September 17, 2014

Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your......Nuclear Missiles

It appears that if Scotland goes all independent tomorrow they have declared that they will be a nuclear free zone. The UK's nuclear deterrent is mainly concentrated in their ballistic missile submarines...which are based in Scotland. Some accommodation can likely be made but this would give the Scots a huge leverage over the UK England's nukes.


The result of this is that the English, who weren't expecting this voter to go anywhere suddenly find themselves scrambling for options. Since the new base in England or Wales will take a decade to build, the plan they came up with last week is to homeport their nuclear submarines in the US in the interim. Assuming the Scots vote for independence and Congress does not balk at the proposal, I'm guessing the English boats would be in Kings Bay, Georgia, which is the only US Boomer base on the East Coast. 

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September 14, 2014

It's Been Over a Month

...since we began requiring registration for comments. In the meantime a couple of people have reported issues commenting, so...
We're going to see if the spammers have given up on us.
Until further notice, comments are again open to everyone, regardless of registration status. 


"Oh YES! Mischief!"

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:10 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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They Might Be Tunes.

Thank you Moe Lane:

Just, thank you.



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Meanwhile...

Russia is focusing on new offensive weapons. Amongst them is a new heavyweight liquid fuel ICBM to replace the R-36 SATAN.  Though this massive weapon won't be mobile (unless it is launched), it will carry a huge payload. Their violation of the IMF treaty and militarization of the arctic, are in addition to the Ukraine mess.  Oh. and those Russian bombers that have been showing up off the Grand Banks and Pacific Northwest? They seem to be dry runs for cruise missile launches



The North Korean nuclear reactor may well be running again
Note to self: Don't go to North Korea. Further note: If somehow note one is forgotten, under no circumstances tear up ones Visa and demand asylum. 

A majority in China feel war with Japan is inevitable by 2020.  In other news China just sent troops to South Sudan



 

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Understanding Modern Vocabulary

As the English language leans forward into a brave new world of byzantine nomenclature, some individuals who have not been brought up to speed on the changes in terminology might come to the conclusion that certain recent statements are actually feckless dissembling rather than enlightened and inoffensive specificity. 


To address the allegations, we've tracked down one of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Train hopping Linguists to parse the recent statements by the State Department on current events. So, from somewhere along the Masassas Line, here is our expert on exposition.

Dude..This is a [expletive deleted] of [expletive deleted]  pollyanish [expletive deleted] newspeak. You interrupted my [expletive deleted] vacation to [expletive deleted] show me the English language being [expletive deleted] up the [expletive deleted] by a bunch of [expletives deleted] incompetents using Orwellian [expletive deleted] to distract from their [expletives deleted]. This [expletive deleted] is why I TOOK the vacation in the first place. I'm gonna [ remainder of correspondence deleted after consultation with standards and practices] 


Well...

I guess the rest of the post needs to go below the fold...
more...

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But... When We Started From Scratch We Did it in Three

This article discusses the state of america's aging nuclear arsenal and points out once again that the United States is no longer are making nuclear pits (the core of atomic weapons) and hasn't since 1989.


 I think the article is sightly unfair to Bush (1) in that canceling the deployment of the new generation of weapons that were originally intended to come online in the early 90's was absolutely necessary to calm the Russians down after the collapse of the U.S.S.R.

 In any event, there is this damning revelation at the end of the article...
  In 1989 the executive branch shut down the nation's only facility to produce plutonium pits — the hearts of nuclear weapons — making us the only nuclear weapons state in the world unable to produce nuclear arms. Since then, executive branch fumbling and congressional denials have combined to prevent replacement of this absolutely essential production facility. If a decision were made today, it would still be 10 to 15 years before pit production could start.
Emphasis mine.

