you’re booing? Stop watching, stop attending. Pretty simple free market stuff.

A few decades ago, professional athletes didn’t get paid diddly squat. Now they get paid more than most CEO’s, certainly more that the vast majority of the STEM majors, cops and soldiers who actually make life not only better but *possible.* They now seem to be an entitled class of dimwitted self-important boobs, paid stupid sums of money to do something fundamentally unimportant. And given how dependent upon politics the NFL is for a large fraction of their vast profits (sweetheart tax deals, getting the military to expend time and treasure for flyovers and the like), you’d think that something the NFL would want their players to be is *non* political, at least on the field.

So if you are a fan who is offended that a lot of the players are disrespecting your country because they are upset that even though black criminals are shot by the police at a lower rate than white criminals, they want that ratio to be tilted even further (that might not be what they *say* their reasons are, but that’s what it comes down to), then there is a simple solution: turn the game off. Stay home. Imagine how much more time and money you’ll have if you’re now going to a stadium to spend several hours watching tattooed millionaires play eleven *minutes* of sportsball and get paid more in that time than you will all year.

If stadiums emptied and the TVs were turned to something else (heck, if you are a “football family,” maybe y’all could play Monopoly or something instead), perhaps the rather obscene amount of money being squandered on this ridiculous pastime could finally be put to some better use. What better uses? Hmmm. Let me think…

The NFL brought in enough money last year to pay for 10 Pluto missions

 Posted by at 4:38 pm
Sep 252017

Argh. Facebook is not my favorite thing. But, apparently, it’s where all the cool kids hang out, so the Aerospace Projects Review Facebook page that I cobbled together years ago, I’ve started posting things in again.

One of the weird things about Facebook is that you (apparently) can’t see a page unless you are signed in to Facebook, and if you are signed in, your own Facebook page when displayed to you has a bunch of editing features plastered all over it. Mine does, at any rate. So I can’t see what my own APR Facebook page looks like to other folks. Meh. So I don’t know if it looks ok or not. Anyone wants to wander by and let me know, that’d be great.

 Posted by at 2:16 am
Sep 212017

There is a time and a place for critters. My cats, for instance: their place is “my house” and their time is “all the time, because this is their house too.” But their place is *not,* say, the grocery store or the restaurant. Nor is it appropriate for women to take their genetic mutant fishbait yapdogs into restaurants and the like simply because they want to keep them nearby.

On the other hand: service animals, generally dogs. (NOTE: *real* service dogs, trained and certified) Their place is “pretty much everywhere.” Because they not only do a job, they’ve been *trained.* Cats and dogs, as I’ve said multiple times before, are On Our Team. But service dogs are even more so… they are *professional* members of Team Humanity. They get to go wherever the person who needs them gets to go.

The proper response to a service animal is, almost always, to *ignore* it. Sure, you see a dog and your instinct is to start baby-talking like an idjit and to come over and pet it… but it’s doing a job. Leave it alone. Your petting it will not only distract it, you could well cause a system failure.

There was a time when the only service dog you were likely to see was a seeing eye dog for the blind. But now there are dogs who can detect when their human is about to have an epileptic seizure, or go into sugar shock or something like that. And there are now service dogs trained to aid people with psychological issues, anxiety and PTSD and the like. You coming over and pestering the dog will not only throw it off, you might actually set off the issue that caused the person to need the dog in the first place. I admit, a decade or two ago I thought the idea of a service dog for mental issues was nonsense, but all evidence points to them being fully functional, real and useful. A PTSD service dog is no more nonsense than PTSD is. So if someone has been properly diagnosed with PTSD and the people and organizations who regulate PTSD dogs sign off on that someone having a service dog… I got no problem with that. And neither should anyone else.

But of course, the world is full to overflowing with people who missed out on the whole “rationality” and “empathy” development programs. Take this magnificent example of NSFW insanity:

Note how the dog remains calm throughout, as does the veteran. You know who else remained calm throughout? The womans husband/boyfriend/whatever. The look on his face, though… *priceless.* Ya gotta feel for the guy. How many years of this before *he* needs a therapy dog?


Repeat after me, kids: Leave. The. Dog. Alone.

