The Navy will be Trump’s Pearl Harbor

Stephen Hsu observes:

The strategic importance of the South China Sea and artificial islands constructed there is primarily to the ability of the US to cut off the flow of oil to PRC. The islands may enable PRC to gain dominance in the region and make US submarine operations much more difficult. US reaction to these assets is not driven by “international law” or fishing or oil rights, or even the desire to keep shipping lanes open. What is at stake is the US capability to cut off oil flow, a non-nuclear but highly threatening card it has (until now?) had at its disposal to play against China.

He also notes the vulnerability of the USN surface fleet to missile emplacements; modern missiles are to carriers as WWII carriers were to WWII battleships: the decisive vs. the obsolete.

Assume that’s so. How would Trump react to a Spratly or Paracel-based missile salvo sinking a carrier or a carrier group? Like FDR after Pearl. Decisive escalation. I predict we’d go nuclear immediately, and win. Which would suck, because it seems China is doing lots of the ballsy, Uber-like disruption in the sciences discussed here.

Trump wants a bigger Navy, for all the right reasons, but one side effect will be more targets tempting the Chinese to make a very bad mistake.




Posted in DWWFB, Life in the Atomic Age | 2 Comments

On Moonlight

I have not yet seen “Moonlight,” but will now; not for the Oscar, but because I used to swap between Fuji and Kodak for artistic effect:

…the three chapters of the film were designed to imitate different film stocks. The first chapter emulated the Fuji film stock to intensify the cast’s skin tones. The second chapter imitated the Agfa film stock, which added cyan to the images, while the third chapter used a modified Kodak film stock.

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On Brave New World

Spivonomist comments on Huxley’s masterpiece with a line guaranteed to intrigue (emphasis mine):

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t read Aldous Huxley’s 1932 classic A Brave New World since you were awaiting a slightly overdue deployment in a piss-yellow barracks during the rainy spring of 1995. Twenty years and change hence, most of what I recall from the novel are impressions of its themes. One thing I remember clearly is a certain irritation at being betrayed. I was promised a dystopia, and received instead a glorious paean to a frankly enticing possible future.


Posted in DWWFB, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Kangal Dog

Twenty-sixteen was (to put it mildly) a rather rough year for me and those I love, capping a five-year-long midlife crisis extended epiphany.

Happily, most everything’s right with my world now, but for the gaping hole left by Alaska’s passing.

Greatest book-cover illustration ever.

There’s only one name for my next white wolfdog companion: Cafall, from Susan Cooper’s The Grey King.

But I could definitely see a Kangal dog joining our household as well. What better hunting companion for an ultra-long-range specialty-pistol shooter than a breed whose gaze is always focused on the horizon?

h/t: Isegoria.

Posted in DWWFB, Kewel! | 1 Comment

Mandocello Madness!

As a child I wondered why you could not find a acoustic bass guitar. Enter the mandocello:

Hat tip: Allison Hayward, whose sighting of Mike Marshall at Wintergrass 2017 spurred me down the rabbit hole.

Check this out!

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Rest in Peace, Connie du Toit

via Traction Control: Connie du Toit, beloved wife of Kim du Toit, passed away this afternoon.

Readers may recall Kim’s blog introduced me to the concept and importance of the American Rifleman, and inspired me to travel more than a thousand miles to Boomershoot when I’d never shot a rifle before. He changed the course of my life. Precision shooting, the Nation of Riflemen, RKBA blogging — the whole thing goes back to those days in 2005. Phil and I met shooting next to Kim and his son, which led to Phil inviting me to join the RNS blogging crew. Without Kim I’d never have met Phil, Dave from Michigan, Scott, Rolf, Bob and Kenda, Joe Huffman, Barron and Janelle, and so many other friends in this wonderful hobby — and also Kim’s wife Connie.

I never met Connie in person, but even the few conversations we had showcased her wit, warmth, and deeply-held concern for the Republic, our society, and its values; clear above all from the first moment to the last was the world-class mind on the other end of the phone. Truly a diamond of the first water, and now she is gone. The thoughts and prayers of all of us at RNS go out to Kim and family.

Posted in Heroes, Comrades and Brothers | 3 Comments

RNS Quote of The Day, 01/02/17 — Vice Edition

(He had done, he liked to say, all the vices.)

Larissa MacFarquhar, describing philosopher Bernard Williams in her endlessly-delightful New Yorker article on the late Derek Parfit, “How to Be Good.”

I find her prose, BTW, to be both astonishing and intimidating in its near-perfection. Full quote below the jump.

h/t Marginal Revolution, whose post on Parfit’s passing includes lotsa great links you should read.

Continue reading

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Time Travel: Berlin, 1900

I found this video, film of 1900 Berlin colorized and slowed to normal speed, tremendously affecting. The facial expressions did it. Those ghosts are all too real.



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Stephen Hsu and Some Guy Who Played Bongos

To some of us, this photo has the same emotional resonance as the one of Bill Clinton shaking JFK’s hand had to a very different tribe:

I still try to reread Feynman’s QED every year. You should too.


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Specialty Pistol on 6mmBR

Always nice to see more specialty pistols exposure, and 6mmbr sure does have pretty pictures:

XP-100 on custom aluminum frame. And on the C&J Convertible Rest — Hot Dog!

Cayle’s Custom 22BR Prairie Dog Pistol

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