Aircraft nose and body art

H/T Beyond The Band Of Brothers.

 How to intimidate, identify, endear.  

The paint job of a military vehicle serves a practical purpose. It can identify the side and unit via markings or patterns and it can be used as camouflage to make the vehicle harder to spot or target. Most paint schemes are decided by high-level military planners but today we are going to take a look at a more personal kind of decoration: the nose (and body) art on planes.

Grinning skull on a WWI Belgian F.40 Farman

Custom schemes appeared alongside aerial combat in World War I and had a number of causes. First, a pilot’s plane was a very personal thing both for him and the ground crew servicing it; so allowing some customization had a positive effect on morale. This was also the important reason why bomber crews, who tended to suffer heavy casualties, were allowed to decorate their planes later in World War II. Interestingly, while some pilots were very keen on having their own paint jobs, the majority of Great War nose art was conceived and painted by the ground crews.

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Georges Guynemer with his SPAD S.VII displaying the black stork
Hood ornament on an automobile produced by the Hispano-Suiza corporation

A second reason was the need for identification. Lacking radios, World War I pilots had to rely on visuals to identify their squadron mates and their leader, which squadron-wide insignia and personalized paint jobs made a lot easier. Identification was also important for getting kills credited, especially for the Germans. One of the criteria for accreditation was that another person had to have seen the kill. A pilot with a unique paint job was more likely to be confirmed by a comrade or somebody on the ground than one who looked just like everyone else.

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French ace Charles Nungesser’s Nieuport 17 with his sinister personal mark: a white-edged black heart with a coffin, two candles, a skull and crossbones

The third reason was a prime example was Richthofen’s famous all-red triplane, which earned him the nickname “the Red Baron.” An extended version of such intimidation was Richthofen’s elite fighter wing JG1, which was named “the Flying Circus.” in part because every member flew a brightly painted plane.



Modern re-enactment of Richthofen’s Flying Circus


Sometimes such fame could also backfire. World War II German ace Erich Hartmann had an abstract black tulip motif painted on the nose of his plane. This became so feared by Russian pilots on the Eastern Front that they often turned and fled when they spotted the design. At first this seemed like a good thing and Hartmann lent his plane to novice pilots who could use it in relative safety. However, he soon realized that the enemy fleeing meant he wouldn’t be able to get any more kills, so he had it removed.

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Erich Hartmann in front of his plane, some of the petals of his tulip nose design visible behind him

Such bravado could also take a humorous turn. In World War II, German ace Ernst Udet had the words “Du doch nicht!!” painted on the tail of his plane. The phrase is hard to translate into English but it roughly means “Certainly not you!!” a message that whoever was behind him will not get to shoot him down.

Udet posing with his plane and what might have been the first aerial bumper sticker in history. The plane was painted white and bright red.

In World War I, full-fuselage paintjobs were generally restricted to Germany, while French and British planes were limited to personal insignia, a few of which survived their owners. The black stork of French ace Georges Guynemer became the symbol of the Spanish Hispano-Suiza engineering company. An even better-known figure is the prancing horse of Italian ace Count Francesco Baracca. He adopted it from his family’s coat of arms and it survives to this day as the emblem for Ferrari.

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Count Baracca with his insignia on his fighter

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One of the best-known pieces of nose art is the famous shark mouth. It was first spotted on both German and British planes in World War I, then appeared again in World War II, on both sides. It was made famous by the First American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers, who fought for Nationalist China against the Japanese. It survives to this day on such planes as the Fairchild Republic A-10 Warthog and it was even used on some ships and submarines.

Sharks against sharks: a German Messerschmitt Bf 110
Some of the Flying Tigers in 1942

The true golden age of nose art came with World War II. Though the Navy forbade its use and the British and the Canadians discouraged it, bombers of the USAAF more than picked up the slack. Nose art wasn’t only painted by talented ground crew; professional civilian artists were also hired to do the job.

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Blondie with her creator: art graduate and groundcrew chief Don Allen

Pin-up girls became a ubiquitous sight, with a peculiar detail: the further away a bomber unit was from headquarters or civilian eye, the racier the girls generally were. For example, the girls of Pacific bomber units were generally more scantily dressed and more provocatively posed than European ones.

