Saturday, August 28, 2010

A little North Mississippi blues, please, Maestro...

After today's Beckifuck we need to get down to the river and wash...

Mississippi Fred McDowell ~ Goin Down to the River
Thanks to NaOH123.

Taking One For The Team

The Rude Pundit is couch-tweeting the Beckture ("I have a scheme!") from C-Span:

No, seriously, this is like the shittiest Amway convention ever. The Beckture is a failure.

I'm keeping The Rude One open and minimized and referring to it every few minutes. It's a hoot. Don't miss it.


Pensito Review

Why Is Glenn Beck, Who Did Drugs Instead of Serving in the Military, Smearing Purple Hearts to Promote His Million Moron March?

Actually, Beck has invented a new “badge of merit” (not, mind you, a merit badge) to replace the Purple Heart which he dislikes, he says, because it rewards people for being victims, which is Beck’s Orwellian newspeak for being wounded in the line of duty.

However, what is perhaps most insulting is the idea that a Beck’s Badge of Merit will somehow mean more than a “progressive” Purple Heart because it rewards “honor and integrity.” For many, the mere fact that someone is willing to sacrifice their life and limb for country, and is in fact wounded, symbolizes their “honor and integrity.”

The Purple Heart is awarded to those who shed blood due to enemy action, whether a nick from a stone chip thrown up by an RPG or blown to bits. It's not an award anybody wants.

Like all of us who didn’t serve in the military, Glenn Beck should show a little respect for the service, especially those who have been wounded in the line of duty. He seems to think he’s attacking liberals in general and FDR specifically when he derides the Purple Heart by denigrating it as a reward for being a victim. That is really despicable — especially so in Beck’s case, because, instead of serving his country, Beck spent his teen and young-adult years laid up smoking pot and doing coke.That is really despicable — especially so in Beck’s case, because, instead of serving his country, Beck spent his teen and young-adult years laid up smoking pot and doing coke.

A lot of soldiers would have rather done that than go to war, but they did their duty as they saw it, the necessity or futility or criminality of the particular war notwithstanding.

Beck has every right to say the despicable things he says, largely due to the efforts of servicemen who defended his right to say them, but he's gone way too far on this one. He has no standing whatsoever to disparage anyone's service. Some old Veteran needs to cold-cock the sonofabitch.

Imagine if a liberal commentator smeared the meaning of the Purple Heart — the media would be all over it, and the right wing would be calling for the commentator’s treasonous head.

But when Beck does it, no one notices. Once again: I.O.I.Y.A.R.

El Rude-o Update:

Post-Beckture: I need a 15 martini lunch, three hookers of various genders, and a donkey.

Dude, go straight to the donkey. Don't waste yer money on the hookers. After 15 martinis you'll never notice the difference...

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

composition by Daniel Lanois

Willie Nelson & Emmylou Harris ~ The Maker

Thanks to peters332home, Netherlands.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Saturday Homebrew Music Video Blogging

I'm so bored with the same old same old today that I jumped this one up the queue a day early just for something to do.

I lost track of this band (bio) after their first two CDs. I found 'em again thanks to the magic of the internets.

This song has everything - young love lost, lifelong obsession to beyond the grave, ridin' the rods, train whistles, but mostly it has the amazing pipes of Kim Fox and some great family harmony.

I gotta get me one'a them train whistles for my 'sickle. I could have a lotta fun with one of those on these mountain roads...

This is From the Fox Family 1995 CD "Follow My Lead". Composed and lead vocal by Kim Fox. This band has since reformed as '3 Fox Drive'. That's a lot easier to look up on YouTube than 'Fox Family' unless you like looking at families of foxes. I mean, they're cute and all, but most of 'em can't sing...

Navy Drone Violates D.C.!

Navy Lost Control of Drone Over D.C. Due To "Software Issue"

Thankfully, the incident has prompted the Navy to ground all six of its Fire Scout drones while they figure out what happened. The Times says that "the Navy did not describe the scene inside the ground control station as operators sought to re-establish communication with the drone," but I'll bet they were all like "oh shit oh shit oh shit." [NYT]

That sound you hear is enlisted men's stripes hitting the deck at Pax River. As usual, no officers or civilians will be affected in the flurry of scapegoating.