So, let’s say you’re in a restaurant and you see someone with a service dog, and it is behaving itself. And your first thought is something like “ewww, the hygiene, the hygiene,” and your impulse is to get up and complain. Well, I have a very simple test for you. Look around. Does the restaurant allow *children?* If so:

 Posted by at 6:39 pm
Sep 172017

Now this here could be all kinds of entertaining:

Mystery Shocks at North Korea’s Sacred Volcano Trigger Eruption Fears After Nuclear Test

It seems that the North Korean undergroudn nuclear test site is really close to the active volcano Mount Paektu. As the article says:

“For an individual nuclear detonation to do serious damage to the volcano, previous research shows, the blast would need to be at least 100 kilotons, which the explosion earlier this month was estimated to be.”

Now, this would be dumb on a couple levels. First off, setting off one of their own volcanoes on their own turf? Dumb. But second off, the volcano is basically also on the border with China, so this *could* annoy the one nation that can actually tolerate the Kim regime.

So one might wonder if further unwise testing may cause the Chinese to finally get off their butts and do something. China could *easily* march right in and take over the joint, or at least take over the Nork nuclear sites and probably install their own puppet. On the one hand… well, good, I guess. But on the other hand, that would not free the people of North Korea, and it would move the Chinese border and military to within just a few miles of Seoul, South Korea. So the Chinese *could* use the wackiness of the nuts in North Korea to further their expansionist, imperialist aims.


CONSPIRACY THEORY: The Chinese are popping up the Norks and quietly aiding them in their nuclear programs *specifically* to set up a situation where they can march in and play the hero, and wind up in a strategically superior situation.

 Posted by at 1:45 pm
Sep 142017

The AlternateHistoryHub YouTube channel runs through some interesting “what if” scenarios. A recent one – which the guy had the bad timing to release just after the national socialist LARPer in Charlottesville ran into the crowd of international socialist LARPers – discusses the scenario of what America might be like if the African slave trade never happened. It’s an interesting thought experiment, but a difficult one. The roots of the issue go back so far that even if somehow history could be altered so that the European powers never sailed down to Africa and bought African slaves for use in the New World sugar, cotton and tobacco plantations, so much time has passed that the number of alternate divergent timelines is uncountable.


But what he comes up with basically ends up with Europe being somewhat poorer, because they didn’t make as much profit from sugar and such, and the industrial revolution takes a little while longer to kick in. And the USA? Assuming it still comes about, it doesn’t have the same nasty racist history… but it also doesn’t really have any black folks, either.

It’s impossible to say that any one proposed timeline is impossible, barring the sudden use of AND THEN A MIRACLE HAPPENED, but one of his assumptions I disagree with: that the industrial revolution would be delayed. The European powers would still want to grow sugar cane and sell the sugar back home (and cotton, etc.), but without slaves they’d have to actually *pay* people. Which means the exercise would be less profitable. That much we agree on. But it seems to me… that would actually *spur* innovation. Slave-based economies tend to not be terribly innovative because they don’t really *need* to be, and because innovation can cause all kinds of social havoc. So I’d suspect that in this alternate history, if we assume the USA is still formed more or less on schedule, the Revolutionary War *might* be fought with some early steam-powered ships. Perhaps some terribly crappy locomotives are running around hauling cargo and troops. The American colonists *might* have had a substantial technological lead over the Brits for the simple reason they would have *had* to. Instead of the North being the unquestioned center of innovation compared tot he agrarian South, perhaps the South would have been industrialized early on in order to make plantations economical.

So by the time the Civil War would have broken out, the alt-USA has no need for a Civil War. The tech level in the alt-USA would be substantially higher than it was in the real-USA at the start of the war… but a few years later, with the pressures of the war, the real-USA might have done a job of catching up. But I dunno… I still think it’s quite possible that in the alternate timeline with the greater economic pressures to be an innovation nation, by the 1860’s the USA will be brightly lit with electric lights and telephone lines cross the land.

In the real-USA, the antebellum South was more-or-less broken down into a few really rich white folks, a lot of dirt-poor white folks, and a lot of dirt poorer black folks. In the alt-USA, the South would have broken down into some kinda rich white folks and a bunch of kinda poor white folks… and essentially no black folks. The poor white folks would be unlikely to be anywhere near middle class… the north, after all, didn’t have slavery in its industrial factories, but instead paid employees… and they were hardly living the high life. Still, the poor whites of alt-South would have been better off than the “poor white trash” of real-South. In the real-USA, small southern farmers were pretty well screwed; how could they compete against plantations using slave labor? In the alt-USA, that wouldn’t be an issue. Instead, they might be faced with the prospect of having to compete with plantations that are early adopters of mechanization.

