Monthly Archives: November 2017

Unilateral Disarmament

By lex, on February 15th, 2012

This can’t possibly be true:

President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to consider cutting U.S. strategic nuclear forces to as low as 300 deployed warheads—below the number believed to be in China’s arsenal and far fewer than current Russian strategic warhead stocks.

Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.

A congressional official said no president in the past ever told the Pentagon to conduct a review based on specific numbers of warheads.

“In the past, the way it worked was, ‘tell me what the world is like and then tell me what the force should be,’” the official said. “That is not happening in this review.”

Can it?

I mean, it’s one thing to baseline the overall Pentagon budget based on budget-driven numbers whose fiscal rigor begins with “less for defense is always better” rather than on a analytic review of national security requirements – not a good thing, mind – but it’s something else entirely when a  sitting president tells the country’s strategic defense apparatus to build down our nuclear stockpile based on nothing but round numbers even as proliferation grows elsewhere.

I’m hoping that Mr. Gertz is misinformed. Because heretofore I have given the president the benefit of the doubt, operating under the assumption that he is merely in over his head, rather than actively malign.

Update: Blackfive theorizes that the president is trying to earn his Nobel Peace Prize. Or maybe get back to his senior year of college.

Good heavens.

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Cultural Isolation

By lex, on January 21st, 2012

Those of us of a certain age have strolled the green long enough to recognize that the country has changed in fundamental ways from the one that we were born into, and that not all of those changes have been beneficent. Things that would have shocked the conscience of nearly all Americans fifty years ago are now commonplace. Shared assumptions about what it meant to be a part of the American way of life no longer obtain. We have gone from the congenial myth of “E pluribus unum” to a state of acknowledged and de facto cultural Balkanization, one that divides us into semi-permanent economic classes in a way that threatens the social mobility which used to separate us from the lands we’d fled. In doing so we have created politically reliable victim classes whose only hope at economic betterment is plundering their distant and unknown neighbors.

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Last Man

By lex, on January 19th, 2012

Philip Johnston was a missionary’s son who grew up on a Navajo reservation, and fought in World War I. He was aware of the Chocktaw code talkers who served in Europe alongside the allies, and recommended to Major General Clayton B. Vogel, the commanding general of Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, that Navajos be recruited to serve in the Marine Corps in an identical role. The Navajo language is a complex one, whose “syntax and tonal qualities, not to mention dialects, make it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training”. It was, at the outbreak of the Pacific War, unwritten, and therefore presumably unbreakable.

Around 400 Navajos served with the Marines at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, and Iwo Jima – and at all the Pacific assaults the Marines conducted between 1942-1945.  They served with all six Marine divisions. Their encryptions were fast, accurate and never broken. And valuable: Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, declared, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.”

So highly was the Navajo code valued, that it remained a military secret for years after World War II. It wasn’t until 1992 that their efforts were publicly recognized.

The last of them has stepped into the clearing at the end of the path:

Keith Little did not know the full extent of his contribution as one of the Navajo Code Talkers to the American effort in World War II until much later in life.

Mr Little, one of the most recognizable of the four remaining Code Talkers, was 17 when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, becoming one of hundreds of Navajos trained as Code Talkers.

He spent much of his later life towards the creation of a museum that he never saw realized: Mr Little died of melanoma Tuesday night at a Fort Defiance hospital, said his wife, Nellie. He was 87.

Semper Fi, Marine.

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A U.S. Navy Rorschach Test?

This was a topic today on our F/B page. Which, to me, being in the national news, kinda amused me.

Seems a bit juvenile to me, like something a kid would draw in the 4th grade.  But should an aviator lose his wings over it? Who could demonstrate some precise flying?

The Rorschach test, as you probably know, is a test with no “right” answer. And it is done with inkblots, not contrails.

Although at the time of its creation by Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrist, contrails were not available.

The U.S.Navy, caving to political correctness, has officially decreed this etching to be a penis. And declared it to be unacceptable.

In an admittedly unscientific survey among Lexicans, the consensus ran from Egyptian hieroglyph   to…..an advertisement for Arbys.

Personally with the way Congress has been doling out money to the services, I’m leaning towards the latter.

I think the powers at Whidbey caved from political pressure. After all those Growlers have to be fed. And dollars are getting scarce.

