Obviously Ayn Rand didn’t write this book. But she could have…

If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”

I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”

To shrug.

– Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

 

President Trump visited NATO and told them to buck up and pay their fair share. Gee, if only someone had seen that coming…

Continue reading “NATO Shrugged”

USS VIRGINIA (CGN-38), By Camera Operator: PH2 D. KNEISLER (ID:DN-SC-88-06640 / Service Depicted: Navy) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
You can’t stop hearing about the Chinese Navy and their advances in technology. Did you know they have an aircraft carrier?

There is a “considerable chance” the number of aircraft-carrying ships available in the Chinese navy will be seven instead of four by 2025 because of a “lower profile defense program” that has already taken shape, a new report indicates.

Or what about a super cool railgun, apparently better than the U.S. Navy’s?

While the United States spent years dithering over the future of its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun project, China ate its lunch. The Chinese navy plans to field its own secretive version of the electromagnetic railgun on naval vessels as early as 2025, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment first reported by CNBC.

Or the latest Chinese anti-ship missiles?

China unveiled its Type 055 naval destroyer on June 28, the latest step in its decade and a half of military buildup. The new Chinese destroyer outcompetes U.S. destroyers and cruisers, highlighting a major failure in U.S. Navy planning that stretches back to the 1990s. Given the 055’s long-range supersonic YJ-18 and YJ-12 over the horizon (OTH) anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), the Chinese destroyer currently outcompetes U.S. Arleigh Burke class destroyers and bigger Ticonderoga class cruisers.

Man, it’s like so…1971.

Continue reading “China’s Navy is a flashback to the 70’s”

President Trump’s announcement that he wants a Space Force has sparked plenty of complaints and tons of memes. He’s not the first to clamor for a space force, but he would be foolish to let the Air Force (which seems like a logical choice) run the Space Force.

The President needs to put a retired Admiral or Marine in charge of any Space Force if he plans to get it off the ground.

Continue reading “Put an Admiral in charge of the Space Force”


Amidst all the news about the military housing children illegally entering the country (because somehow that relates to fighting our nation’s wars??), the story about the abrupt resignation of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), the most senior enlisted leader in the Navy, seems to have received little press coverage. But it’s a big deal. He was under IG investigation for having a toxic work environment, and the resignation is seen by many as acknowledging that the charges are at least partially true. We now have a vacant MCPON seat, the first time in the positions 50+ year history.

Should we even bother filling it?

Continue reading “Why exactly do we have a MCPON?”

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) President and CEO Stephen Hayes CCA Chairman of the Board of Directors and Symbion Power CEO Paul Hinks February 2, 2016

President Trump has been making news with desire to close trade gaps with China, Europe, Mexico and Canada, attempting to counter trade practices that make it significantly more difficult to export to these countries and have resulted in a significant trade gap with the world. While we keep focusing on these big countries, I think we’re missing opportunities that are presenting themselves in Africa.

Continue reading “Since we’re talking trade, let’s talk about Africa”

I really liked Anthony Bourdain’s shows. And while I don’t know Kate Spade, I didn’t like the news that she also committed suicide.

But I’ve written before on suicide (here, if you’d like an older article), and I’ve been watching young people over the last ten years. I honestly don’t think it’s going to get any better in the short term.

Continue reading “Fiddling with the edges of suicide”

US Navy 080203-N-0411D-019 A student at the Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) school breaks birch bark to start a fire, from Wikipedia

A friend of mine that was ordained last year happened to be passing through the area, so I invited him to join my family for dinner. He’s visited us before, and every time he does my kids and wife line up questions galore about Catholicism, what they hear in school, and other topics. After the kids went to bed, I asked Father what the latest challenge he’s had with things the Pope says.

Plenty of people like and don’t like Pope Francis, but similar to President Trump, I think he gets misquoted a lot. Anytime I have non-Catholic friends gleefully tell me they heard the Pope support homosexual unions, or abortion, or some other crazy thing, I normally do a bit of digging first before finding that they referenced a CNN article instead of actually reading source documentation.

Continue reading “On being uncomfortable”

I’m lucky. This week, I’m at a Navy veteran’s group to present a well deserved award to one of my Sailors. It’s held in a nice hotel, and the group of veterans are great to hang out with. You’d think everything would be great.

But there are problems, specifically one problem: I’m the youngest person in the group. This veteran’s group, like so many others, is struggling to attract new veteran’s into its membership. Young enlisted Sailors, and especially young officers, just aren’t joining groups like AMVETS, American Legion or the VFW like they have in the past. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s becoming a big concern now as our World War 2, Vietnam Conflict and Korean Conflict veterans are passing away in large numbers. These groups are at risk of disappearing altogether.

Continue reading “Our Veteran Groups Are Dying”

B-52, by Airman 1st Class Victor J. Caputo – US Air Force, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68131933

I am completely confused by the headlines. First, any North Korea article is being buried by small news, like a woman smiling in her mug shot after a DUI-induced murder. I mean, yes, it’s a sad story, but hardly historic. So when I do search for North Korea, I get this:

North Korea receives a huge concession.

So I’m thinking, wow, what did we do?

We stopped an exercise.

Seriously? That’s huge? It’s no where near Yuuuuge, and certainly not huge. Let’s rack and stack for a second.

What has North Korea done:
1. Shook hands with South Korean President
2. Said he would negotiate with President Trump.
3. Said he would stop nuclear testing, and took measures to do so.
4. Released some prisoners.

What the US did:
1. Stopped flying some bombers.
2. Suspended some exercises.
3. Uhm…

Seriously. Vox makes a big deal that the bombers are nuclear capable. So? We have loads of nuclear weapons that can hit North Korea now. Like, without flying bombers. And we have plenty of non-nuclear options, from Tomahawks to artillery. That doesn’t count what Japan and South Korea could use.

We just gave the equivalent of a “free glass of water with a full meal purchase” “concession” to North Korea. If anything, we saved money in fuel costs and pilot OPTEMPO. It literally cost us nothing. North Korea can’t get back the prisoners or reverse some of the dismantling of its nuclear site. Our bombers could be flying tomorrow if we wanted. We have done nothing that can’t be undone in a matter of minutes.

Trump gave North Korea this “concession” because it’s dumb and doesn’t matter. Would you throw away a monumental deal over an inconsequential detail? I sure wouldn’t.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

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Two KRUSTY nuclear reactors power a settlement on Mars. From CNET.com.

Nuclear power is not doing well. The cheap fracking of natural gas and oil, while it is putting a crimp on our enemies, is also hurting the nuclear industry. Already racked with the high cost of regulation (we’re talking millions per plant), no compensation for carbon emission and a lack of public understanding about what nuclear power actually is, the nuclear industry is failing. Plants are closing around the US, and the workforce is not attracting the best and brightest. As the workforce ages and less plants are available, we have the risk that US nuclear power is going to go extinct. Except for the United States Navy and China, nuclear power seems on the way out the door.

And yet…
Continue reading “Is KRUSTY the future for nuclear engineers?”