Without the history of black slavery, the alt-USA wouldn’t end up with the Klan and Jim Crow laws and all that garbage. Probably wouldn’t have had laws against “race mixing” and all that. The alt-USA would have wound up almost certainly being a *really* white country; where the real-USA imported millions of black slaves, the alt-USA would have had to import a roughly equivalent number of European workers. The alt-USA would not have had the blatant racism… but maybe it would have had a more “comfortable” racism against, say, Hispanics and Asians and such. African slavery necessarily made the USA a “multi racial” society. But the alt-USA would at least in principle have had the option of being Europeans-only. *Perhaps* the alt-USA would have blocked the immigration of Chinese, Mexicans or perhaps even Italians… recall that back in the day, the likes of Italians and Irish were considered “non-white” for reasons we’d today find pretty laughable.

Or perhaps without the history of Unpleasantness, the alt-USA would turn out to be a perfectly accepting nation when it came to ethnicities, with none of that racist stuff.

Another recent video is “What if the War On Terror Never Happened?” Here I largely agree with the guy… the world would have turned out much the same, with the Middle East explodey as usual. However, one thing he missed when he assumes the US doesn’t invade Iraq and topples Saddam: the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Yes, the WMD program that the worlds intelligence services largely though was A Thing in Iraq turned out to be a lot of misdirection by Saddam. But the experience and intelligence and industrial base was still there; all Saddam really needed to do was wait out the UN inspection regime. And as memory serves, that would have ended circa 2005. So alt-Saddam, rather than being dead, would have restarted the Iraqi nuclear program, potentially with the assistance of the Pakistani and/or North Korean programs. So then when Iraq does eventually go into civil war sometime in the two-thousand-teens, the alt-ISIS is armed with if not actual nukes, potentially with dirty bombs, chemical weapons, weaponized pathogens. Greeeeeaaaat.


 Posted by at 1:50 am
Sep 112017

Take a read:

Memorials of Grief

The World Trade Center memorial is a freakin’ hole in the ground. It is used as a place to grieve, of course, just as the Vietnam War Memorial is. But when the people who were directly affected by those events are no longer there to grieve, they won’t be places of grief anymore. They’ll simply be holes in the ground.
There is greatness in our history. There is darkness in our history. But it seems like in the last forty or fifty years we’ve stopped celebrating the greatness and have learned to wallow in the darkness.
These old trailers seem relevant somehow…

 Posted by at 7:02 pm
Sep 102017

In retrospect, I think that the negative reviews a few days ago worked for the best here. Up until I read the reviews, I assumed that  “Orville” would be a parody, not and actual Trek-like show with added humor. Had I gone into the show cold with that misunderstanding, I’m sure that I would also have been annoyed. But since that incorrect illusion no longer held I was able to appreciate the show for what it was. And what it was was… pretty good, actually.

Orville is clearly not meant to be hard-hitting sci-fi… and that’s a bit of a refreshing change. It’s not gritty or grimdark; the world of the Orville is, at least so far, a pretty upbeat place. The production design clearly hearkens back to Star Trek: The Next Generation, but as far as the tone of the show I got a lot more of Star Trek: The Original Series. The characters are occasionally interesting and actually seem *happy* to be doing what they’re doing. Compare that to TNG, Voyager and Enterprise, where the characters were either crashingly dull or jerks, there out of a sense of duty or some goofball socialistic ideology that means that they are merely cogs in the machine (DS9 actually had interesting characters, but it was a show loaded with grim and gritty). While Seth MacFarlane is no Bill Shatner, I see a lot more of Kirk in his Captain Mercer that, say, Picard or Sisko.

Of course, all this could change in future episodes.

I was impressed with the visual effects, especially the spacecraft scenes. If the show makes it, I can see a whole lot of people making models of the ships from the show.

So, based on a grand total of one episode, I liked it. Clearly, though, the professional critics didn’t… it’s sitting at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps the next two episodes – the critics saw the first three – stink. or perhaps my tastes don’t closely align with professional critics. Hmmm.

UPDATE: Hmmmm….

 Posted by at 9:13 pm
Sep 082017

“Close Encounters” is wrapping up its one week back in the theaters, and according to Box Office Mojo it’s only made about $2.5 million. I bet they spent more than that just on ads. It’s a pity… had it done well, perhaps it would have spurred more re-releases. Let’s face it, we’d probably all rather see “Jaws” back in the theater than a remake of “Jaws.”