I’ll let you be the judge:

Arbys

 

Arbys1a

 

 

 

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Transients

By lex, on January 17th, 2012

Well, the video uploading was summat of a bust. Which is a pity, for I put some real time into it, not merely in the recording of the stuff, but in editing and adding motivational music, like. Which was my downfall, in the event. To hear YouTube tell it. Divers and sundry techniques were attempted to get around the prohibition of playing someone else’s music for no personal gain, to no effect. Thus far. We have not yet given up the fight!

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Adopt A Sailor For Only $10

One of the Lexicans, the WSO, had this idea to help a squadron during the holiday season. Spread a little cheer, and let those who are guarding the country know someone is thinking of them!

She has a gofundme page all set up.

Adopt A Sailor

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Video

By lex, on January 16th, 2012

Which that was more time consuming to edit, than it was to take.

Untitled from Nep Lex on Vimeo.

A lot more.

Update: Copyright issues, as many have surmised. Which there’s several ways to skin that cat, but all of them are time consuming and I’m on my way to Fallon via, Camarillo, amn’t I?

I am.

But I’ll figure something out. In time.

Update 2: Up, I think. Which that’ll be a long walk to a small house.

Update 3: Which the last two minutes or so didn’t make, something of a pity.

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Sensitivity

By lex, on February 15th, 2012

The Navy’s EOD school gains some:

The phrase “Initial Success or Total Failure” has long served as the unofficial motto of explosive ordnance disposal technicians in the U.S. military.

Until recently, the slogan hung on a wall at the Naval EOD school at Eglin. It was removed after senior EOD leaders decided the words were insensitive.

“It holds some potential insensitivity and implies that our fallen and wounded EOD warriors have somehow failed,” said Joy Samsel, deputy public affairs officer at Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola. “We don’t want to do that to families.”

Samsel said the EOD school has never had an official motto and has no plans to adopt one.

Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson, commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, took issue with the slogan and said that “to imply that failure is an option is unacceptable.”

Explosive ordnance disposal is an exceptionally stressful and rigorous profession, and those that have chosen that path are truly our nation’s unsung heroes over the last decade. But the truth of their profession is this: If you succeed at your task, a bomb is disabled. If you fail, you pay for it with your life. It’s binary. That doesn’t imply any level of personal failure – some of these devices are truly infernal – but it is a fact that if bomb goes off in an uncontrolled fashion the mission was not successfully accomplished. Ergo, “total failure”.

Warriors do not thrive when coddled, and flag officers used to have more substantive issues to concern themselves with.

Honestly, sometimes I despair of us.

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“User Fees”

By lex, on January 16th, 2012

A tax, by any other name: *

After almost 9,000 people urged the president to take damaging aviation user fees off the table, the administration on Jan. 13 offered its response: No way.

In a response to a petition ** on the White House’s “We the People” website, Office of Management and Budget Associate Director for General Government Programs Dana Hyde reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to a proposed $100-per-flight fee for use of air traffic services, claiming that the fee would both “ensure that everyone is paying their fair share” and help reduce the deficit.

“We are disappointed but not surprised that the administration continues to seek a $100 user fee on general aviation flights,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Congress has repeatedly said that a GA user fee is an unacceptable method of funding the air traffic system. Pay at the pump has worked since the dawn of powered flight and it still works. The last thing we need right now is to create an expensive new bureaucracy to fix what isn’t broken.”

Mr. Fuller should know that there is no intent here to “fix” anything. The the national airspace infrastructure is in place, and  – unlike roads and highways – air routes are famously indifferent to government-funded “repairs”.  Aviators already pay at the gas pump for their privilege to fly, with those who use more paying more.

No, it takes money to own and operate an airplane, and money implies success. As a point of moral order, success should be penalized, in order to subsidize deficiency.

Having no expectation of success themselves, some people more readily vote for a share of someone else’s money.

Because of the “fair share”, and that.

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** Original link gone; changed – Ed. 

*** Original link gone; no replacement – Ed. 

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See-Saw

By lex, on January 16th, 2012

When our forces first went into Afghanistan, it was all about the kinetics.  A couple of years ago, the mission moved to “hearts and minds”, firepower being eschewed in favor of making nice. Then came the “Afghan surge”, which never included as many forces as the forward commanders requested, but definitely resulted in increased presence and concomitant kinetics in places the NATO coalition had never been, or where they had been too thin on the ground to effect either a tactical or strategic difference.

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