Too bad this couldn'ta waited 'til tomorrow and ran outta gas right over the Lincoln Memorial and fell on Miss Becky. A sign from Above.

Understandable Mistake

I swear I thought this headline at HuffPo was about Mehlman in the wake of his coming out:

Glamorous Ballerina Was Nazi Party's Secret Weapon, Files Show

Oops. Heh.

Tomorrow ...

Tied up to the pier at Tilbury, England. Bandwidth sucked since we left Oslo, day after yesterday, and spent 2 nights fighting through Force 9 winds and 20 foot seas. Since yesterday was a "sea day", all the old folks were in the computer center (as opposed to being on a shore excursion) sending e-mails to their grandkids so it was impossible to upload pictures. I'm running out of time on my internet package (and I refuse to pay $0.75/minute) so I'll have something up about our day in Oslo tomorrow, when we leave Prinsendam and board Queen Mary 2 in Southampton. Gotta finish packing, so I can unpack tomorrow, so I can repack in a week, only to unpack when we get home. Oy! Great cruise!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blackwater vs. Pinkwater

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, with links and video.

I had gone to Prince's home, together with two CODEPINK colleagues, assuming it would be empty. I'd read in the New York Times that Mr. Prince and his family had moved out of the country, fleeing from a series of civil lawsuits, criminal charges and Congressional investigations stemming from his company's contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the news, "In documents filed last week in a civil lawsuit brought by former Blackwater employees accusing Mr. Prince of defrauding the government, Mr. Prince sought to avoid giving a deposition by stating that he had moved to Abu Dhabi [which is in the United Arab Emirates] in time for his children to enter school there on August 15." Susan Burke, the lawyer seeking the deposition, announced that she was flying to the Emirates to find him.

I had been feeling particularly upset about Blackwater lately. Seeing the combat troops leaving Iraq, I'd been thinking about the banner CODEPINK members held in countless anti-war vigils: "Iraq War: Who Lies? Who Dies? Who Pays? Who Profits?" Politicians lied about weapons of mass destruction, Iraqis and American soldiers died, U.S. taxpayers paid, and companies like Blackwater make a killing. In just a few years, Blackwater received over $1 billion in U.S. government contracts, contracts that accounted for 90 percent of its revenue. Erik Prince, the company's sole owner, was now taking his profits, trying to sell the company and running away to the Emirates, a country that has no extradition treaty with the United States.

So we decided to make a symbolic gesture of visiting his home in McLean to bid good riddance to bad rubbish. On Friday, August 20, five days after the Prince children were supposed to be starting their new lives as schoolchildren in the Emirates, we mapquested the old McLean home and drove there, ready to take a photo with our "Adios Diablo Prince" sign and leave.

When the police arrived, Joanna Prince lied and said I'd been told to leave the house and refused. I was arrested, charged with trespassing, held for 5 hours and forced to pay $500 in bail. I have to appear in court on September 28. So does Joanna Prince. Will she show up in court or will she--like her husband--run away to Abu Dhabi? Will the court subpoena her to appear? Will her husband, a man who shuns publicity, tell her that she is crazy to pick a public fight with CODEPINK (or Pinkwater, as we now call ourselves) and make her drop the charges? Will I be able to sue her for false arrest?

Stay tuned for round two of Xe (formerly Blackwater) vs. Pinkwater (formerly CODEPINK).

Heh. Big, brave former SEAL took de money and run Abu Dhabi (apologies to Harry Belafonte) so he could keep our money and stay out of jail. Left his wife behind to clean up after him. She's probly tougher than he is anyway.

Note to Diablo Prince: The Emirates ain't far enough, Sparky. Be afraid, be very afraid. The Pinkwater ladies are coming for you.

The right-wing, blinded by its own hysteria

(A big Brain welcome to Crooks and Liars readers. Thanks, Mike - G)

Good op-ed on the Park51 right-wing spew by Eugene Robinson.

When did the loudmouths of the American right become such a bunch of fraidy-cats and professional victims? Or is it all just an act?

It's an act at the top, The Word handed down from On High at the bottom and bleated loudly as an act of faith.

Message to anyone who will listen: You're a victim. Be very afraid.

The sky is falling! Brown people are coming to get you in your beds!

