Saturday, March 11, 2017

Weekend Data Dump

This article on Russia in the Far East is interesting. But the side statement that "The future of Ukraine, whose existence as a buffer state is essential to Russia’s survival, is in flux" (emphasis added) is bewildering. Who is Ukraine a potential buffer against? Are the Swedes, Poles, Germans, or French going to invade Russia from the west? Will Austria and Hungary reunite and be a threat? Is America really interested in driving on Moscow? Will Turkey push north to again control the entire Black Sea? Just who poses a military threat against Russia through Ukraine? Times change. Truly, let's have a reality check. Russia doesn't need a buffer state in the west in the modern world--unless they drive the West to hostile relations again with Moscow's unrelenting aggression and belligerence. Or is the author saying that the logic of a Russian-German partition of Poland still applies today?

President Obama launched a cyber assault on North Korea's nuclear program. It is unclear if the effort slowed down the North Koreans or if internal deficiencies were the cause of until recently some failures. Such a measure can only delay the effort, of course. Funny that liberals say that air attacks should be ruled out because they won't do more than delay the effort. I guess delaying, as I've long said, is worth it. Especially when you consider you can lather, rinse, repeat. Also,  how did we get the North Koreans to use the punch cards with the hacking code? [rimshot] (I'm old enough to remember paper tape.)

It would be awesome if we unleash a lunar "gold rush." When I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey as a child, it seemed that the 21st century was so far away, but it would be awesome. I guess in the ways that personally affect me, it is awesome in many ways. But I'm still disappointed that our space presence consists of a mobile home up on blocks with less internal space than my own home. Admittedly my view isn't as good. Tip to Instapundit.

A Syrian Mig-23 pilot who was rescued a week ago said his plane was shot down. By who is not said. What really got me is that the pilot is 56 years old! Good grief, the man is old enough to have fought against Maverick in Top Gun! Assad really has to be scraping the barrel for pilots if they have 56-year-old pilots.

I don't know why some news outlets bother to cover defense issues: "The Air Force sent 14 Super Hercules fighter planes to western Tokyo ..." The rest of the sentence doesn't matter. The article is about C-130J transport planes--not fighter planes. For a bonus, the title calls them "jets." For God's sake, Google?

Swedes and their allies in America indignantly deny that there are"no-go zones" in Sweden's immigrant neighborhoods where government employees stay out from fear. Technically, that denial is correct. They are "go only with armed escort zones."

A Strategypage tour of China and their military loyalty, corruption, economic, ethnic minority, and North Korea problems.

If "right-wing" hate is so widespread, why do leftists have to fake crimes so much?

The liberal world (including their university and city authorities) had best get their communist and anarchist storm troopers off the streets before conservatives form their own militias to defend their rallies. As long as the Left attacks--and the authorities don't defend conservatives legally gathering--conservatives would be justified in taking this step. But it is a very dangerous step that leads to street battles and real civil strife. Nobody should have street enforcers. The Left needs to stop accepting these far left street thugs as their own in a bizarre fantasy that Trump is a fascist who is bringing a dictatorship to America. Remember, we have had active leftist terrorists in living memory.

Grant me that this is funny. Behind every great women's event ... ?

ISIL is a bunch of pikers when it comes to destroying historical landmarks. The Saudis paved paradise and they put up a parking lot.

A Navy report on Iran's navies. They have their regular navy, which has more of a tendency to act professionally; and the Republican Guard (Pasdaran) navy that is run by the mullah nutballs. In any clash, focus on sinking the latter, of course.

I don't mean to be the skunk at the anti-Russian garden party, but doesn't saying a new Russian cruise missile violates the "spirit and intent" of the INF Treaty mean it is legal under the terms of the treaty? What gives? Is the Russian missile illegal or not?

So this week America had a Day Without Women. Ah yes, I remember the last time we had that day--June 6, 1944, wasn't it? Around the world, women could use help to achieve equal rights against actual oppression. And of course, women tend not to have rights where nobody has them. But in free America, the women's auxiliary of upper middle class liberalism took a day off to ... whatever it was they did. Bravo. Hear them roar. Hear me yawn. Truly, Al Bundy was ahead of his time. As was Bill Clinton.

The LCS Detroit successfully tested a Longbow version of the Army Hellfire surface-to-surface missile module. Good, that's another building block for The AFRICOM Queen (see page 50).

In reality, putting a little girl in front of charging bulls is a dangerously stupid idea. I mean, you go, girl! Which perhaps explains why a democratically elected president was impeached--not Trump!--yet she has refused so far to leave office. You go, girl. Because with equality you get punished equally.

Iraq agreed to better information sharing with America and other concessions in order to get off the revised executive order temporarily halting certain immigration. So that's good.

For those convinced that Trump has wrecked longstanding American-Australian relations, we have this news that would otherwise be ordinary: "A C-band space surveillance radar system jointly operated by the United States and Australia has reached Full Operational Capability, the Australian Department of Defense reports." The system used to be in the Caribbean Sea. So there you go.

China is not the only target of our freedom of navigation concerns, as this short Navy summary shows.

