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Category: Robert Farley


[ 1 ] April 27, 2015 |

Stealing my bit:

The nameless heroine of George Brant’s Grounded has a schedule many working mothers will recognise. She wakes up, takes her daughter to daycare, goes to her job, comes home, eats dinner with her husband, watches TV and falls asleep. Here’s the twist: the woman is a fighter pilot, and her job entails dropping missiles on military-age males, thousands of miles away. Every day, she sits in a chair at a Nevada airforce base and remotely controls a drone aircraft.

Brant’s monologue, which was seen in Edinburgh in 2013 and off-Broadway in 2014, is back, with a rather more famous figure filling out the flight suit: the Hollywood star Anne Hathaway, who pursued the role after reading a review of an earlier production. She approached Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public theater, and he teamed her with Julie Taymor (of Lion King fame and Spider-Man infamy). This production, unnervingly gorgeous and overwrought, considers the costs of fighting a foreign war from home.

Gotta get a quote from Hathaway…

Five Deadly Ships!

[ 25 ] April 25, 2015 |

HMS Manchester Taken From HMS Ashanti. 3 July 1942. A10219.jpg

“HMS Manchester Taken From HMS Ashanti. 3 July 1942. A10219″ by Ware, C J (Lt) –

I love writing listicles:

The idea of a ship class, a series of vessels constructed to essentially the same design, is a hallmark of the industrial age of naval warfare.  Prior to the emergence of the industrial age, individual ships represented the craftsmanship of different yards, and the relationship between design and construction allowed specific builders a great deal of latitude.  As the industrial revolution overtook naval architecture, it became easier to create a specific template for the construction of a series of ships that would have effectively the same capabilities, regardless of which shipyard they emerged from or what time they entered service.


Black Widow

[ 37 ] April 24, 2015 |

Here are Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner talking about how much of a slut Black Widow is:

And here is my five year old daughter in her Black Widow costume, from last Halloween:

And so yes, Mr. Evans and Mr. Renner; I acknowledge that your apology was necessary.  It would surely be helpful if Marvel, and the actors associated with Marvel, recognized the possibility that young women might enjoy their product as much as young men. It would also be nice if the people associated with Marvel would come to grasp that there are many interesting things to say about female superheroes beyond their ability to sexually service male superheroes. Let’s hope that some kid in a Captain American costume doesn’t see this and think it’s appropriate to refer to a girl in a Black Widow costume as a slut.

An Aircraft Carrier? Maybe More of a Littoral Combat Ship

[ 5 ] April 23, 2015 |

“SandPebbles” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

At the Diplomat I push back a bit on the idea that the TPP is a critical national security problem for the US:

The reformulation of the TPP conversation as a national security issue is puzzling, but isn’t necessarily new. David Petraeus made the same case for the TPP last year, arguing that American credibility depended on offering our friends and allies the security and predictability of a multi-lateral trade agreement. Patrick Cronin makes a similar case, although his argument (like that of Petraeus) is a conceptual mess, conjuring terrors of Australia and Japan realigning around Beijing, and implying that changing the way that Vietnam handles American intellectual property regulation will somehow have an effect on Chinese expansion in the South China Sea. Michelle Flournoy and Ely Ratner made roughly the same argument in the Wall Street Journal.

Pyongyang’s Last Gamble?

[ 26 ] April 22, 2015 |

MiG-19 DPRK 1983.JPG

“MiG-19 DPRK 1983″ by 元諜報員 – 元諜報員. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

At the National Interest, I ruminate a bit about how a conflict might start on the Korean Peninsula, and how it might play out:

The general peace on the peninsula has more or less held since the 1950s. Still, while North Korea’s power has declined substantially relative to that of South Korea, the idea that Pyongyang might come to the conclusion that war could solve its problems still worries U.S. and South Korean planners.

If North Korea faced a situation in which it determined that war was the only solution, how might it seek to crush the ROK, and deter the United States and Japan?

Mobile Site Down Again

[ 12 ] April 22, 2015 |


The site is down on mobile devices again, although fortunately not nearly as… dramatically as the last time. Working on it.



Foreign Entanglements: Civil War Memories

[ 1 ] April 20, 2015 |

On this week’s episode of Foreign Entanglements, I spoke with Kevin Levin about the 150th commemoration of the Civil War:

Mobile Site Down

[ 17 ] April 16, 2015 |


Our mobile site is down; we are working to resolve the problem. Thank you for your patience.



UPDATE: Fixed, thanks to the fantastic folks at SunAnt.

On Reimbursements…

[ 42 ] April 15, 2015 |

All you out there in academialand, I have a question. Does your institution reimburse for childcare costs associated with “normal” extra-curricular activities? I’m thinking of the need to hire a babysitter for a candidate dinner, or reception, or staff retreat, or other events that are part of the regular course of events during the semester? Please let me know in comments, or by e-mail (contact info in far right sidebar).

On Revisionism

[ 2 ] April 14, 2015 |

My latest at the Diplomat takes a look at Chinese “revisionism”:

Competition within a given system is still competition, and the United States should worry about increases in Chinese military capabilities. Similarly, states invested in the South and East China Sea disputes should view the growth of Chinese power and assertiveness with wariness. But we should also take care not to overstate the degree to which China is challenging the global international order. We have plenty of examples from the 20th century of what revisionist states really look like.

I also have a quote in Peter Ford’s article on the same subject.


Our Struggle to Build a Better World Will Endure Setbacks

[ 2 ] April 14, 2015 |

“Endoftrailx” by Veever – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

With great power comes great responsibility. Consequently, it is with great sadness that I report that the LGM Tournament Challenge was, in fact, won by some asshole who picked Duke.

1 250 220 240 240 160 320 Duke 0 1430 98.7
2 220 220 200 240 160 320 Duke 0 1360 97.5
3* 260 200 160 240 160 320 Duke 0 1340 97.1
3* 240 180 200 240 160 320 Duke 0 1340 97.1
3* 240 180 200 240 160 320 Duke 0 1340 97.1
6 240 180 200 160 160 320 Duke 0 1260 94.5
7 270 180 200 240 320 0 Wisconsin 0 1210 92.5
8* 230 260 280 240 160 0 Kentucky 0 1170 90.8
8* 250 240 280 240 160 0 Kentucky 0 1170 90.8
10* 250 180 160 240 320 0 Wisconsin 0 1150 89.9
10* 210 180 120 160 160 320 Duke 0 1150 89.9


TNDevilFin13, a name which leaves open the grim possibility that “David” might not only be a Duke fan, but also hail from Tennessee, should feel free to contact me (e-mail address on the far right sidebar) with regard to prize information.

Monday Links

[ 20 ] April 13, 2015 |

For your reading pleasure…

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