Anyway, at least I finally got to see “Close Encounters” on a big screen. I was going to write “the way it was meant to be seen,” but I suspect it was meant to be seen on a drive-in screen…

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Sep 042017

President Barack Obama was the best salesman the AR-15 ever saw. Gun owners were justifiably afraid that he and his fellow travelers, the likes of Pelosi and Boxer and the rest of the civilian disarmament fetishists, would pass laws banning the purchase or even ownership of a perfectly good rifle. Fortunately, reason for once prevailed.

A few weeks ago I went to a gun show south of Salt Lake city. It has been a year or more since i went to the last one, and at the time the chances seemed fair that the Obama years would be followed by the Hillary years. The gun show *then* was busy, packed with both sellers and buyers. The one a few weeks ago? Much smaller, about 2/3 the number of sellers, far fewer buyers. The panic is over.

So it seems that for at least the next few years, AR-15s should be had for reasonable prices, calmly, and without any fuss.

But now there’s a new item of political relevance: anything with MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) printed on it. This Trump campaign motto has become a new boogeyman for the Left, with people losing their fargin; minds when they see someone daring to wear such a thing. Behold:

High school teacher makes student remove Trump t-shirt, compares it to ‘Neo-Nazis’

Pretty much what the title says. Rather astonishingly, though, the school administration has come down on the side of the *two* students that the math teacher freaked out at, and not only allowed the students to wear their shirts, but gave the teacher an undefined talkin’-to.

Me, I was never all that impressed with MAGA. But it’s things like this that make me *want* to pick up a MAGA hat. The difficulty for that little fantasy of mine is that people around *here* are generally pretty reasonable, and even though many might not like Trump and may not have voted for him (as I didn’t), they’re unlikely to go all Antifa-crap on anyone wearing a MAGA hat or shirt.

Still, I have high hopes and actual expectations that when the teacher in this story returned to her classroom the next day, or tomorrow perhaps, that she’ll be met with a sea of MAGA shirts.

Such as here:

I don’t know the background here, but the teacher here gives *every* indication of being the actual source of the problem.



 Posted by at 3:04 pm
Sep 022017

Last few days the local news has been blowing up over the release of body cam footage showing a cop arresting a nurse. In the end, who’s in trouble here? The cop. Oh, boy howdy, the cop. Every bus the governor, mayor and chief of police can find, they’re preparing to throw him under… and for good reason. Here’s the short form:

1: On July 26, there was a high speed pursuit. The idjit being chased managed to hit a semi truck near Wellsville, resulting in an impressive explosion; idjit was killed, truck driver – who *everyone* acknowledges was doing nothing wrong – was injured.

2: Injured truck driver was taken to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.

3: For some reason, detective Jeff Payne decided that he needed to have a blood sample from the unconscious truck driver, and he needed it Right Now. Presumably this was to test for booze or drugs or some such in the truck driver… reason able enough, I suppose, under the circumstances, but his need fr it seems to have been excessive.

4: On-duty nurse Alex Wubbels knew the law and Hospital policy: they’re not allowed to draw blood from a patient for the cops unless:

A: The patient consents – which he couldn’t, being unconscious.

B: The patient was under arrest, which he wasn’t.

C: The police have a valid search warrant calling for a blood sample… which they didn’t have (but could have obtained easily enough)

5: Detective Payne was having none of it, and threatened the nurse with arrest for obstruction of justice.

6: Nurse contacts her supervisor via cell phone with a speakerphone

7: Supervisor tells the detective that the nurse is right, and that he’s making a mistake in threatening the nurse.

8: Detective goes ape and aggressively arrests the nurse.

9: In the end no charges are filed because, duh, nurse broke no laws

10: And then in late August the bodycam footage is released to the public and the detectives career hits a bit of a speedbump.

The truck driver patient is reportedly a reserve police officer in Rigby, Idaho; the going assumption is that detective Payne wanted that blood sample Right Friggen’ Now in order to absolutely clear the reserve police officer of any taint of guilt in the incident (even though, again, there’s no suspicion that anyone but the original idjit was responsible for the crash). The truck river is still in the hospital in serious condition.


Video shows Utah nurse screaming, being handcuffed after refusing to take blood from unconscious victim

And so now…

SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow

Ruh-roh, Raggy.


Here’s the full near-19-minute footage.

Hard to come up with a better representation of detective Payne than this…

Here are some other angles:

 Posted by at 3:34 pm