Just so you have something else to worry about

Lasers, UAVs, and America’s blue-water navy…

When America inherited the role of British empire it did so largely by inheriting the mantle of sea power. Perhaps never has control of the sea been so important as these early years of the 21st century. Whoever controls the sea has direct power over the undersea fiber optic cables that carry information across the planet; who rules the waves controls the vast flows of oil and merchandise which make a global economy possible. Now we find that last but not least, huge power sources at the sea have the power to burn up anything in orbit.

America still rules the waves. That is perhaps its greatest single trump card. Two hundred years ago another maritime power struggled against an invincible conqueror on land. Napoleon Bonaparte’s armies were unbeatable.  But powerful as he was on land, his influence ended at the water’s edge. His ports were blockaded. He could not even cross the channel and turn his might on a small island only two dozen miles away from France itself. Mahan described Britain’s advantage memorably:

Those far distant storm- beaten ships upon which the Grand Army never looked stood between it and the dominion of the world.

The most telling indicator of a serious challenge to American global dominance would be a Chinese blue water navy.

Just file it away, nothing to worry about, nothing to see here…

There’s no place like home

My, my, my, feelings running high

State Rep. Joe Mitchell, D-Mobile, had an outlandish exchange via email with a Jefferson County man who asked him and other lawmakers not to pass any laws that would restrict gun ownership.

Eddie Maxwell sent a mass email to state legislators at 10:54 p.m. on Jan. 27, warning them that even attempting to introduce a gun control bill was, in his opinion, a violation of state law.

Mitchell responded from his public, ALHouse.gov email account at 11:59 p.m., telling Maxwell: “Your folk never used all this sheit (sic) to protect my folk from your slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous, snaggle-toothed, backward-a**ed, inbreed (sic), imported criminal-minded kin folk.”

“That’s not the type of reply I expect to receive from a state legislator,” Maxwell replied on Feb. 11. “I’m not a racist and I find your reply to be especially offensive considering the position you hold.”


This road we’re on is not going to come to a pleasant end. I’ll say it if no one else will- Mr. Mitchell, you are a


Gay marriage and the big picture

Some cogent thought at House of Eratosthenes:

There is one other thing the gay-marriage proponents are doing, in response to this favorable shift in public sentiment, that I would not be doing if some pet issue of mine were to be enjoying the same benefit: They’re applauding a bit too hard & heartily, for the politicians who are latecomers. They’re too accepting of their fair-weather friends. I’m writing specifically about Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama, who did their evolving last year, and as late as the year-before still hadn’t done the evolving just yet, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who evolved just now.

Why all these giddy congratulations on the evolving? After it’s safe? That’s not evolving, that’s known as wetting your finger and sticking it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. It is an old metaphor to be applied to the political class; it is not a term of endearment.

I care about gay marriage just about the same way I care about global warming. If you want to “go green,” you go ahead and do it, just keep it out of my face. I don’t want to be reminded of it constantly. I don’t want to be taxed for it. Let’s just keep it framed as what it is: A disagreement about an issue, between two mortals, and it need not be hashed out all day every day. But it makes me nervous when, in a weak, sputtering economy like the one we have right now, so many people can be told so easily what their priorities are supposed to be.

We do not need gasoline to be made more expensive so people will be given an incentive to burn less of it. If you really think that’s going to save the planet somehow, you’re entitled to your opinion, but don’t come crying to me a year later about the retail sales figures slipping. Buying retail usually involves driving places. Like, duh. And we certainly don’t need more excuses for civil cases to be filed against priests, wedding planners, and cake decorators who’d rather not participate in same-sex ceremonies. Again, you’re entitled to your opinion, but if we’re really concerned about how hard it is for people to make a living, then the last thing we need is for our government to busy itself with new laws that begin with the phrase “the sale should not go forward unless…”

And haven’t you noticed? That’s pretty much all our government is doing lately. Um, are we concerned about the economy, or aren’t we?

Pretty much how I feel- sleep with who or whatever you want, just keep it out of my face. All this hoo-rah about gay marriage seems to be a way of shouting “squirrel!” when our economy is going straight into the toilet…

Sometimes I’m Just In A Mood

William_HazlittAs to my old opinions, I am heartily sick of them. I have reason, for they have deceived me sadly. I was taught to think, and I was willing to believe, that genius was not a bawd, that virtue was not a mask, that liberty was not a name, that love had its seat in the human heart. Now I would care little if these words were struck out of the dictionary, or if I had never heard them. They are become to my ears a mockery and a dream. Instead of patriots and friends of freedom, I see nothing but the tyrant and the slave, the people linked with kings to rivet on the chains of despotism and superstition. I see folly join with knavery, and together make up public spirit and public opinions. I see the insolent Tory, the blind Reformer, the coward Whig! If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago. The theory is plain enough; but they are prone to mischief, “to every good work reprobate.” I have seen all that had been done by the mighty yearnings of the spirit and intellect of men, “of whom the world was not worthy,” and that promised a proud opening to truth and good through the vista of future years, undone by one man, with just glimmering of understanding enough to feel that he was a king, but not to comprehend how he could be king of a free people! I have seen this triumph celebrated by poets, the friends of my youth and the friends of men, but who were carried away by the infuriate tide that, setting in from a throne, bore down every distinction of right reason before it; and I have seen all those who did not join in applauding this insult and outrage on humanity proscribed, hunted down (they and their friends made a byword of), so that it has become an understood thing that no one can live by his talents or knowledge who is not ready to prostitute those talents and that knowledge to betray his species, and prey upon his fellow- man. “This was some time a mystery: but the time gives evidence of it.” The echoes of liberty had awakened once more in Spain, and the mornings of human hope dawned again: but that dawn has been overcast by the foul breath of bigotry, and those reviving sounds stifled by fresh cries from the time-rent towers of the Inquisition – man yielding (as it is fit he should) first to brute force, but more to the innate perversity and dastard spirit of his own nature which leaves no room for farther hope or disappointment. And England, that arch-reformer, that heroic deliverer, that mouther about liberty, and tool of power, stands gaping by, not feeling the blight and mildew coming over it, nor its very bones crack and turn to a paste under the grasp and circling folds of this new monster, Legitimacy! In private life do we not see hypocrisy, servility, selfishness, folly, and impudence succeed, while modesty shrinks from the encounter, and merit is trodden under foot? How often is “the rose plucked from the forehead of a virtuous love to plant a blister there!” What chance is there of the success of real passion? What certainty of its continuance? Seeing all this as I do, and unravelling the web of human life into its various threads of meanness, spite, cowardice, want of feeling, and want of understanding, of indifference towards others, and ignorance of ourselves, – seeing custom prevail over all excellence, itself giving way to infamy – mistaken as I have been in my public and private hopes, calculating others from myself, and calculating wrong; always disappointed where I placed most reliance; the dupe of friendship, and the fool of love; – have I not reason to hate and to despise myself? Indeed I do; and chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough.
William Hazlitt “On The Pleasure Of Hating” (c.1826)Joe Biden

“Get a double-barreled shotgun. Have the shells ready. And I promise you…as I told my wife…we live in an area that’s in the woods and somewhat secluded. I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and take that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whoever is coming in…You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun, buy a shotgun.”

When Field & Stream magazine asked Vice President Joe Biden about the pluses and minuses of using a shotgun for self-defense vs. an AR-15, Biden said one of the pluses is that you can “just fire the shotgun through the door” to keep people away from your house.

Joe Biden (c. 2013)

Last days, baby, last days.