In the process, this anti-mosque pitchfork brigade is surely recruiting terrorists left and right. As Ahmad Moussalli, a professor at the American University of Beirut, told the Los Angeles Times: "Rejecting this has become like rejecting Islam itself." All the Islamophobic rhetoric tends to reinforce the jihadists' main argument, which is that the United States and the West seek to destroy the faith held dear by more than 1 billion souls.

The thing is, though, that the manufactured brouhaha over the Park51 project is part of a larger pattern in which the far right embraces victimhood and stokes fear. The faction that likes to portray itself as a bunch of John Waynes and "mama grizzlies," it turns out, spends an awful lot of time cowering in the corner and complaining about how beastly everyone else is being.

And look at the hysteria over illegal immigration. Facts don't matter -- for example, that the flow of undocumented migrants has decreased, or that border enforcement under President Obama is much tougher than under George W. Bush, or that illegal immigrants are not responsible for any kind of crime wave. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), has gone so far as to sound the alarm about alleged "terror babies." The idea is that undocumented pregnant women would cross the border so that their children could have U.S. citizenship, then take the babies away to be raised as terrorists -- who would be able to come back in 20 years or so, with legitimate U.S. passports, and presumably wreak untold havoc. No, I did not make that up.

Is the far right really afraid of its own shadow? Do these people really have so little faith in our nation's strength, resilience and values? I hope this is all just cynical political calculation, because there are genuine threats and challenges out there. We'll be better off meeting them with a spine, not a whine.

The far right's top echelon knows good and damn well that there's nothing to fear. They also know they've got nothing constructive to offer that will help anyone besides themselves and have to stir up fear and panic amongst the Dead End Quarter to regain power so they can line their pockets and wreck the joint once and for all in the process.

Fire Simpson

Paul Krugman on the deficit commission:

I always thought that the deficit commission was a bad idea; it has only looked worse over time, as the buzz is that Democrats are caving in to Republicans, leaning ever further toward an all-cuts, no taxes solution, including a sharp rise in the retirement age.

I’ve also had my eye on Alan Simpson, the supposedly grown-up Republican co-chair, who has been talking nonsense about Social Security from the get-go.

At this point, though, Obama is on the spot: he has to fire Simpson, or turn the whole thing into a combination of farce and tragedy — the farce being the nature of the co-chair, the tragedy being that Democrats are so afraid of Republicans that nothing, absolutely nothing, will get them sanctioned.

When you have a commission dedicated to the common good, and the co-chair dismisses Social Security as a “milk cow with 310 million tits,” you either have to get rid of him or admit that you’re completely, um, cowed by the right wing, that IOKIYAR rules completely.

And no, an apology won’t suffice. Simpson was completely in character here; it was perfectly consistent with everything else he’s said, and with his previous behavior. He has to go.

Note to Obama: Dude, don't put a Repug on anything involving our money. They want it in their pockets. It's their M.O.

Especially an old fool who's hated Social Security forever, thinks we're getting something for nothing, and probably never paid a dime into it himself.

Thanks to CHRIS123445, UK.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shopping Day

Today is the fourth Wednesday of the month, known as 'payday' to Social Security recipients, so we're gonna take our commie pinko welfare and go live it up at Costco. Might even splurge on a hot dog! One each even!

I'll leave ya with this homebrewed music video by The Kathy Kallick Band from their CD Between The Hollow And The High-Rise. This song was originally written about President McKinley, then upgraded in honor of Hoover, and now upgraded about the Chimp.

There have been so many versions and recordings of this song that I couldn't find the lyrics. You have to listen kinda close to get them. It's worth it. Also, make sure your fillings are in tight and enjoy the ride.

See yas later.

The Billionaires Behind The Hate

This is the 'must read' of the year. Jane Mayer turns over some exceptionally slimy rocks.

A Republican campaign consultant who has done research on behalf of Charles and David Koch said of the Tea Party, “The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud—and they’re our candidates!”

[...] “As state socialism failed . . . the target for many within these organizations shifted to any kind of regulation at all. ‘Socialism’ kept being defined downwards.”

Indeed. I'm surprised they haven't labelled Jesus a socialist for all that commie crap about helping the least among us.