Although the Manhattan Project started in 1939, it was only a fact finding and technology feasibility assessment project until it got seriously spun as a weapons project in early 1942. By late 1944 and early 1945 pit production was a reality and they started out going into a previously unknown field. Thus, one can reasonably assume, given 70 years of experience and the leaps and bounds technology has made since Trinity, that, the tripling of the time necessary to do what was done with 1940s technology in 2014 is due to institutional inertia and bureaucratic asshattery.  Most of the Chinese dynasties ended due to the machinations of the eunuchs and other bureaucrats in administrative empire building at the expense of the state, rendering it vulnerable to new developments.  The Mandarins in Washington are a Gordian Knot that we really need to cut. 

Note that this is specifically talking about plutonium pits. Plutonium is necessary for most modern weapons especially if they are lightweight and compact. However, it is my understanding that Oralloy (a type of highly enriched uranium)  can be used to make perfectly effective bombs but they are heavier and less safe to store in the confines of a submarine (due to their higher radioactivity) and in any event not using plutonium would require extensive testing of new bomb designs or the use of old ones ill suited to our current delivery methods. 

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Groundskeeper Willie Speaks on the Scottish Question

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Current Watch List

I've been quite busy of late but I am watching a few things in between schoolwork and work-work. 

RWBY has been mentioned quite a bit. It's the only show I actually am able to watch weekly and keep up with in part because its twelve minute run time is easy to justify as a study break. It's really hitting its stride and is amusing me far more than it ought to. 

Tonari No Seki Kun is an older series that likewise can be consumed in 7 minute doses. I'm watching one or two a week. It has remained cute and refreshing. 

I was quite thoroughly traumatized a while back by Stella Women's Academy Emo Paintball Fight Club With The Ridiculously Long Name That Started Out Really Cool but Despite its Message Of Redemption Was REALLY Depressing and For Some Reason Ended in C-3, so I had judiciously  avoided the latest 'cute girls doing cute things in survival club' show. However, despite the subject matter (CGDCT+Guns) it is based on what is ostensibly a Shojo rather than a Seinen manga so this appeared to at least have the potential to be different. Also I've heard some good things about it and the show's name, even with the subtitle, is only 4 words long. 

I'm only 3 episodes into Sabagebu! Survival Game Club, but it's pretty enjoyable thus far with a quirky and likable cast, many of whom share my opinion of hornets and natto. I may have to write on this at length in the future. 

Dr. Who is a show that I rarely get to watch due to scheduling and a lack of DVR. However, a quirk of fate has allowed me to watch the first 4 Cappaldi episodes and I'm becoming more convinced that  the PC venom displayed in episode 2 is not intended to be seen in a good light. It looks like The Promised Land is going to be a new Bad Wolf and Robin Hood was a hoot. I like that the doctor is not completely omnipotent "Wait . You're Right. That's a STUPID idea!" It's interesting at any rate.  

In the queue: I picked up the second half of Ghost Hound, and second season of K-On!, both of which which I watched the first halves of YEARS ago. 

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September 13, 2014

Comments Issue

I've been informed that some people are having difficulty commenting. Specifically, I'm told that comments are being sent to moderation and I'm not approving them. 


Well, I don't moderate comments. In fact the blog does not even have it as an option, so something is amiss. I tried commenting myself and had no problem so this may be specific to certain users. 

Anyway, if you are having any problem commenting, please leave a comme.....

Wait...

Oh well. While our crack team of datapixies work on that problem, I can at least do my bit to help my readers avoid heartbreak. In 1992, I learned to my considerable dismay that the following line does not, in fact, work. 


Sugar, spice and copper telluride.

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September 11, 2014

Dance Dance Infiltration

Well, the latest episode of RWBY answers a question that everyone has been asking since episode 9. 






 

This was a really good episode, it moved the plot, developed the characters and managed to be cute as well as dramatic. The pacing was near perfect. 
This show has really hit its stride. Seven episodes in and the season hasn't had a miss yet. 

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13 years or nearly 1300

It's been 1282 years since the Battle of Tours prevented, by the slimmest of margins, Western Civilization from being snuffed out for all eternity. As the 21st century dawned, no one seriously thought that western civilizations ancient enemy would pose a serious threat. Though it came within a hairs breadth of snuffing out Europe before its advance was stopped by Martel, Jihadist Islam was thought to be but a nuisance, long moribund after its defeats at Granada, Vienna and Lepanto. 


