Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Just Fixed the Pentagon's Budget

So I came up with a great idea to save the military money.

Get rid of this abortion:

If you've never had the pleasure of sampling this questionable delight, let me just say this: there are hundreds of thousands of young men and women under arms in this country, and every single one of them will go hungry rather than eat this MRE.

The Pentagon buys something on the order of 50 Million MREs a year. Since there are 24 different varieties, that's on order 2.1M Cheese and Veggie Omelets per year. At an avaerage of $7.25 per MRE (I couldn't find a price for the CaVO by itself, so I used the cost of a box divided by 12), that is $15 Million a year spent on the excrement of Satan.

It's wasted. All of it.

Update: So according to Wikipedia, this MRE is already on its way out this year. That's the bright side (and trust me... it IS a bright side).

The downside is that the Pentagon kept it on the menu for 4 years. That's $60M of your money forgotten in storage lockers, discarded in the trash, and picking up dust.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Plank Walked

Three times, anyway. Courageous captain is safe.

Question: did these guys know they were pirating a US-flagged ship?
I keep hearing about how canny and technologically-advanced these pirates are- how they identify ships before they depart port, targeting those with valuable (read: worth a ransom) cargo. If all that is true... did they really expect hitting an American ship to end well for them?

I'm just glad this immediate situation is over. Now I don't have to listen to every pants-on-head retard suddenly turned hyperventilating armchair admiral blather on about how the Navy should have been ready to snipe those pirates and scoop the heroic captain from the water.

I'm not a expert on naval affairs, but I don't think I'm out of line saying that sniper teams are not part of the modern equipment issue on guided missile destroyers. Tomahawk cruise missiles? Sure. Sharpshooters in the topsails? Pretty sure those went out with the feather-plumed tri-corners.

Update: Those guided missile destroyers may not have snipers in the rigging anymore, but those amphibious assault ships have them in the holds. Sounds like the good captain bailed a second time, at which point a SEAL team promptly ventilated the pirates. I'm sure this means at least one or two armchair admirals will find it a good idea to tie up a SEAL team on every anti-piracy patrol boat.

Also worth mentioning: piracy was the immediate threat in this instance, and by nature demanded a response. The long view in Somalia must address the terrorist haven it is becoming. In the short term, sinking a few boats or something will satisfy the American people (just as bombing a couple afghan al-qaeda camps used to). Cathartic? I suppose so, if you take comfort in decisive battle. Effective? No. We also can't forget that we just rescued our guy- there are still hundreds of captives of other nationalities still in the hands of pirates, and any "anti-pirate" activities must consider the well being of those prisoners.