Slim pickings this week, in part because I did not do my usual defense news trawl every morning. My bad.
- I’m still plowing through Volume 1 of Foote, having now made it past Grant’s victory at Shiloh, the entirely unsuccessful Confederate attempts to march through the desert Southwest to California, and the capture of New Orleans. It’s worth remarking how the story of the Civil War is the Confederacy winning slightly in one place and losing badly in four other places.
- Capitalist markets in North Korea – My opinion on the currently-ruling Mr. Kim is that his secret desire is to be remembered as a liberalizer who brought North Korea out of darkness and into the modern age, owing to his evidently-long childhood in the West, but that his ability to do so is limited by the North Korean power structure. Not to say our man Jong-un is anything but a brutal dictator even by the standards of brutal dictators, which is what the preponderance of the evidence suggests, but brutal dictators who liberalize tend to be treated decently by the world, whereas the rest of the North Korean government would pretty much all end up on trial for crimes against humanity.
- From the gee-who’d-have-thunk file, a novelist who wrote about how to murder your husband has been charged with murdering her husband.
At least it’s on Wednesday today!
- Parvusimperator is up to volume two of Shelby Foote’s three-volume Civil War set, which means I’m now on Volume 1. Foote’s narrative is, so far, excellent and comprehensive.
- Revisiting the Russo-Georgian War
- A fuller account of the Russo-Georgian War
- Russian performance in the Syrian War – notable for its brief treatment of Russian precision munitions, which aren’t so much precision munitions, generally, as precision attack systems in the aircraft delivering them. Per War on the Rocks above, this has changed somewhat, with greater numbers of actual guided weapons now in Russian stocks.
- Boeing wins the MQ-25 contract – good job, Boeing. You’ve had a bit of a tough go of it with contracts lately, but between the KC-46 and the MQ-25, you’re now the acknowledged leader in air-to-air refueling worldwide. Also, way to go, Navy, for finally realizing that a dedicated tanker is important. It remains to be seen whether a drone tanker is a good idea, but buddy refueling definitely has its limits. Speaking of…
- Navy F-35C and F/A-18F involved in air-to-air refueling accident – oops. Apparently, the F-35 managed to ingest the end of the drogue. No details on the actual extent of the damage, but the Navy said it’s a Class A Mishap, which means damage exceeded $2 million. Now we’ll get to see how good the LockMart repair manuals are.
Football Is Pretty Much Here, So Educate Yourself
- Via parvusimperator, a long list of American Football 101 articles from Bleacher Report. Buckle up.
- Your hometown Pittsburgh Steelers may have scored with current backup and last year’s draft pick Josh Dobbs. I don’t know if I believe that.
Are we the kind of people to publish an article on Thursday, backdate it to Wednesday, and still call it ‘Wednesday What We’re Reading’? Evidently, yes. Also, I was on vacation over the weekend and only got back on Tuesday, so it’s going to be a little lighter than last time.
- On my trip, I read Blind Man’s Bluff, subtitled The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, which is very much worth a read. As a sim-submariner, I thought from the introduction that it was going to be a bit of a lightweight puff piece, but it quickly got better.
- Parvusimperator is working his way through Shelby Foote’s three-volume Civil War set.
Football Fast Approaches
As red-blooded Americans, we’re big NFL fans, so there’ll be some content of that flavor for the next six or seven months.
Since most of our daily interaction here at metaphorical Soapbox World Headquarters is sending articles back and forth in the Many Words Press metaphorically-corporate Google Chat, sharing a list of articles seemed to us like a nice, low-effort way to add another day per week with a post without having to do any real work.
- Private censorship is still bad, writes the civil liberties director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, stealing an idea for an article I’ve wanted to write for a while.
- Beta releases of RPJ, the house tabletop roleplaying game system of Many Words Press, are now available. Currently available: the core rules document, along with Police Cops, the hard-charging police drama RPG.