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B-29 Peace on Earth, presumably stationed rather far away from civilians

Other popular themes, also already present in World War I, were depictions of luck through dice or cards, along with the Grim Reaper to intimidate the enemy. Cartoon figures were also frequent and the 834th Bombardment Squadron was consistently decorated with images of the zodiac.

Cancer on one of twelve B-24s making up the Zodiac Squadron
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Libra on one of twelve B-24s making up the Zodiac Squadron

A special subset of art is the recording of kills or missions. On Allied planes, swastikas and rising suns represented German and Japanese planes shot down. However, a much more complex, though not centralized system, was also developed which could relate the entire career of a plane. A great example is the reproduction of the mission marks of Johnnie Walker, a Lancaster bomber from No. 9 Squadron of the RAF.

Mission marks of Johnnie Walker (reproduction)

In addition to the figure and the motto taken from the scotch brand, you can see ribbons for the Distinguished Flying Medals and Crosses awarded to the aircrew. The chevron indicates a year of active service, the three lines below it three wounds suffered during mission. Below those is a ribbon for the campaign medal awarded for serving in World War II, a swastika representing a downed enemy fighter and a searchlight that was shot out with machine guns during a low-level flight. Each bomb represents a bombing mission, most of them at night. The black bomb with a “D” stands for a day mission and the extra-large bomb for a Tallboy superheavy bomb dropped on the German battleship Tirpitz. Under the word “strong” a red star commemorates a visit to the Soviet Union.

You can learn more about the artistic and function decorations of military vehicles on our World War I and World War II historical tours to Europe and the Pacific.


Ninth Circuit Panel Rules CA Unsafe Handgun Act not Covered by Second Amendment

H/T Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership.

Just when the Ninth Circus(Circuit) gets a couple of rulings right they screw it all up with a circle jerk ruling like this.


By Dean Weingarten. August 10th, 2018
Original Source

A three judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the restrictions of the California Unsafe Handgun Act (UHA) do not violate the Second Amendment. In circular reasoning, the opinion posits the UHA restrictions do not restrict behavior protected by the Second Amendment. They then apply the least restrictive Constitutional test to determine if the behavior is protected. Unsurprisingly, they find that it is not.

The key to the decision is the Ninth Circuit’s hostility to a broad reading of the Second Amendment. The Circuit, in it’s en banc rulings, such as PerutaTiexeira v. County of Alameda, and in a three judge panel, Silvester v. Harris, has consistently worked to restrict Second Amendment rights to the narrowest possible box. An analogous reading of the First Amendment would be that the State can restrict certain publications on the grounds that they might impact public safety. For example, that violent video games could be banned. The Supreme Court has rejected that argument for the First Amendment.

Here is the summation of the opinion of the court, From Pena v. Lindley:

California requires that new models of handguns meet certain criteria, and be listed on a handgun roster, before they may be offered for sale in the state. Two provisions require that a handgun have a chamber load indicator and a magazine detachment mechanism, both of which are designed to limit accidental firearm discharges. The third provision, adopted to aid law enforcement, requires new handguns to stamp microscopically the handgun’s make, model, and serial number onto each fired shell casing. Plaintiffs asserted that these three provisions have narrowed their ability to buy firearms in California, in violation of the Second Amendment, and that the handgun roster scheme imposes irrational exceptions, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The panel held that it did not need to reach the question of whether the challenged provisions fell within the scope of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms because, even assuming coverage, the provisions passed constitutional muster. Applying intermediate scrutiny, the panel held that the Act only regulates commercial sales, not possession, and does so in a way that does not impose a substantial burden on purchasers. The panel held that the requirements for a chamber load indicator and a magazine detachment mechanism reasonably fit with California’s interest in public safety. The panel further held that California had met its burden of showing that the microstamping requirement was reasonably tailored to address the substantial problem of untraceable bullets at crime scenes and the value of a reasonable means of identification. The panel rejected plaintiffs’ claim that they have a constitutional right to purchase a particular handgun and their claim that the provisions violate the Equal Protection Clause.

The Court’s using of the words “intermediate scrutiny” belies the fact that, in the case of the Second Amendment, “intermediate scrutiny” has collapsed to mere rational basis scrutiny. Rational Basis scrutiny is so close to no scrutiny, there is effectively no difference.