The Kochs have long depended on the public’s not knowing all the details about them. They have been content to operate what David Koch has called “the largest company that you’ve never heard of.” But with the growing prominence of the Tea Party, and with increased awareness of the Kochs’ ties to the movement, the brothers may find it harder to deflect scrutiny. Recently, President Obama took aim at the Kochs’ political network. Speaking at a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser, in Austin, he warned supporters that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Citizens United case—which struck down laws prohibiting direct corporate spending on campaigns—had made it even easier for big companies to hide behind “groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity.” Obama said, “They don’t have to say who, exactly, Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation”—or even, he added, “a big oil company.”

We know more now. This is an important article. Thank you, Jane.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Danger! Beyond here be Negroes...

Jason Linkins on the travel advice offered to Miss Becky's suckers customers sheep who plan to go to the fearsome Big City for his hopefully under-attended "take back civil rights for the Repugs who opposed it" rally this coming weekend.

A blogger at Maine Refounders(*) has taken it upon himself to offer repost a DC visitors guide to anyone coming to the Rally For Glenn Beck's Material Wealth, scheduled for August 28th. So, if you want some not-half bad restaurant recommendations or are interested in learning how you can avoid Nancy Pelosi's house, get thee hence. That said, I find this take on the DC Metro system to be sort of comical:

*Comical rightie nutjobs. If they were funny.

As someone who rides the Green and Yellow Lines all the time, I can assure you that there are no "rules" that state these subway lines must be avoided at all times, especially at night. But then, I guess I'm not using "A Cliche-Ridden Guide To Avoiding The Black People On The Subway In Washington" as a rulebook. Ironically, one needs to ride the Green/Yellow line in order to visit the National Archives, where the Constitution of the United States is housed. (Not that these rally attendees have any particular reverence for that document.)

Look, Glenn Beck rally attendees, if there's one essential piece of information you need to know, it is this: DO NOT STAND TO THE LEFT ON THE ESCALATORS UNLESS YOU ENJOY BEING MOCKED AND ABUSED. Just remember to stand to the right on the escalators, and your visit will be more than pleasant.

UPDATE: DCist provides the essential Google Map, revealing the tiny sliver of Washington, DC deemed fit to visit. I'd point out that where I live -- Arlington County -- is generally very safe and hospitable to visitors. The problem for rally attendees is that it's also packed stem to stern with progressives! (Cower in the shadows of the Mercatus Center, I guess?)

I went to D.C. once. The only places I visited were Cap'n Guy's and The Rocket Room. I have no idea what neighborhood they were in.


I looked 'em up:

the Rocket Room, an early rock club at 12th Street and New York Avenue near the old Greyhound Bus Station

Wasn't no music there that I can remember, just beer.

I looked up the other one too. Nuttin', honey. Maybe I'm the only one who remembers it.

In Case You Missed It

Jon Stewart has better fact checkers than the MSM in this exposé of FauxNews' Circle Of Lies in the made-up Scaring White People For Fun And Profit Park51 furor.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

And Your Moment Of Zen:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on Fox News
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Republican Area 51

Good post at Welcome Back to Pottersville:

“Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington.” - Erstwhile alternate historian Newt Gingrich in opposing the Cordoba Community Center on Fox

In a paraphrase of the old bromide against the Irish, it can be said that God invented Koolaid to prevent Americans from running the world for too long.

Let me impress upon you one inescapable, incontrovertible, ineluctable fact: We are simply the stupidest and most willfully ignorant nation on earth. We’re the world’s biggest racial, national and religious melting pot yet the most bigoted. As Maureen Dowd reminded us yesterday, we panic in herds yet come to our senses, if we ever do, one at a time (my em). Our eyes snap open like a doll’s when we’re alarmed yet when we awake from one soporific or another, we need to rub those eyes for a few minutes. Stupidity and ignorance has a much longer half life than truth and the facts. If stupidity was made of hydrogen and oxygen, our country would look like New Orleans the day after Katrina. And if racial or religious bigotry was gold, there’d be a rush of grubby Republican prospectors every year or so.

Much more.

Ich bin ein Berliner!

Berlin yesterday and we had a great time. In addition to sightseeing, we had a Bavarian lunch (soul food for me) and the Mrs. got to do extensive shopping. Heh ...

We're in Copenhagen now, waiting for a storm to blow by to go ashore.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Canuckistanian Hemp Car

Cannabis electric car being made in Alberta

Sounds very innovative and cutting-edge, but the jokes are flooding through my brain so fast they can't stop long enough for me to grab one...

