TOC Ready Room 28 April 2022: How do you solve a problem like the Navy? (and other naval musings)

What’s wrong and right, afloat.

Modern naval problems, it turns out, look pretty much like naval problems from any time.  The parameters are resources, logistics, geography, and technology.

This will be a tweet-enriched lightning round.  The big punch comes at the end.  It’s a doozy (and yes, I know:  if I were tediously pedantic I’d spell it Duesy.  Life is short).

A number of negative things are happening in a concentrated burst.  One is that the Navy brass – “Big Navy” – has just proposed to whack out a big chunk of the fleet for the foreseeable future.  With a target over the last half-decade of 355 ships, the Navy would decline from its current 296 ships to 280 in Fiscal Year 2027 (FY27).  In the best case among three options proposed by the Navy, the fleet would recover to 299 by FY32, 10 years from now. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 28 April 2022: How do you solve a problem like the Navy? (and other naval musings)”

Thanksgiving 2021: America’s mightiest blessing

A blessing to cherish and tend – and a future that depends on it.

Most years now, one of the things I do for the major holidays is look at what I wrote the year before to see how it has held up.

Doing that in 2021 took me back to this post for 2020.  Surprisingly, perhaps, it wasn’t about the pandemic or the lockdowns, at least not in any direct or explicit way.  It was about something that was getting almost no attention at the time: the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock.

A Tyler O’Neil article at PJ Media was a pretext for writing about something I was already concerned with.  He highlighted an exceptionally important concept from the Mayflower Compact executed by the arriving settlers: the idea of a “Civil Body Politic.”  America’s connection with that concept is unique, historic, and essential, as in, going to our essence as a nation. Continue reading “Thanksgiving 2021: America’s mightiest blessing”

TOC Ready Room 20 Nov 2021: Rittenhouse, an odd-duck judge: Checking in on the rule of law

Judicial proceedings and the health thereof.

The verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was rendered on Friday 19 November, by a courageous jury that ruled on the evidence and not on the prosecution’s or the media’s false narrative.

Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all five counts, meaning the jury understood fully that he was acting in self-defense.  As numerous commentators said on Friday, this was obvious to anyone who actually watched the trial.

Not only did the evidence, including prosecution witness testimony, make it clear that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense; Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 20 Nov 2021: Rittenhouse, an odd-duck judge: Checking in on the rule of law”

Veterans Day: The torch held high

The torch: Be ours to hold it high.

It has been a tradition at both TOC and the blog Liberty Unyielding, for which I was editor at large from 2012 to October 2021, to post a recurring Veterans Day article.  In 2020, I published the version below for the first time.  It’s interesting to me to reread it now, and realize how much has changed in the last year.  See if you feel the same. – JED

Since 2018, when we passed the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, it has seemed less relevant to commemorate Veterans Day with the annual post we used to use (the last iteration was here).

As we honor military veterans on 11 November, however, I miss an integral element of that old annual post: the John McCrae poem from 1915, “In Flanders Fields.” Continue reading “Veterans Day: The torch held high”

Ninety-seven years

We shall not sleep.

The Unknown Soldier from WWI laid out in the Capitol rotunda in 1921.
The Unknown Soldier from WWI laid out in the Capitol rotunda in 1921.

This post, an annual tradition for Veterans Day at The Optimistic Conservative since 2009, is now an annual tradition at Liberty Unyielding.

Ninety-seven years ago, in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the armistice was proclaimed that ended the terrible fighting in World War I.  A war that had erupted in large part because Europe’s political leaders, a century on from the Napoleonic conflicts, were accustomed to war remaining limited, produced some of the bloodiest battles ever fought. The six-month battle of the Somme in 1916 took the lives of an unimaginable 1.5 million French, German, and British soldiers – without either side achieving sustainable penetration of the line of confrontation, or any operational victory. WWI was the most tactically and politically frustrating of wars, admitting little maneuver, little jockeying for advantage, and no enduring significance to victory. Continue reading “Ninety-seven years”