Then they struck in a most spectacular fashion. 







Now 13 years later, they are even more powerful than they were then. Their most visible branch, ISIS, takes their inspiration from the Umayads with a dash of Tamerlane and is doing a fair job of emulating the early victories of both. 

However, while there is great concern that these fiends might pull off some mass casualty attacks, no one expects these barbarians will be able to actually bring down any countries outside their immediate sphere of influence; just as no one 1300 years ago thought that this might happen....



Of course, this is not the 6th century. Things are different now. Advances in transportation and communications mean that events move much faster nowadays, and the savages have a non trivial number of confederates in the territories they covet. 

History does not end and no society is invulnerable to barbarians, especially if they do not take them seriously. 

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September 10, 2014

OK. The Speech

It was not actually an egregiously bad speech

However, I was somewhat perplexed that he wants to use Yemen and Somalia as templates for action against ISIS. Both countries are nightmarish Hobbesian jihadi generators and Somalia is not so much a country as a no-mans land. I suppose that recent successes in killing terrorist leaders there was the point, but neither country has any hope right now of being free of the jihadists in the foreseeable future. I'm a little concerned with the notion of arming "vetted" insurgents in Syria. Our vetting of insurgents has been singularly unimpressive historically, and over the last 5 years in particular. 

It is good that he recognizes the threat, but the proposed actions seems to risk making the same error as Rumsfield's "light footprint" model did. However, close air support and giving those who are fighting against ISIS weapons might have a better than even chance of working in this case. I suspect that ISIS is not adept at winning hearts and minds. If their religious appeal is such that they are, then this is a far greater problem than even the most concerned analysts have supposed.   

I do note that Bush, who already had what some describe as a troublingly broad Authorization of Military Force giving him legal justification, still felt the need to go before the Congress to get approval for going into Iraq. This president does not and I await with bated breath to hear the intense indignation at this factoid from those who considered  Bush's actions to be beyond the pale. 

One last criticism. 
We currently have over 1300 troops in Iraq. Can we PLEASE issue them some boots? Fighting in Birkenstocks cannot be good for morale. 

Finally it should be noted that this is one of the most grave decisions a President can be faced with. While there are legitimate criticisms galore regards the decisions that led us here and the manner in which they were relayed, it is not necessarily a dreadful thing that after previous debacles the president has been very deliberative in coming to this conclusion.  War is sometimes necessary, but it is always a wretched enterprise. That the President has sought to avoid this may not have been wise, but it should not elicit contempt.

I am no fan of the policies of this President,  but I ask that people of faith keep him in their prayers this evening. 

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Wild Speculation

Trigger warnings: cis, heteronormative, minor spoiler 

OK, the clues are there and I'm thinking that some of these questions will be answered in the next episode so lets speculate on a few things


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September 09, 2014

Tuesday 'Splody



One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of SCIENCE! Babes sends us this video from her research into the effects of comparatively small volcanic eruptions upon merchant shipping.


The Hephestian hoopla was caused by Mount Tavurvur in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea on the 29th of last month. 

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September 08, 2014

This is Dismaying

Street is river.Water rising rapidly. Garbage cans floating by. Car blocked by floating debris.


UPDATE: rain falling incredibly hard. Water still rising. Storm drains are spewing water.This could be bad. I may swim away from 800 dollars worth of textbooks.  

UPDATE 2: Now that I'm inside and not pecking away at a Blackberry....


This was taken only a block from my parent's  home....it took me 2 additional hours to get there.  

Sadly, I did not get some of the more spectacular visuals as they coincided with excitement in driving. It should be noted that, while in the great scheme of things this was a minor flash flood, it was the first time in the 29 years my folks have lived at their current address that the water rose all the way to their house. Even hurricanes did not get water this high. We got something like 9 inches in 6 hours. It actually flooded the garage, which is currently a bit of a mess. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 02:42 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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