Under “intermediate scrutiny” in a Second Amendment case at the Ninth Circuit, to pass Constitutional muster, the State only has to claim some vague governmental interest. “Public Safety” is a favorite. It can be made to fit nearly every circumstance.

Then the State need only claim there is some relationship between the interest and the law in question. The State does not have to show the law actually accomplishes any increase in public safety; nor does the state have to show the law performs better than other, less restrictive, remedies.

In effect, in the Ninth Circuit and in other circuits hostile to a broad interpretation of Second Amendment rights, intermediate scrutiny is used as a sophistry to restrict the Second Amendment to narrower and narrower meanings.

The problem cannot be solved at the current Ninth Circuit. There are too many judges on the Circuit actively hostile to Second Amendment rights.

Given the political situation in California, it is unlikely the California legislature will correct the situation. Citizens in California who resent every greater restrictions on exercise of their Second Amendment rights have one judicial remedy left: appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court may or may not accept the case. The Supreme Court has been unwilling to accept appeals from the Ninth Circuit on Second Amendment grounds. I cannot recall a single case the Supreme Court has accepted from the Ninth Circuit on a Second Amendment challenge.

When and if President Trump’s nominee, Judge Kavanaugh, becomes Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, the makeup of the Supreme Court may be changed enough so the Court will accept Second Amendment appeals from the Ninth Circuit.

That remains to be seen.

An alternate, and plausible solution would be for the Congress of the United States to pass legislation to enforce Second Amendment rights against the states. A national reciprocity act, as has broad support in the Congress, would go a long way to restore Second Amendment rights to Californians.

Congress could remove the current prohibition on interstate handgun sales, if it so wished.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

Chicago Officials Looking at Universal Basic Income Program

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Chicago can’t pay its bills now just imagine how hard it will be to provide the money for the universal basic income payments.

Officials in Chicago want to test the waters of offering a universal basic income.

A majority of city council members are telling Mayor Rahm Emanuel to form a task force to look into Universal Basic Income programs, which is essentially a periodic check from the government with no strings attached.

The City Council wants to explore a program that would send at least $500 a month to 1,000 Chicago families. The same families also would get Earned Income Tax Credit money on a monthly basis rather than once a year.

47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar’s resolution said the money would “help working people and families become more resilient to day-to-day financial emergencies, are able to make rent, cover childcare, and put food on the table.”

At his speech for the annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Johannesburg last month, former President Barack Obama endorsed the idea of a UBI as more jobs are automated.

“We’re going to have to be more imaginative,” he said. “We’re going to have to consider new ways of thinking about these problems like a universal income, a review of our work week and how we train our young people.”

Other U.S. cities are looking at the idea as well. Stockton, Cal., is set to be the first to actually implement a UBI pilot program in 2019. This comes as Ontario’s leadership announced that the province will do away with a program that gives a UBI to people with low-paying jobs.

The issue that Manhattan Institute senior fellow Oren Cass and others have with the idea is that a pilot program won’t give any indication of how a large-scale hand-out would work.

“Choosing a random group of people and telling them they get a bunch of money, we call that a lottery,” he said.

Cass said the fear that robots will take everyone’s job is an unrealized fear.

“Robots are not taking jobs,” he said. “All of the economic data suggests that jobs are being destroyed by automation slower than ever.”

Chicago is not flush with cash. As of 2016, the city had $40 billion in bills, according to Truth in Accounting.

“It’s obviously bizarre that a city that’s already essentially bankrupt to be piloting a program that mails a bunch of money to everybody,” Cass said.

As of 2017, the city had more than 2.1 million residents older than 18. Giving each a $500 check every month would cost about $12.6 billion annually. Chicago’s annual budget for fiscal 2018 was $8.6 billion.

DNC Considers Repealing Fossil Fuel Donation Ban After Only Two Months

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

The donations to the DNC must not be coming in fast enough.

The Democratic National Committee will hold a vote to repeal a ban on fossil fuel money only two months after it was first enacted.

In June, the DNC executive committee approved a resolution banning contributions from political action committees (PACs) that represent fossil fuel companies. Forwarded by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), was an expansion of an earlier, broader resolution that banned contributions from companies opposed to the DNC mission.

