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Category: Robert Farley

Our Idiot King Part II

[ 47 ] May 11, 2017 |

Working on that strong, credible reputation for strength and resolve…

 


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Bob Owens RIP

[ 0 ] May 10, 2017 |

Bob Owens (known to long-time readers as TIDOS Yankee) has passed away:

Bob Owens, editor of the popular pro-gun blog BearingArms.com, died Monday in what authorities have ruled a suicide.

Officials say Owens shot himself in the head near his North Carolina home. He was found around 11 a.m. near a stop sign outside his subdivision in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., a town southwest of Raleigh. A gun was located nearby, according to the Fuquay-Varina Police Department.

Condolences to his friends and family.

LGM became embroiled with Bob sometime after the right and left halves of the blogosphere had moved from “hostile diatribe” to “point and laugh,” but before the internal logics of each half had diverged so far as to make even that limited degree of interaction pointless. I had basically forgotten that he existed; had to do a double take before I remembered who he was.

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Tuesday Links

[ 67 ] May 9, 2017 |

Grading is done, decompression beginning. For your reading pleasure…

Hard. Pass.

[ 111 ] May 4, 2017 |

via GIPHY

As the Lars Ulrich of LGM, I often receive certain promotional offers:

Hi Dave,

In a daring new political thriller, lawyer and author Richard T. Dolezal imagines a world where people of faith must strive to take their country back. In The Fourth Vow, a chance discovery gives the Catholic Church irrefutable proof that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is executing a decades-long strategy to destroy Christianity in America. Pope John Paul II retains famed trial lawyer Carson Elliott to confront the ACLU. The ACLU responds by having Elliott killed. And so it begins.

“And look at society today.  It is quite easy to observe how vulgar, uncaring, coarse, rude and sexually-explicit our culture has become, and how unpatriotic and poorly informed some people are,” Dolezal says. “Those of us who have lived awhile can remember a better society. In my book, I suggest that an ‘incremental evil’ has slowly insinuated itself into our daily discourse and dulled our senses to its ugliness. Where are the Christians pushing back?”

Can I send you a review copy of the book or set up an interview with Dolezal?

Best,

Andrea

Reader poll: Which of the three Daves should be subjected to this gift?

SLBM

[ 44 ] May 3, 2017 |

Ssb golfii.png
“Golf” class SSB. By AnynobodyOwn work, GFDL, Link

My latest at the National Interest looks into the question of North Korea’s pursuit of submarine-launched ballistic missiles:

What is the status of North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program? SLBMs are the classic second-strike insurance program; even if the homeland is incinerated, submarines hiding in the deep can retaliate against a nuclear attack. North Korea, a state of limited means with a limited nuclear arsenal, could use SLBMs to deter a preventative U.S. attack. Conversely, North Korea’s missile submarines could offer the opportunity for a preemptive attack against Japan or the United States.

 

HIJMS Hosho

[ 3 ] May 2, 2017 |

Aircraft carrier silhouettes (Warships To-day, 1936).jpg

Some thoughts on the parallels between the Japanese and Chinese paths to naval aviation:

Although separated by the gulf of nearly a century, it’s worth considering the progress of the Chinese program against that of the Japanese carrier aviation program in the 20th century. Both the PLAN and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) started from nearly scratch, and the progress of the former has closely tracked that of the latter.

Red Army

[ 55 ] April 28, 2017 |

KV-1S in the Great Patriotic War Museum 5-jun-2014 Front.jpg

I been reading Alexander Hill’s new book on the Red Army (review pending), and I posted some intermediate thoughts at the National Interest:

But the cycle of death and rebirth of the Red Army continues to hold lessons for the study of modern military organizations. The Red Army endured and prevailed for several reasons: it preserved (often at great cost and difficulty) the military traditions of its social base; it borrowed liberally (but not too liberally) from the experiences and technologies of others; and it adapted (sometimes clumsily, but at other times with great shrewdness) to the idiosyncratic political conditions of Soviet Russia. These lessons remain useful for the United States, as it continues to rebuild foreign militaries under the mantle of “partnership.”

Are You Ready?

[ 60 ] April 22, 2017 |

Best to watch this with the sound off:

An Australian friend posted this with an “only in America” rhetorical smirk, and dated it to 1989 (when Hank Williams Jr. was first allowed to ruin Monday Night Football). That’s clearly wrong; Williams recorded a variety of different versions, and from the special effects alone this one seems to be from the 1990s. But it’s more than that; the kind of militarism on parade here would have felt very out of place in 1989, which I think positions this as a post-1990 (either Gulf War or shortly thereafter) artifact. I’ve never given much thought as to how Desert Storm shifted US public attitudes on military action, but if I’m dating this correctly it would seem to have had a significant impact.

