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The Bomber Question…

[ 0 ] March 15, 2009 |

Nothing much to see here; Chavez postures, the Russians posture, and perhaps a few lucky bomber pilots and ground crewmen get extended vacations to Venezuela.

Here’s the most interesting bit:

Cuban authorities made no comment last summer when a Moscow newspaper reported that Russia could send nuclear bombers to the island. While neither confirming nor denying the report, ailing former President Fidel Castro at the time praised his brother President Raul Castro for maintaining a “dignified silence” on the report and said that Cuba was not obligated to offer the United States an explanation.

Raul is keeping mum; my guess is that he doesn’t want bluster from Moscow and Caracas to derail improvements in relations with the US.

Inter-Service Humor

[ 0 ] March 14, 2009 |

This is kind of mean… in a hilarious way!

Friday Cat Blogging: Beau

[ 0 ] March 14, 2009 |

What is Galactica, Exactly?

[ 0 ] March 14, 2009 |

Axe, noting that BSG has been lauded by the UN, opines:

In addition to raising all those issues that interest the U.N., BSG is the best “naval” show in years. Yes, it’s set in space, but Galactica in form and function is essentially an aircraft carrier or a large amphibious ship, tasked with escorting the survivors of genocide to a new home.

Interesting. I had never thought of Galactica as an amphib. One of the reasons that I’d never so thought is that it’s absurd; Axe has amphibs on the brain. First, Galactica has more in common with the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov or the old Kiev class carriers than any American vessel. The Soviets included intrinsic surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities in their carriers, which the US does not. This makes their carriers somewhat less dependent on support vessels, although it tends to reduce their effectiveness as aircraft carriers. Galactica is pretty much a hybrid carrier/battleship along these lines, similar also to the initial configurations of the Akagi and Lexington class aircraft carriers, which included a heavy gun armament.

Second, Galactica really isn’t an amphib. I can imagine, within the logic of the show, the necessity for a warship designed specifically for expeditionary warfare. It would carry lots of Raptors, have weapons specifically designed to attack planetary targets, quarter a large contingent of marines, and maybe have some maneuvering capability within an atmosphere. Galactica has a few Raptors, but they’re most often used for recon or fighter support. Galactica also has some marines, but they seem very much in the mold of the Nelsonian Royal Navy, intended to repel boarding parties and put down mutinies.

This leads to another (even nerdier) question; why do the Cylons and the Colonials only have capital ships? And why do they only, apparently, have one type of capital ship, rather than a specialized selection? To give some context, the navies developed in World War I and World War II included a number of different ship types, each with different specialties. Even in surface warfare, each type of ship had a particular job. This specialization reached its apogee with the USN post-1943, where Iowa class battleships, Baltimore class heavy cruisers, Cleveland class light cruisers, and Sumner class destroyers would each perform a duty in battle, such that a well balanced force of all four types would be superior to a force consisting of any one. Of course, it’s much more common for actual fleets to be cobbled together out of a variety of “legacy” ships, creating situations like the Battle of Jutland, where armored cruisers found themselves going up against dreadnoughts. In addition, it was largely impossible for a single capital ship to replicate the capabilities of both battleship and aircraft carrier in WWII, because no deck could accomodate the heavy guns of the former while allowing enough space for aircraft to operate. It’s easier now with missiles, but even the Russians deploy a wide variety of different warship types.

So I’m wondering; why wouldn’t the Cylon and Colonial fleets differentiate by type? I have to think that a ship that could go toe-to-toe with a base star without wasting space on an airwing would be useful. I also suspect that a vessel, smaller than a battlestar, that could focus on fleet “air” defense would be helpful. And finally, as noted above, I think that a battlestar-sized ship that focused on expeditionary combat would work out very well.

Let this serve as a finale-part one open thread.

… by the way, let’s note that the entire situation is due to the idiocy of Lee Adama; deciding to sacrifice Pegasus to save Galactica was, as has become apparent, a dumbass move.

…also, it’s clear that the timely deployment of the F-22 could have saved the Twelve Colonies…

Bellotti Bumps

[ 0 ] March 13, 2009 |

Godspeed.