“Fossil fuel corporations are drowning our democracy in a tidal wave of dark oily money; they have deceived the public about the impacts of climate change, fought the growth of clean renewable energy, and corrupted our political system,” the resolution read.

But HuffPost reported Friday that the DNC was already considering lifting the ban, with a vote scheduled Friday afternoon.

Introduced by DNC chairman Tom Perez, the resolution frames the decision as a means to empower workers in the fossil fuel industry, saying the DNC will accept “the longstanding and generous contributions of workers, including those in energy and related industries, who organize and donate to Democratic candidates individually or through their unions’ or employers’ political action committees.”

During the Barack Obama administration, the DNC had a ban on all corporate PAC donations. That ban was lifted during the 2016 election by the then-DNC chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), during which time the energy sector donated $2.6 million. An attempt to reinstate the ban in 2017 was voted down, despite efforts from progressive DNC member and Congressman Keith Ellison (D., Minn.).

6 candy myths we all foolishly believed growing up


I remember all these myths except # 2.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

Danny DeVito: Illegal Aliens Being Held in ‘Concentration Camps’

H/T Breitbart’s Big Hollywood.

Little Danny DeVito turns out to be stupider than he looks.

Actor Danny DeVito falsely claimed in an interview with The Daily Beast published on Saturday that the Trump administration is keeping illegal aliens in “concentration camps.”

“Oh, it’s horrible. They are prison camps,” he said when asked about the situation at the southern border, where illegal aliens are being held in shelters for processing. “It’s awful. They’re little concentration camps. I try to do my part, which is to support progressive candidates who are trying to change the government, and try to be as vocal as I can about it.”

DeVito went on to criticize the “clowns” within Democratic Party, but admitted that having previously supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary he is now excited about the prospects of the far-left New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“This guy [Trump] is a clown. The Democrats are clowns, too. I don’t put too much faith in the Democratic Party,” the Twins star said.
DeVito continued:

Well, I’m really excited about Ocasio-Cortez. That was great, man. It was very exciting to see that. The thing about it is, Crowley was in there for ten years, and she beat the machine—and we know that because of what happened with Bernie. So now we have Stacey Abrams, who could be the first African-American governor of Georgia. Not only young people but all people are starting to get hip to the fact that we have to take care of healthcare, education and the environment.

The 72-year-old actor, who has starred in major productions such as Matilda and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, has never made a secret of his political interests. In January 2016, he declared that Hollywood was run by a “bunch of racists” because of the lack of black nominees at the Oscars, before adding that “the entire country is a racist country.”

As well as his support for Bernie Sanders, DeVito has also endorsed the far-left British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. On Friday, The Daily Mail revealed that Corbyn laid a wreath for the Palestinian terrorists behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics as his party faces an internal dispute over deep-rooted allegations of anti-semitism.

‘A Slap in the Face’: FL Police Unions Urge Miami Dolphins Boycott After Anthem Protests

H/T Fox News Insider.

Piss on the Dolphins and the rest of the NFL. 

Two police unions in Florida are taking a stand against the Miami Dolphins over national anthem protests.

NFL players continued to protest during “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Thursday night as the league began the first full week of its 2018 preseason.

Two Dolphins players decided to kneel before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite the controversy surrounding the action.

Broward County PBA Vice President Rod Skirvin told the Miami Herald that the action was a “slap in the face.”

The PBA posted on its Facebook page that it is encouraging its members to call the team’s ticket office and request a refund.

The post stated that its members were also offered game ticket discounts because the team had previously said players who protest could be suspended up to four games.

“This organization obviously DOES NOT honor First Responders and the dangers they put themselves in every day.”

“As long as the protest continues, we will protest our attendance at the Dolphins games and continue to stay away from the NFL and its products,“ Skirvin told the Herald.

The Palm Beach County PBA released a similar statement, asking its members to also request ticket refunds.

On Friday, President Trump mocked players who knelt during the anthem, saying they should “be happy” and “be cool” because of the money they earn playing.

Donald J. Trump


The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love……

Donald J. Trump


…..Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!

Trump added that players should stand for the anthem or be suspended without pay.

Watch more above.