Wednesday, December 7, 2005


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn.

Bubblehead writes about submarine-owning countries in Asia. They all start with "I".
1. Quite a bit of news from some sub-owning countries in the Eastern Hemisphere today. The Hindu Times is reporting that India will be leasing two Akula-class boats from Russia....

2. [T]he Iranians announced that they have launched production on their own mini-submarines. I'm honestly not sure how recent this story is; the Tehran Times doesn't say anything, and I blogged back in May that the Iranians had announced that they had started production back then.

3. [Israel] will likely be buying two more Dolphin -class subs from Germany, with the German government picking up 1/3 of the cost. A reader directed my attention to this article at The Officers' Club, which discussed possible Israeli reactions to the incipient Iranian nuclear threat. (The reader was asking if I knew why the Israeli's painted their subs green ; I didn't know. Looking into that question, I did find this page -- and this page -- full of lots of good photos of Israeli subs, though.) I agree with this analysis from Stratfor on the difficulty the Israelis would have in using their subs in any nuclear strike role against Iran.
Chap has a fascinating post about a man whose career I also envy. Whether you like beer or wine, you'll be glad you followed the links.
I could do worse than to find a path like this guy did. Fritz Maytag is a man who has done some amazing things, and taught a lot of people. And he's made some darn good food and drink.
This guy reminds me of the co-founders of Houston's St. Arnold Brewery.

Andy Clarkson notes that Pennsylvania is getting ready to reign in eminent domain.
Very shortly in Harrisburg, the Senate will vote on S.B. 881, the Property Rights Protection Act, a thoughtful response to the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London and Pennsylvania's horrible history of using the power of government to transfer homes and small businesses to well-connected developers.
Eric Scheie finds himself in a quandary, which he examines from many angles, and humorously.
Not only that, despite my innumerable discussions of sexuality, and despite my advocacy of sexual freedom, it really isn't fair to consider Classical Values a LGBT Blog. I take issue with the category because I don't agree with categorizing people based on what they do with their genitalia. Why, it's one of the sacrosanct founding principles (choke!) of this blog! So it would be hypocritical of me to run for this, um, office. Furthermore, there are two other co-authors, and it would be even more presumptuous to assume that Justin or Dennis would want to "win" without asking them. Nor have I asked them, but neither have they asked me how the "campaign" is going (a campaign I hadn't heard about until yesterday).
He also points to an incident in Kansas in which a professor who opposes Creationism (AKA Intelligent Design) was beaten up.

Martin Lindeskog's title says it all. "Kucinich is not a true American."

Lubber's Line offers a couple of good vignettes of submarine life underway. This passage describes what it's like on the bridge at night.
It was a nearly clear moonless night and the canopy stars seemed to stretch to infinity. It's hard to describe the extent of the night sky when there's no city or street lights to obscure or diminish the view, but if you have ever been at far out at sea or in the wilderness at night you know what I mean. The only other light source outside the ship was the blue-green glow of millions of bioluminescent sea creatures disturbed by the boat's movement through the ocean. A glowing greenish frothing wake trailed off behind us in a gentle arch towards the western horizon. Occasionally the bow pressure wave would produce miniature flashes as the ships motion forward excited these dinoflagellates.
I spent the second half of my JO tour in the shipyard, and ended up getting to drive on the surface at night only once. I count that as one of my fondest memories of the Navy.

The Resident Egoist discusses a rather dubious "defense" of Objectivism and, in his comments, doubtless got a sense of why I can't stomach sites like The Raving Atheist.
Their habitual response is essentially this: "yes, we agree with you that Ayn Rand was a lunatic and an amateur philosopher at best -- but you must not let that stop you from learning true Objectivism, which -- and I insist -- she didn't come up with anyway. Here, go read this timeless book by my tolerationist comrade who will do all that is godly possible to spare from being offended by the truth, and pay no attention to those white-washing cultists who dare tell you that objective moral judgment is possible."
The Raving Atheist, who as R-E notes, has an entire website devoted to a philosophically minor issue (i.e., atheism), says in his vitriolic post that, "[T]here's no such thing as sin." This atheist disagrees. All in all, this reminds me of a similar episode I wrote about recently.

The Gaijin Biker and Myrhaf make apparently unrelated posts whose common denominator is that the most effective military strategy outcome is total victory. First, GB:
[D]efeat has a way of making people reassess the causes they were fighting for in the first place. Kyodo News spoke with 89-year-old Zenji Abe, one of the pilots who bombed U.S. ships at Pearl Harbor.
And now, Myrhaf comments on a sobering article on Afghanistan:
Where does this leave the neoconservative dream of bringing freedom to the middle east? Is it an illusion? Is nation-building a waste of time? Should American soldiers be dying to protect a nation of sharia law? Would we have been better off just bombing the Taliban to smithereens and leaving a note on the rubble that said, "If you threaten us again, we will destroy you again"?
I wish the Democrats, rather than whining about our "unwinnable war", would adopt a more hawkish strategy than the Republicans. I still think the forward strategy of freedom could work better than this, but for this to occur, we cannot permit Islam to remain part of (or a "source for") the law in those countries we conquer in the Middle East.

Willy Shake's been churning out some good stuff lately. At his own blog, Unconsidered Trifles, is this stirring WWII story about how the USS West Virginia ultimately lived to see another day after taking seven torpedoes in Pearl Harbor.
Struggling against unbearable pain, the ship's Captain refused to be evacuated. Fire broke out all over the West Virginia and secondary explosions shook the bridge. Little more could be done to save her. Captain Bennion ordered others on the bridge to get out before it was to late.

As they departed to find shelter away from the rapidly sinking battleship, Captain Bennion fought off his pain to receive reports and issue orders as long as he could think clearly. At last his horrible wounds became too much for human endurance and he collapsed...unconscious.

Then he died.
And over at Ultraquiet No More, he opens up an interesting conversation about the future of the submarine force.
Wouldn't it be better if the Sub Force justified its existence based on some other--more traditional, blue-water ASW--threat than to try to be "sexy" for the war on terror?
My answer would be an emphatic, "Yes." In fact, I would say that focusing solely on the current war is extremely shortsighted .

Alex Nunez, got Malkalanched for covering the shooting at the Miami International Airport, fresh off making the finals for the 2005 weblog awards for his category. He lists a few other familiar faces among the finalists.
Shots were fired on board an American Airlines flight that is parked at Miami International Airport, officials said. Police, SWAT teams and federal agents responded to the scene. It wasn't immediately known if anyone was hurt or who fired the shots.
Congrats, Alex! (And everyone else on his list.)

And speaking of weblog awards, Cox and Forkum urge you to "vote often" in their quest for "Best Humor/Comics Blog" in 2005.

Finally, I, Gus Van Horn, found so much rich, bloggy goodness earlier this week that I posted another roundup Sunday. I especially recommend the link on Madison and nullification.

-- CAV