Mike Bellotti is stepping down as Oregon’s football coach to become the school’s athletic director, and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly will be promoted to head coach.

Bellotti, who has coached the Ducks for the last 14 seasons, takes over his new position July 1, replacing athletic director Pat Kilkenny. Kelly becomes coach on March 30, the opening day of spring practice.

The moves first were announced in December, but no timetable was set for the transition.

Bellotti will serve in the interim as senior counselor to Kilkenny, who will step down June 30.

Oregon’s athletic department scheduled a news conference Saturday to discuss the transition. Bellotti would not comment until then.

Bellotti, 58, has gone 116-55 as coach of the Ducks. This past season Oregon went 10-3 with a 42-31 win over Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl. The Ducks finished the season ranked No. 10.

Not really much question that Bellotti was the finest head coach the Ducks have ever had.

Cramer v. Stewart

[ 0 ] March 13, 2009 |

The video of what djw was discussing earlier for those of us who missed it last night:

[Rather than embed all the segments and slow the website to a crawl, you should be able to follow by clicking the relevant link after each one ends…]

An Article That Is — I Swear! — Idiotic Even By Pajamas Media Standards

[ 0 ] March 13, 2009 |

Shorter Jeff Pope: The fact that the new president, subsequent to his crushing election victory, is attempting to enact the agenda he ran on rather that neo-Hooverite nonsense that voters have been consistently rejecting for many decades proves that elections doesn’t matter.

Don’t kid yourself, though, if you charge people five bucks a month to have people engage in this kind of analysis on the Web TeeVee you’re sitting on a goldmine…

[ 0 ] March 13, 2009 |


Friday Cat Blogging… Starbuck and Ripley

…as you can see, Starbuck has reacted to the arrival of Ripley by undertaking a campaign of hissing, growling, swatting, and dive bombing. Nelson believes that any engagement legitimizes Ripley’s presence, thus increasing the chances that Nelson will be eaten.

Things I never would have thought possible….

[ 0 ] March 13, 2009 |

I’m almost starting to feel bad for Jim Cramer.

Eleven this Month

[ 0 ] March 13, 2009 |

This needs to stop, and it looks as if Jim Moran has the right idea about stopping it:

The Army fired 11 soldiers in January for violating the military’s policy that gay service members must keep their sexuality hidden, according to a Virginia congressman. Democratic Rep. Jim Moran said he has requested monthly updates from the Pentagon on the impact of the policy until it is repealed.

In a statement released on Thursday, Moran said the discharged soldiers included an intelligence collector, a military police officer, four infantry personnel, a health care specialist, a motor-transport operator and a water-treatment specialist.

“How many more good soldiers are we willing to lose due to a bad policy that makes us less safe and secure?” asked Moran, a member of the House panel that oversees military spending.

Clever way to approach it; making manifest the damage caused by the policy while at the same time invoking a sense of urgency. I think that the don’t ask don’t tell is dead policy walking anyway, but better to get rid of it as soon as possible.

A Limited Defense of Michael Steele

[ 0 ] March 12, 2009 |

In fairness, by Republican standards, I don’t really see how Steele flip-flopped. After all, the Republican position on abortion seems to be that abortion should be “left to the states,” and this state-centric position is best accomplished by passing a constitutional amendment banning abortion in all 50 states as well as a broad array of other federal abortion regulations. So, by these standards, Steele’s position is perfectly consistent! Admittedly, if you use the standards of basic logic his position makes absolutely no sense, just like the Republican one, but any of the nation’s prominent male op-ed columnists will tell you, this doesn’t change the fact that the abortion criminalization lobby has a commitment to rigorous moral reasoning the rest of us can only envy.

Poseurs

[ 0 ] March 12, 2009 |

You’d think if you were planning to Go Galt, you’d at least bother to get your cultural signifiers straight:

Lyndse Rae Faba is going to go Galt by, first, quitting smoking. What! We thought smoking was a politically incorrect activity enjoyed by all conservative men, women and children. She explains: “If children want free health care they can take up smoking and pay for it themselves, I guess.”

I don’t know what the hell that means, either. But Lyndse Rae clearly isn’t a “Hundred Percenter.”

(Via Roy Edroso)