Spinning the US Failure in Iraq

A 'must read' by Robert Parry:

When I watched the last U.S. combat battalions leave Iraq on Wednesday night, I couldn’t help but recall the scene when the last Soviet troops departed Afghanistan on Feb. 15, 1989. In both cases, the two governments soft-pedaled the hard truth about the strategic defeats that the withdrawals represented.

However, back in Washington, everyone seems to have a motive for looking on the bright side.

President Barack Obama wants to continue the military drawdown without getting blamed for what history may record as a humiliating U.S. defeat; the influential neocons want to pretend that their recommended “surge” in 2007 worked and that their original idea to invade in 2003 was the right call; Republicans don’t want to remind the voters about President George W. Bush’s WMD lies; and the major U.S. media hopes an aura of “success” in Iraq will obscure its own role in the debacle.

Even among critics of the war, there seems to be more relief that the war is finally coming to an end than a willingness to comment on the American failure. There is also some suspicion on the Left that the U.S. military occupation will simply continue under some new subterfuge.

Yet, without hard-hitting assessments of the failure, Official Washington gets yet another reprieve on any accountability.

That’s especially good news for the neocons who manipulated the U.S. political/media process to get their war of choice in Iraq seven years ago and have survived the war more deeply entrenched within Washington’s policy and opinion circles than before.


However, by controlling the “successful surge” debate, the neocons rehabilitated themselves. And, not surprisingly, they then used their stronger position to push Obama into another “surge” – for Afghanistan. Down the road, the neocons also have kept alive the possibility of even one more “regime change” war – with Iran.

Double fucking swell.

If the Iraq War were viewed as comparable to the Soviet miscalculation in Afghanistan – a largely self-inflicted wound by a superpower – there might even be some choice space in Washington power circles for those brave few who dared question the neocon wisdom during the Bush-43 administration.

Instead, the early history of the Iraq War is being written by the neocons and their allies – perhaps not the victors in Iraq but surely the victors in Official Washington.

The real history of the Iraq clusterfuck will not be written in our lifetimes and no one now alive will ever see the inside of a prison, much less the gallows, for their participation in America's biggest war crime. Pardon me, America's biggest war crime yet.


Officials: We could still lose Iraq

Watch for these officials to suddenly have more time to spend with their families.

Heads up for Blogger users

I have no idea of the truth or facts of this and present it for what it's worth.

Warning to bloggers: Google’s new “Gestapo bot” shutting down Blogger sites

For years I have maintained several blogs on Blogger – three in fact – and all three were shut down last night by Blogger (Google) administration and my account was blocked.

Reason: Violation of Terms of Service.

One thing all three of my blogs had in common is that they were NOT AFFILIATED with Google’s AdSense (advertising) program. In fact, my blogs ran no advertising whatsoever. With specific regard to Adsense, my lack of participation meant that my blogs were generating no income for the powers-that-be. These blogs were “freeloaders” at the Blogger (Google) trough. Clearly they had to go.

I suggest Blogger users back up their material or move their blogs elsewhere – for peace of mind (at the very least).

There's a lot in between those quotes. If you have more information, please let us know.

Some comments here.

How Fox Fraudcasting Betrayed Petraeus

Daddy Frank puts the ginned-up furor over Park51 into a slightly different focus.

Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.

So virulent is the Islamophobic hysteria of the neocon and Fox News right — abetted by the useful idiocy of the Anti-Defamation League, Harry Reid and other cowed Democrats — that it has also rendered Gen. David Petraeus’s last-ditch counterinsurgency strategy for fighting the war inoperative. How do you win Muslim hearts and minds in Kandahar when you are calling Muslims every filthy name in the book in New York?

You’d think that American hawks invested in the Afghanistan “surge” would not act against their own professed interests. But they couldn’t stop themselves from placing cynical domestic politics over country. The ginned-up rage over the “ground zero mosque” was not motivated by a serious desire to protect America from the real threat of terrorists lurking at home and abroad — a threat this furor has in all likelihood exacerbated — but by the potential short-term rewards of winning votes by pandering to fear during an election season.

Much more.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Last U.S. Combat Troops Leave Iraq
Only 50,000 “support troops” remain, says Office of Slippery Language.

