This is volume 105, an auspicious number for artillerists. I’ve been slowly working through the backlog of spam users I mentioned in last night’s post, and decided to turn off registration entirely after recaptcha failed to stop a few spam registrations last night.
- Reaper Pods: sonobuoys, wee PGMs, smaller drones – I heard you like drones, so I put drones in your drones.
- USAF’s new Black Flag – It’s like Red Flag, but secret-er.
- Australia looking at alternatives to its forthcoming French submarines – They are ludicrously expensive, and in typical dysfunctional government fashion, the Aussies are considering a local design of an updated Collins, instead of just calling up Japan and buying a box of Soryus off the rack. (Or maybe even the new Taigeis.) Either way, the Japanese boats are on the order of $500 to $600 million a pop, whereas the Frog boats are $5.7 billion each. Granted, the latter deal has technology transfer, but still! For the $70 billion USD the Aussies are planning on spending, I’d expect to get a whole heck of a lot more than twelve submarines.
- Actually, I’m not ready to leave this yet. If you’re allowed to buy at cost, $70 billion buys you: two Nimitzes, 180 Super Hornets, four Burkes, twelve FREMMs, and… 16 Taigeis. Even if you don’t do the silly thing and buy a pair of CVBGs, $70 billion at off-the-rack prices is more than enough to turn you into the second- or third-most powerful navy local to the Asia-Pacific behind China and maybe Japan. $70 billion is a ludicrously bad deal.
- Information on trials for the Kurganets 25 – It’s in Russian, and I haven’t had the time to translate, however.
- Why are there no good biographies of Xi Jinping? – Because the CCP comes down like a ton of bricks on anyone who tries to research his history. Next question. The contrast with Russian authoritarianism is interesting—the CCP is all about hiding information to guide the people’s thoughts in the right direction. Russians just don’t care: “We have the power and you don’t, serf. Now go farm mud, or whatever it is you do.”
- Coup in Burma; declared a coup after careful deliberation by American pols – My expectation is mass condemnation in American media, without respect to whether the Burmese military’s claims of voting improprieties turn out to be correct.
- See parvusimperator crow: he called the Namer engine replacement – The previous one was on the anemic side.
- Pictures: HMS Talent arrives, Gibraltar – Machine guns on the conning tower for entrance into a friendly port seems a bit over-cautious, but CDR Salamander likes it, so.
- Speaking of, here’s his brief lament on the USN killing small ships again – Where will our LTs and LCDRS get their first commands if not there?
- One of the better kind of LCS with a captured narcoboat – Not a submarine. Not really even a submersible.
- Since the last update, Redditors pumped up the price of Gamestock in a perfectly executed short squeeze, then lost a ton of money as Gamestock cratered once the short sellers fled.
- Robinhood halted trading, and this alleged insider claims it was because of pressure from the White House and a big hedge fund – I’m not sure I buy that given recent developments, but here it is anyway.
- More on the Gamestockalypse
- Matt Taibbi on the subject – Taibbi is a bit of a curiosity to me, along with, say, Greenwald: I don’t think either of them have changed much in views over the years, and I don’t think I have either, and yet here we are on more or less the same side rather than shouting across the aisle.
Science and Technology
- Watch this old merchant ship break apart – Yikes.
- SpaceX is iterating on a new rocket, which means we get a few months of huge explosions – Spoilers, I guess.
- Speech and sedition in 2021 – In the WSJ, in response to the WaPo’s piece “What the 1798 Sedition Act got right”.
- The Florida COVID whistleblower saga is not really a whistleblower saga at all
- A cooking blog article where you should read the story before the recipe – “Reconstructing the Menu of a Pub in Ancient Pompeii”. You know that’s gonna happen at Fishbreath Kitchens.
- What European Language is This? A flowchart