A very interesting briefing on counter-piracy operations.

Found here, by Vice Admiral William Gortney. Blackfive sums up the whole thing nicely, I think:

The entire point, of course is to “disincentivize” piracy. That’s a nice way of saying they want to make piracy more painful than fishing. Right now there is no disincentive, or what little there is remains vastly outweighed by the potential rewards. So Somali fishermen have become pirates. The average payoff today is $1.5 million to 2 million a ship. CTF-151’s mission, in reality, is prevent successful hijackings, capture the pirates and help the rest rediscover their love for fishing. When enough head out to hijack a ship and don’t come home, but end up dead or in prison for a long, long time, Gortney figures fishing will start looking a lot better again.

Continue reading A very interesting briefing on counter-piracy operations.

Paper Tiger Watch?

I have to disagree with Debra Saunders slightly, here. After discussing Bush’s administration – both the good and the bad – she concludes that history will favorably judge the outgoing President on what did not happen:

Osama bin Laden once told Time magazine that the U.S. withdrawal from Somalia after the murder of 18 U.S. troops on a humanitarian mission made him realize “more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat.” Members of al-Qaida have told intelligence officials they never thought Washington would respond to the 9/11 attacks as ferociously as Bush responded. They expected a few bombs to be dropped, no boots on the ground, a swift withdrawal if casualties mounted — the usual short-attention span foreign policy that warped Lebanon, the Persian Gulf War, Somalia, the African embassy bombings and the attack on the destroyer Cole.

Bush showed America’s enemies a country that does not retreat in fear, does not bomb with impunity, and most important, does not desert civilians or foreign governments that trust us. If you think that doesn’t matter, look at Libya, which disarmed its weapons program. And see how much easier Obama’s presidency will be because Bush kept the faith.

Osama bin Laden may live, most likely quivering in a cave. And no one thinks America is a paper tiger anymore.

The problem is the word “anymore.” Continue reading Paper Tiger Watch?

Earworm excision watch.

Given that pretty much nobody’s heard “The Wild Pair” since this video:

(From the album Forever Your Girl)

…and, honestly: Paula Abdul’s career hasn’t really been a top discussion topic lately either; I think that it’s probably fair to say that opposites do not really attract.

Now maybe I’ll get this song out of my head. Curse you, oldies station. Curse you forever.

TRUE CAUSE OF THE HUDSON RIVER CRASH!

I might have known:

NEW YORK, NY – US Airways flight 1549 made an emergency water landing in the Hudson River just after 3:30pm yesterday afternoon. Initial reports suggesting the plane struck a flock of geese have been dismissed with the discovery of new evidence confirming that the plane struck and killed the religious icon Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Two observations (aside from the usual, which is that I love the Weekly World News)
Continue reading TRUE CAUSE OF THE HUDSON RIVER CRASH!

Looking for something to read? (Harry Turtledove)

(Today’s guy: Harry Turtledove)

I’m actually not a very good book reviewer, mostly because I… I have no idea why, actually.  I’m just not.  You don’t hear very many people matter-of-factly answer Because I just suck at it to that particular question, which is a shame.  There’d be less time wasted if more people did.

Well, despite my sucking at book reviewing, I recommend that you pick up Harry Turtledove’s The Man with the Iron Heart if you were or are at all relieved at the way that the Surge turned out.  Or if you have a Lefty friend whose perception you want to test.

Continue reading Looking for something to read? (Harry Turtledove)

Federal bureaucrats graciously choose to let the thrift store industry live.

That title should grate.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has apparently decided that they don’t feel like holding the bag for Nancy Pelosi’s inability to write a functional consumer protection bill: Continue reading Federal bureaucrats graciously choose to let the thrift store industry live.

Cracked.com counts off “The 12 Most God Awful Tribute Albums Ever Recorded”

It’s… pretty bad, yeah.

How bad
?

#1 on the list is The String Quartet Tribute to Limp Bizkit.

This is the one. This is the album that should really just signal the end of music. Someone with a real background in music had to arrange these songs. A classically trained cellist had to read sheet music titled “N 2 Gether Now.” At one point in rehearsals, a real-live conductor probably had to say “Okay, gang, let’s take it from ‘Now I know y’all be lovin’ this shit right here.'” Where does music go from here? Where do any of us go from here? How can anyone go on in life knowing that this album exists? Anyone? Hello?!

And #2 IS NOT A JOKE.

I’m sorry, but some of these “superuseless superpowers”…

…are actually useful. Lukewarm touch? Molten lava. Ultra short range teleportation? That’d get you through a window without opening/breaking it, no problem at all. Complementary Chameleon? Air Search and Rescue will hire you on the spot.


Superuseless Superpowers
is a pretty cool site. I look forward to seeing more of these.

Update: Professor Caleb from comments is disputing my argument on the teleportation thing, and he’s even got a diagram, so it must be Science!;

I personally think that the entire thing can be explained away mathematically if you assume that the thing being teleported is defined as being one-dimensional. Yes, yes, yes: “assume the cow is a sphere.” Clearly I need to read Fear of Physics.
.