California Statehouse Race: Whitman's $104 Million vs. Brown's $1 Million
For every thirty-second Whitman commercial, Brown hands out another flyer.

OED Now Includes “Vuvuzela”
Also “vuvuzelaphobia” and “vuvuzelacide.”

Malware Winning Battle Against Antivirus Software
As predicted in Revelations.

Never compromise your principles, unless you're in a tight race.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Epic Playground Fail!

Obviously symbolic of the outcome of Repug education policy - shit 'em out ready for those sub-minimum wage jobs offered by their masters and big contributors.

Sure, go down the slide, kids. But when you get to the bottom, don't look behind you.

From HuffPo.

Camera mount

This is a response to a request from one of our good friends on this post. Boy, between you guys and Fixer, I'm earning my money today! (cough; sob...)

The motorcycle is a 2001 Royal Enfield 500 Bullet Classic, an old-fashioned lump manufactured in India for over 50 years. With a claimed 22bhp, it is more or less a self-propelled boat anchor speed-wise. At my age, speed be damned, been there, done that, still alive in spite of it. It's fast enough and it's a helluva lotta fun to ride.

It is not the ideal camera platform. A legacy of its old-fashionedness is that it vibrates at certain speeds and the camera is sensitive to it. I'm working on it.

The camera is a Samsung F-33. It gets good reviews and I'm very happy with it as my first camcorder. Also, it was cheap enough that if when the bike vibrates it to bits I will revere its memory and go get a new one. If I solve the vibration problem and hit the lottery, I'll get this one.

The mount is a RAM Mount which I got from Motovideo. Simple and sturdy, again not ideal, but good value for money. When I get a suction cup base for it I'll regale you with windshield panoramas from the pickup. Better for winter too. Heh.

The overview. Pardon the open garage door. I forgot you were coming.

Click fotos to embiggen

The close-up. The mount is two ball joints with a springloaded clamp between them for adjustment.

And the obligatory artsy-fartsy picture-within-a-picture shot:

My YouTube buddy lunmad does DIY Triumph maintenance videos and lovely riding videos in the North of England. He bungee cords a tripod across the back of the bike and the results look very good. I want the camera where I can see it in case when it starts to unscrew itself.

Taking and sharing little movies from the bike is a lot of fun. So is telling you guys about it.

The Finnish Air Force Flag

At a request from Fixer, who is suffering (Ha!) from a lack of bandwidth in some frozen backwater of the world, here's a little on the history of the Finnish Air Force flag.

The historical use of the swastika in Finland:

In Finland the swastika was often used in traditional folk art products, as a decoration or magical symbol on textiles and wood. Certain types of symbols which incorporated the swastika were used to decorate wood; such symbols are called tursaansydän and mursunsydän in Finnish. Tursaansydän was often used until 18th century, when it was mostly replaced by a simple swastika. It was also, from the first years of its existence to the end of the Second World War, the roundel of the Finnish Air Force.

How it got on the FAF flag:

Von Rosen had painted his personal good luck charm on the Thulin Typ D aircraft. This charm – a blue swastika, the ancient symbol of good luck – was adopted as the insignia of the Finnish Air Force. The white circular background was created when the Finns tried to paint over the advertisement from the Thulin air academy.[5] The swastika was officially taken into use after an order by Mannerheim on 18 March 1918. The FAF had to change the insignia after 1945, due to an Allied Control Commission decree, where the swastika had to be abandoned due to the association with Nazism.

How it got back on the flag, from a contributor here:

The design appears in pre-World War II flag books and roundel charts, so the 1957 adoption restored the old design that pre-dated Hitler's rise to power. It took a decade for resentment to die, I suspect, before they could go back to their traditional emblem.

The Finns are a scrappy, independent lot who wanted their good luck charm back and screw everybody else, I suspect.

You want me to eat what?

Helsinki and Stockholm. Making speed across the Baltic now, heading for Warnemunde, Germany tomorrow.

Just a little note: At the beginning of this trip, when we were in Amsterdam, I told the Mrs. that I had a funny feeling I'd run into someone I know. Three nights ago, we walk into the Ocean Bar for drinks before dinner and who's sittng there having a beer but a buddy from the engineering department aboard Queen Mary 2 who just got promoted to the fleet division. He's leaving in Copenhagen and will meet us again aboard Mary. Small world ...