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Category: Robert Farley

RIP John and Alicia Nash

[ 5 ] May 24, 2015 |

Wow.

John Forbes Nash Jr., the Princeton University mathematician whose life story was the subject of the film “A Beautiful Mind,” and his wife of nearly 60 years died Saturday in a taxi crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, police said.

Nash was 86. Alicia Nash was 82. The couple lived in Princeton Junction.

The Nashes were in a taxi traveling southbound in the left lane of the New Jersey Turnpike, State Police Sgt. Gregory Williams said. The driver of the Ford Crown Victoria lost control as he tried to pass a Chrysler in the center lane, crashing into a guard rail.

Airpower and the Pivot

[ 0 ] May 24, 2015 |
F-15 wingtip vortices.jpg

“F-15 wingtip vortices”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

At the Diplomat, I talk a bit about the flexibility of airpower in context of the Pacific Pivot:

More broadly, the extent of the campaign indicates that what airpower theorists like to call the “inherent flexibility of airpower” cannot resolve the major resource issues associated with the pivot (or, if you prefer, the rebalance). Implicit in the rebalance is the idea that the United States can still use airpower, and long range naval strike, to solve security problems around the world, even as it focuses the bulk of its efforts on managing China.  If fighting a group as small as ISIS requires a long-term commitment of U.S. power, with attendant demands on allies and infrastructure, then the logic underpinning the pivot begins to unravel.  This is especially the case if the United States cannot escape the political pressures that continue to draw it into Europe and the Middle East.

 

Maybe Time to Just Go With It

[ 8 ] May 23, 2015 |

The mobile site is down again.  Perhaps this is the universe telling us that we just need to embrace reality and make LGM a full-on adult entertainment blog? I know Loomis would be cool with that…

We’re working on it, and looking for permanent fixes.

…looks like we’re back up!

I Am But A Simple Caveman

[ 205 ] May 22, 2015 |
unfrozen_cave_man_lawyerd

Freddie deBoer, totally not upset about something somebody wrote about him on this blog

And Freddie writes 1016 words about how he totally doesn’t care about anything LGM writers say about his work, and he basically just ignores it all, and he would certainly never, ever, in a million years, leave 75 comments at LGM on 26 different posts, 24 of which he hasn’t read, because he’s only ever read but two posts at the blog. And despite the time he complained on his blog that his comments weren’t being posted to our site (as if this was bloody unusual on WordPress) he would really, really like you to know that we just aren’t worth his time. And also, we’re all lame because none of us have been cited approvingly by the National Review.

Freddie would also like you to know that if you’re considering commenting on this post, you’re probably objectively despicable, not to mention “middle age,” “dad jean models,” “tenured,” “sweaty palmed,” “sweaty and cantankerous,” and “neckbeards.” Not that he reads the comments, or ruminates about them at night when no one is there to hear him cry.

If Freddie didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

Blarg

[ 3 ] May 22, 2015 |

Still having trouble with the mobile site.  Once again, I blame Loomis.  Thanks for being patient.

Management

LGM is a Family Blog. Happy Families.

[ 98 ] May 21, 2015 |

And of course, it was Loomis who almost brought LGM down:

Hello,

This is a warning message to alert you that there is action required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies. We’ve provided additional details below, along with the actions to be taken on your part.

Affected website: lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com

Example page where violation occurred: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2012/02/the-chattanooga-vibrator-1904

Action required: Please make changes immediately to your site to follow AdSense program policies.

Current account status: Active

 

Violation explanation

Google ads may not be placed on adult or mature content. This includes fetish content as well as sites that promote, sell or discuss sexual aids. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • sexual fixations or practices that may be considered unconventional
  • sexual aids or enhancement tools such as vibrators, dildos, lubes, sex games, inflatable toys
  • penis and breast enlargement tools

For more information about keeping your content family-safe, please review our program guidelines and these tips from the policy team.

Additionally, you can watch our short animated video & policy refreshers on this topic.

When I first received this e-mail, I thought it was a joke, or spam. Turns out no; our Google Adsense privileges are on the verge of being revoked because of Loomis’ weird fixation with what may be considered unconventional 19th century sexual practices.

