Posted by lex on September 11, 2007
Posted by lex, on July 4th, 2007 Three holidays define the summer months, with Memorial Day at the beginning, Labor Day at the end and the Fourth of July angling towards the middle. The outer markers “belong” in some sense to constituencies of their own, but the Fourth belongs to all of us.
And if we are today deeply divided, dissatisfied even in unprecedented prosperity and always eager to find fault, we can at least take some solace in the fact that it was ever thus: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were co-signers of the Declaration of Independence, both sat on the committee that drafted it and Jefferson himself it was who turned the document of American independence from a laundry list of imperial grievances into a work both eloquent and startlingly radical:Continue reading
Posted by lex, on June 12, 2006
For himself. Alas, for her ladyship: Condolences.
Today marks twenty-four years of married bliss. Well, not minute for minute, but you know: Close enough.
Last night I took the girls out to the bookstore. Which was nothing but a convenient fiction – with the added benefit of being true – enabling me to sneak in my dozen roses, bottle of champagne and anniversary card. The lady at the check out counter smiled approvingly: “Well, you’re on the right track,” she said.
I know, I thought to myself. After nearly a quarter century, I was bound to eventually get it right.
In honor of the year that has passed since we lost Carroll, the Hobbit (Mary) will once again be at Shakespeare’s Pub in San Diego at 5:00 PM. I apologize for the late notice, but we would love for anyone in the area to stop by and share a Guinness, or even a shot of Jameson in memory.
Thank you again for all of your kind words, care and support over the past year,
The entire LeFon Family.
06-11-20 This is the last post on Lex’s web site (neptunuslex.com) before his site went down due to a technical issue.
Posted by lex, on September 25, 2009
A second, heretofore hidden Iranian nuclear plant, a defiant, nutjob Iranian president and a case of breathtaking naïveté:
“So I think Iran is on notice that when we meet with them on October 1st,” Obama said, “they are going to have to come clean” and make a choice on whether to give up “the acquisition of nuclear weapons” or “continue down a path that is going to lead to confrontation.” He added: “The international community, I think, has spoken. It is now up to Iran to respond.”
Mr. President, they already did.
Posted by lex, on September 24, 2009
Sometimes it is exactly as strange as fiction:
Yarynich is talking about Russia’s doomsday machine. That’s right, an actual doomsday device—a real, functioning version of the ultimate weapon, always presumed to exist only as a fantasy of apocalypse-obsessed science fiction writers and paranoid über-hawks. The thing that historian Lewis Mumford called “the central symbol of this scientifically organized nightmare of mass extermination.” Turns out Yarynich, a 30-year veteran of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces and Soviet General Staff, helped build one.
The point of the system, he explains, was to guarantee an automatic Soviet response to an American nuclear strike. Even if the US crippled the USSR with a surprise attack, the Soviets could still hit back. It wouldn’t matter if the US blew up the Kremlin, took out the defense ministry, severed the communications network, and killed everyone with stars on their shoulders. Ground-based sensors would detect that a devastating blow had been struck and a counterattack would be launched.
The Sovs kept the program secret, unfortunately. Quite contrary to good game theory.
After all, in the immortal words of Dr. Strangelove, “The whole point of the doomsday machine is lost if you keep it a secret! Why didn’t you tell the world?”
Posted by lex, on September 21, 2009
Bummer for the Bonnie Dick *:
Problems with its steam service turbine generators are delaying Friday’s planned deployment of amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, Navy officials confirmed late Wednesday.
Maintenance crews were determining the repairs needed so Bonhomme Richard, carrying nearly 3,000 Marines and sailors, can begin its scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf regions. The turbine generators convert steam into electricity, which in turn feeds energy into the ship’s power supply.
“The ship received an inspection advisory for the ship’s service turbine generators,” said Cmdr. Greg Hicks, a U.S. 3rd Fleet spokesman in San Diego. “Issues were discovered that are best corrected pierside before commencing deployment.”
I was aboard the USS Independence in 1990 when Cat 3 went down. All alert launches were from the waist catapults, and the embarked F-14s couldn’t launch off Cat 4 with Phoenix missiles aboard. The flag wouldn’t cross the Bear Box without Tomcats, so the ship was delayed about a week undergoing repairs.
A lot of people got very excited at the news.
** 01-27-21 Link gone; no replacement found (was Navy Times)
Posted by lex, on September 22, 2009
That whole “Iraq is a bad war, Afghanistan is a good war” thing?
That was all just funnin’ around, according to Digby:
The Democrats backed themselves into defending the idea of Afghanistan being The Good War because they felt they needed to prove their macho bonafides they called for withdrawal from Iraq. Nobody asked too many questions sat the time, including me. But none of us should forget that it was a political strategy, not a serious foreign policy.
It was all just a means to an end – sabotage the war effort, sacrifice the troops, suffer national disgrace and leave the Iraqis twisting in the wind was nothing but a way to political power, and single payer health care and so on.
Just don’t, you know: Question anybody’s patriotism.
Posted by lex, on September 18, 2009
In 2001, intelligence estimates said that Iran was five years away from being able to assemble the components for a nuclear weapons program. The 2003 National Intelligence Estimate doubled that figure to ten years, “early next decade” at the soonest, more probably not until 2015.
In the summer of 2003, national media outlets took heart at the news that the intelligence community was re-assessing the products it had developed asserting the presence of WMD in Iraq – an important, but by no means exclusive rationale for going to war there. There were murmurings here and abroad that, rather than cautiously balanced assessments with footnoted caveats intended to inform policy makers, the intel had been “sexed up *” at the direction of politicians – a crucial distinction.Continue reading