Memorial Day 2023

We will not forget.

In pondering a holiday message each year, I go back and look at what I’ve posted for it in the past.  This year, on rereading the “Priorities, USA” article for 2022, I concluded that it’s still a timely message, and should be the bulk of what I advocate taking in this year.

As time passes, we are flicked more and more on the raw by the things we are having to face up to right now – epochal things, things of an entire age of the human journey.  We find we can’t flee them.  They come to find us.  They won’t rest unresolved.

The purchases of the blood shed for America, by the ones we remember on Memorial Day, still hang in the balance. Continue reading “Memorial Day 2023”


TOC Ready Room 2 May 2023: YU-UGE SCOTUS case; Another balloon (yes, we reacted); Tucker Carlson and Fox

What’s wrong and right with the world: SCOTUS eyes “Chevron”; a balloon makes its presence felt; Mr. Carlson has left the building.

Some brief drive-bys as we advance into May – if not slouching toward Jerusalem, at least schlumping toward East Bugsplat.

The first set of reflections is on a case that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear, involving the power of regulatory agencies to basically – in a vernacular rendering – interpret federal regulatory statutes any old way they want to.

The federal courts’ friendliness to this principle is called “Chevron deference.”  It’s named for a 1980s case in which Chevron was a party, but Chevron has nothing to do with the contemporary case the court has agreed to hear.  Chevron is also not the party being deferred to in the “Chevron deference” shorthand; that role belongs to whatever federal agency is imposing mandates in the case, based on its interpretation of law. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 2 May 2023: YU-UGE SCOTUS case; Another balloon (yes, we reacted); Tucker Carlson and Fox”

Israel: Rumors of war in a world transformed

Surveying how much has changed.

On 9 April 2023, Israeli Arabist scholar and former intelligence officer Mordechai Kedar published an article recounting information recently received from an associate he describes as a source he has “known for years – an expatriate from the Middle East, a supporter of Israel, who lives in Europe and is in continuous contact with people in Iran and Iraq.”

The article is in the outlet Makor Rishon (“Firsthand Source”), owned by Israel Hayom.  The information outlined by Kedar is from his source’s “assessment that Iran is planning to launch a combined attack on Israel in the foreseeable future that will include all the forces at its disposal in the Arab countries” – Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

Kedar proceeds to describe missile and rocket barrages from all the implicated territories (including the more-distant nations), along with an unconventional ground attack from Lebanon and Gaza using motorcycles and ATVs, assisted by local Arab sabotage in Israel, Judea, and Samaria. Continue reading “Israel: Rumors of war in a world transformed”

Iran, TikTok: Two pings on the war that’s in progress


These pings will be brief.  Things are moving quickly at the moment.  That doesn’t mean they’ll continue moving quickly.  The vicissitude aisle is always having a blue-light special.  But the OODA loop is tightening, and if that isn’t a recognized sign that the conflict is underway, it will be when this is wrapped for the history books.

Ping One: Iran and the Biden administration

Readers will be aware that Saudi Arabia and Iran recently effected a rapprochement in relations, brokered by China.  The Biden administration not only wasn’t disturbed by that; it seemed to point out that it had basically through of it first, offering a favorable view of such a prospect last year. Continue reading “Iran, TikTok: Two pings on the war that’s in progress”

Iran’s navy: Stealth-stalking the planet

Creeping with gray hulls.

On 9 March 2023, a webcam caught Iranian frigate IRIS Dena (F-75) underway departing Rio de Janeiro at the end of an extended port visit that began on 26 February 2023.

Forward support base IRINS Makran (441) was presumably in company with Dena.  Although Iran’s leaders have threatened to send the two-ship flotilla through the Panama Canal on this “round the world” deployment, it has been a vexed question from the beginning where the ships are at a given time, and it isn’t clear if they’re headed for the canal now.

There is naturally speculation that the warships will stop in Venezuela next.  If they do, they could already be off the coast from Caracas given their departure from Rio on Thursday. Continue reading “Iran’s navy: Stealth-stalking the planet”