Lawyers, Guns and Money is a family blog, but also a blog that caters to people with sexual fixation and/or unconventional sexual practices. I won’t hazard a guess as to how much of our audience falls into each category, but be assured; we need you all. Accordingly, I have posted a screenshot of the original post here, so that you may study it in all of its glory, and consider whether to employ any of the pictured devices as part of either a normal, loving family-oriented sexual relationship, or as part of some weird, unconventional sexual fetish practice. I have also lightly edited the original post to avoid offending any family-friendly readers.

Shame on Loomis. God bless America.

Go! Garden!

[ 14 ] May 20, 2015 |

All,

We are working on the gogarden forwarding problem.  It doesn’t seem related to any malware on the site; rather, appears to be a redirect in error to a site that shouldn’t be receiving as much traffic as it’s receiving.  As always, we thank you for your patience.  If you notice that the redirects are increasing or decreasing in frequency, or have stopped altogether, please note in comments.

Best,

The Management

…upon the advice of commenters, have removed Sitemeter.  Please indicate if you have any additional problems.

Trident Replacement

[ 29 ] May 19, 2015 |
Nuclear Submarine HMS Vanguard Passes HMS Dragon as She Returns to HMNB Clyde, Scotland MOD 45152118.jpg

“Nuclear Submarine HMS Vanguard Passes HMS Dragon as She Returns to HMNB Clyde, Scotland MOD 45152118″ by Photo: CPOA(Phot) Tam McDonald/MOD. Licensed under OGL via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s a terrible idea for the United Kingdom to spend a big portion of its dwindling defense budget on a Trident replacement. The scenarios in which London might need its own nukes in order to reach out and touch someone, or at least get back at someone, are vanishingly few. And replacing the SSBNs that currently prop up waning British prestige keep the Queen safe will make a huge hole in the UKs defense budget for a very long time. From my point of view, one of the few true bright spots in the potential for Scottish secession lies in undermining the remaining arguments for Trident replacement.

Oh, and then there’s this:

If you’ve never seen a missile compartment before you probably have a picture of a glistening high tech piece of equipment in your head. Before Captains rounds or a VIP visit it is pretty glistening but during most of the patrol it’s far from it. Missile Compartment 4 deck turns into a gym. There are people sweating their asses of between the missiles, people rowing between a blanket of s**t because the sewage system is defective, sometimes the s**t sprays onto the fwd starboard missile tubes and there’s also a lot of rubbish stored near the missile tubes. Not an image you would expect of the “most advanced weapon system on the planet”.

There were a few incidents of people in the gym dropping weights near the nuclear weapon’s firing units. I heard one person joke about how he accidentally throw a weight and it nearly hit a missiles firing unit. A person was caught using a Bluetooth speaker to play music on MC 4 deck. The captain found out and a warning issued over Full Main Broadcast (FMB) all personal electronics would be banned if anyone else was caught using Bluetooth in the Missile Compartment.

This is a quote from CB8890 (0430) – With live missiles embarked, the only portable radios authorised for use in the MC / AMS 2 are Cromwell Radios and Fire Fighter helmets with built in communications (FFHBC).

E. Electronic equipment in the MC other than that required for safety and security must not be operating.

Personnel Electronics should be banned yet the policy isn’t enforced. You can bring whatever electronic devices you want onboard: laptops, phones, pads etc. Almost everyone onboard sleeps on a level of the Missile Compartment. They use their own personal electronics right beside the missiles.

Simple rules like no e-cigs and no shaving are also not obeyed. With the ventilation constantly circulating air around the submarine it is possible for the hairs to be picked up and cause short circuits. In the Missile Control Centre a Power Alert Alarm kept appearing and disappearing. A possible cause is something like dust or hair creating a short.

Is the William Daniels Voice Optional?

[ 194 ] May 18, 2015 |
Knight Rider Supercar KITT instrumentation.jpg

“Knight Rider Supercar KITT instrumentation”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Without evaluating the likelihood of the changes described (I think the author gets the impact on manufacturing a bit wrong, even accepting his priors) or the timeline, I’m curious what folks think about the political effects of a transformation in transport.

Most people—experts included—seem to think that the transition to driverless vehicles will come slowly over the coming few decades, and that large hurdles exist for widespread adoption. I believe that this is significant underestimation.

Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced. They will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy, solve large portions of our environmental problems, prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year, save millions of hours with increased productivity, and create entire new industries that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point.