Can anyone figure out the timeline? It’s from the Frank-Dan-Al era of MNF, so before 1998. Also, blowing up national monuments has gone rather out of style…

Legalization and the Opioid Epidemic

[ 289 ] April 21, 2017 |
Oxycodone.svg

By Fvasconcellos (talk · contribs) – Own work, Public Domain.

Curious what folks think of this:

By the time I began as a drug policy reporter in 2010, I was all in on legalizing every drug, from marijuana to heroin and cocaine.

It all seemed so obvious to me. Prohibition had failed. Over the past decade, millions of Americans had been arrested and, in many of these cases, locked up for drugs. The government spent tens of billions of dollars a year on anti-drug policies — not just on policing and arresting people and potentially ruining their lives, but also on foreign operations in which armed forces raided and destroyed people’s farms, ruining their livings. Over four decades, the price tag for waging the drug war added up to more than $1 trillion

…Then I began reporting on the opioid epidemic. I saw friends of family members die to drug overdoses. I spoke to drug users who couldn’t shake off years of addiction, which often began with legal prescription medications. I talked to doctors, prosecutors, and experts about how the crisis really began when big pharmaceutical companies pushed for doctors and the government to embrace their drugs.

If I could sum up, the case would be something like this: The idea of drug legalization runs aground on the shoals of American capitalism.  While marijuana has proven too harmless for the pharmaceutical industry to weaponize, the combination of corporate marketing and the political influence of large companies has helped create and extend the extremely destructive “opioid epidemic” that we now find ourselves in. Done carefully (as has generally been the case in Europe) legalization can yield better social outcomes than prohibition, but given extant US political economy it’s as likely as not to yield tremendous human misery.

I can think of two caveats off the top; first, any public policy done badly is likely to have bad effects, and so of course drug legalization needs to be approached with care and caution.  Second, however awful the opioid epidemic has become, it’s not obviously worse than the prison industrial complex that prohibition has created (although it distributes costs differently).  That said, there may be a middle ground between legalization and prohibition that minimizes human misery.

Thoughts?

Resolve McResolveyFace

[ 102 ] April 21, 2017 |
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks at the North side from Observation Post Ouellette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, South Korea, Monday, April 17, 2017. Viewing his adversaries in the distance, Pence traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea and warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Steely Face of American Resolve

I get snarky at the Diplomat:

Has the Trump administration developed, over the past two weeks, a doctrine that emphasizes maintaining a robust reputation for resolve that will make its feel secure and its enemies shudder in terror? According to advocates of a robust view of credibility, a belief that the United States will act militarily to enforce its commitments changes the behavior of potential foes; believing in the strength of U.S. resolve, they will believe in the credibility of U.S. commitments. With that in mind, let’s review the events of the past two weeks.

The Care and Feeding of Aircraft Carriers

[ 78 ] April 20, 2017 |
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on the James River on 11 June 2016.JPG

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on the James River. By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cathrine Mae O. Campbell – This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID 160611-N-ZE240-145. Public Domain.

I get extremely irritable when folks, sometimes in the comment sections of lefty blogs*, make unfounded assertions about the vulnerability of aircraft carriers.  Fortunately, Foxtrot Alpha gave me the opportunity to write about the topic at some length:

The modern aircraft carrier is a global symbol of American dominance, hegemony, peace, even empire. But at over 1,000 feet long, and displacing more than 100,000 tons, is it a sitting duck? Is the massive emblem of American greatness just an obsolete, vulnerable hunk of steel?

 There’s a lot of consternation about whether or not the United States should even have massive supercarriers anymore. Obviously, the answer here is “depends on how much explosives you’ve got.” But while sinking an aircraft carrier is difficult, it’s not impossible. The key is what it’s used for, and who it’s used against. But if you wanted to sink one, here’s what you’d have to do, and what you’d be up against.

As a favor to me, only opine after you’ve read the article…

*But, um, never this blog.  And I was probably thinking about some other commenter, not you.

Will Moore RIP

[ 175 ] April 19, 2017 |

I didn’t really know Will Moore, but this is making its way around the political science blogosphere:

Assuming I did not botch the task, by the time this posts I will have been dead via suicide for several hours. Nope, that’s not a setup to a joke.

Why would someone who is healthy, employed, has every outside appearance of success, and so on, take their own life? In my case the answer is simple enough: I was done, but my body wasn’t. But that answer isn’t satisfying, so, for those who are aggrieved, upset, saddened, etc., let me do my best to try to explain.

Much to digest. Deepest condolences to his friends and his family.

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