I don't know nearly enough about the issue to judge whether the House approach to repealing and replacing Obamacare is good or bad. But given the media biases, I'm not inclined to assume it is bad.

This last week, Michigan got hammered with record weather-caused power outages from wind damage. Luckily, I had a power outage from wind a couple weeks before that and with no great demand on repair crews, the cause of that outage was good enough to spare me this time. Whew. But this comment about the damage really just makes me want to pound my head into a wall in frustration: "Just think, if we were actually using wind power, no one would be without power." So if I understand this obvious engineering major, that source of the electricity would have made the means of transmitting it to our homes invulnerable to wind damage? God help us from the "pro-science" people.

Just a note on Army readiness to be fair. Just because only 3 of 58 active and reserve combat brigades are ready to "fight tonight" does not mean that the other brigades are combat ineffective. We have high standards for readiness. So our "unready" brigades would outmatch a lot of enemy units considered ready. These units would not be as effective and would endure more casualties, but they could fight. I made this observation during the Bush 43 era when the media was outraged at readiness levels affected by war rotations; and I will repeat this context now that the media couldn't care less about the effects of spending reductions on readiness during the Obama administration.

Yes, I hope President Trump settles down. He'll be better than I hoped (and is surely better than Hillary could ever have been), but he has to make a better transition from celebrity to president to excel. He can do a better job of that than Obama did, can't he?

Yes, the Russians are back in action to harm America with their WikiLeaks hand puppets. So much for Putin welcoming a Trump presidency. In his quieter moments, at night, in his underground bunker where he gently pets a white tiger kitten, I'm sure he weeps for the lost opportunities of a Clinton presidency. "My God! The FSB told me she couldn't lose ... "

A robotic burger fry cook has been built. Somebody please break the news to SpongeBob. Say, what's the minimum wage in California, anyway?

My dad liked to say "an idle mind is the devil's workshop." So true (in Swedish). Can the West stop financing those who seek to kill us (Google translation to English of one page)? Just a thought. RT highlighted this. I don't care to send traffic to Russia's propaganda arm.

American Abrams tanks newly back in Europe are getting reactive armor. Which is a problem for infantry dismounts supporting the tanks, of course. And it should just be another layer that eventually includes active protection systems because I don't believe reactive armor has any effect on top-attack missiles that bypass heavy passive armor and reactive armor that work against threats from direct fire.

Yet another reason that I am totally opposed to forgiving student loan debt: "[Nearly] one-third (30.6 percent) of those polled said they did plan to apply at least some of their student loan funds toward their spring break vacation." I worked my way through college--at the University of Michigan, which wasn't cheap. If students want to booze it up on beaches with borrowed money, then I damn well shouldn't have to pay for it with tax money. And I saved money for my own children to go to college, yet for parents who don't do that, I share the burden of paying for their spring break? Screw that. Those young people can pay for their hangovers the rest of their lives, for all I care.

I'm fairly surprised that President Obama's half brother would pull this kind of stunt given the recent half-brother VX agent troubles we've seen.

Any minute now that pro-Russian policy will kick in. Any minute. Seriously, you don't still believe that Putin wanted Trump to be president, do you?

Did Iran really successfully test an anti-ship ballistic missile recently? The way so many of Iranian weapons developments are fraudulent (no, Iran does not have a stealth fighter), was this test a fake with perhaps a homing beacon on the target barge? Or was the impact point simply a GPS coordinate that means the fact that the target could have been any stationary target at sea or on land? Of course, even without that missile, I think it is insane for our Navy to put big ships in the Persian Gulf.

Siri let me down. I thought this weekend was daylight saving switch time. My son asked me if it was so I asked Siri when daylight saving time in Michigan was. Siri said it was in early April. My son said he thought I was right about this weekend, after he thought about it. So I Googled it. It seems Siri--who I have set with a female Australian accent (hey, don't judge)--gave me the Australian date for the shift! Lord knows what my phone would be doing if I had it set as a Russian accent. It would probably answer my questions before I even formally ask, eh?

Canada said they'd welcome "refugees" that America doesn't want. They're coming. Enjoying it yet? That was fast. I guess Trudeau didn't learn any lessons from Merkel's virtue signaling that tragically backfired for all of Europe. How long before Canadians build a beautiful wall?

"Her vagina is her moral compass?" Let's hope Cate Blanchett was just joking. Of course, if true, it means that the guidance system for the heat-seeking moisture missile has an easier time finding its target. Hey, don't hate me for the juvenile joke. She raised the issue, you know. Seriously, men are accused of thinking with "our pants"--and not in a good way. But what Ms. Blanchett said was edgy and/or feminist affirming? I mean, you go girl! Tip to Instapundit.

The Yemen raid was not a debacle as so many on the left have been eager to claim, says the CENTCOM commander. Sometimes shit just happens. The enemy is trying to win, too, remember.

Apparently, Senator Warren has been participating in a Day Without a Woman at work for quite some time now.

Am I guilty of cultural appropriation because I really like poutine? Mind you, not that I care if I am ...