In particular, I’m wondering what a progressive coalition looks like in this world; we simultaneously reach (and indeed, vastly exceed plausible estimate of success) goals in safety, energy use, environmental impact, and urban livability, while also laying waste to vast swaths of the working class. Does a move to autonomous vehicles continue and enhance the urban renaissance, or does it revitalize suburbia by significantly reducing the costs of long-range commuting?

Thoughts?

MIRV-Y!

[ 8 ] May 18, 2015 |

A5200 Missile Command.pngI talk MIRVs at the Diplomat:

Big news hit the front page of the New York Times on Saturday, in the form of a long article on China’s efforts to miniaturize its nuclear arsenal. The article, using the annual Pentagon report on Chinese military capabilities as its primary source, noted that the decision to tackle the technical problems associated with miniaturization suggest (but only suggest) a larger shift in nuclear weapons doctrine. As the Times article notes, China has long had the latent capacity to MIRV its nuclear missiles, a step that the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and the United Kingdom took long ago.

Hersh Thoughts

[ 145 ] May 13, 2015 |

US One Cent Obv.pngCall me guilty of gliding past “He’s an insane crank,” and moving directly to “And we already knew all of this stuff anyway,” but I suppose my biggest beef with the now-infamous Hersh piece is the small stakes.  Hersh has a theory about a conspiracy (which is not, it bears mention, the same as a conspiracy theory) among a large number of Pakistani and US government officials to mislead their publics about a) the nature of Osama bin Laden’s relationship with Pakistani intelligence services, b) the role that those services played in his death, c) the nature of his death, and d) the disposal of his body.

C) and d) do not, to me, seem like the sort of things that government officials would take much time out of their days to lie extensively about, especially given that the lies themselves (because of the number of people who actively witnessed both incidents) would be far more risky than simply telling the truth. The number of people (and especially of American voters) who care about whether bin Laden actively resisted in Abbottabad, or how precisely his remains were disposed of, approaches zero, and quite possibly might be smaller than the number of people who witnessed either event. Government officials lie, but generally they like to have a good reason to tell risky lies, and it’s hard for me to see the reasoning here.

A) and b) are more interesting, but also a bit more narrow.  Plenty of Americans suspected that the ISI had some kind of relationship with bin Laden (whether as his jailer or protector, or both) prior to the  Abbottabad operation, and the course of the operation did nothing to dissuade this concern. The description of the “walk-in” Pakistani source isn’t exactly new, and does not, in and of itself, contradict the mainstream account of the operation. Neither revelation would be faintly embarrassing to the United States, or the Obama administration. More significant are Hersh’s revelations, if we believe them to be accurate, that the ISI worked directly to facilitate the operation, and that the US and Pakistan had planned a cover story about a drone strike in Afghanistan.

I suppose that’s something. It’s not wholly implausible, obviously, that the White House would have adopted a story in order to attempt to protect the Pakistani government from embarrassment.  It’s odd, though, that the chosen cover story looks on its face to be even more embarrassing to Pakistan, with the Pakistani security services unable to find bin Laden as he was living right under their collective nose, and unable to stop the United States from carrying out a significant raid in Pakistani territory.

And so I’m struggling with how to make sense of the story.  And that says nothing about the bigger question of how we should view a story that is sourced almost entirely on anonymous, retired members of the IC, especially when lots of non-anonymous, retired and not-retired people are willing to go on the record saying Hersh is wrong.

Raptor Raptor Everywhere!

[ 17 ] May 13, 2015 |
Aerial port view of two aircraft in flight, one on top of the other. The bottom aircraft is a four-engined propeller-driven aircraft, which is escorted by a jet fighter.

“Raptor and TU-95″ by U.S. Air Force photo – http://www.elmendorf.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/071122-f-1234X-001.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

What if the US hadn’t refused to export the F-22?

In 1997, the United States government determined that the Raptor, America’s most advanced air superiority fighter, could not be exported to any foreign government, even those of close allies. The unstated reason for this ban was suspicion that Israel would, if it gained access to the F-22, transfer technology associated with the aircraft to Russia or China. The United States cannot, as a political matter of course, single out Israel for a ban on the sale of advanced technology, and so the F-22 export ban covered all potential buyers.

On the upside, this left the United States as the sole operator of what is probably the world’s most effective air superiority aircraft. On the downside, it forced U.S. allies (not to mention Lockheed Martin) to rely heavily on the success of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as well as legacy platforms.

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