Fighting Sail

The open waist of L’ Hermione.

As you can see here, she doesn’t have a closed main deck. The middle part is open and you can see her gundeck. This was done to reduce the weight of the ship.


Body Armor

Marines wearing Interceptor (USMC) body armor. If they wear it, should you? By that I mean have it available, not necessarily wear it to the drive-through when you’re ordering a burger. Do you think it’s necessary?


Asymmetric Naval Warfare 

This is an interesting article, passed on (h/t Claudio). You might want to read it in its entirety. Here is an illustrative excerpt”

“A day later, it became clear that the Lebanese terrorist organization’s naval force, with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force’s help, fired a C-802 anti-ship missile at Israeli missile boats. One of the missiles hit the crane of the INS Hanit, which the ship managed to survive, return by tow to its homeport, and sail again after about three weeks for operational missions. However, four Israeli crew members lost their lives.

The INS Hanit (Photo via Tsahi Ben-Ami /Flash90)

“Intelligence details regarding Iranian anti-ship missiles delivered to Hezbollah were being collected by the Israeli intelligence agencies about two years before the ship was hit. However, the assessment of naval intelligence in 2004 was that rockets had reached Hezbollah’s naval force (not missiles), and it estimated that Hezbollah would attempt to detect Israeli Navy ships using an array of coastal radars and fire the rockets at them.”

To some extent it’s akin to my illustration on this blog a few days ago of a gomer with a bolt action rifle firing at a “stealth” F-35 performing a low and slow close support mission that once had been handled by an A-10 (built to take ground fire damage). Sometimes the simple solutions are effective against very complex and expensive systems. A knife or tomahawk are effective against the sort of soft body armor that modern soldiers or police officers wear to defend themselves from gunshots.


Public Opinion (USA)

In 2014, Pat Caddell’s study of public opinion, which he titled “We Need Smith,” found that:

Eighty-six percent of all voters believe political leaders are more interested in protecting their power than in doing what’s right for the American people. Eighty-three percent believe the country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists, and other interests for their own gain. Further, 79% believe that powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions, and PACs use campaign and lobbying money to rig the system to serve themselves and that they loot the national treasury at the expense of every American. … Ninety-two percent say we must recruit and support for public office more ordinary citizens and fewer professional politicians. Not surprising when you consider that 81% believe both political parties do what’s in it for them rather than fix our nation’s problems.

Such figures bespeak neither conservatism nor liberalism, but widespread alienation and disdain among people who understand themselves to be subjects of a selfish power to which they have no personal connection and that exists beyond their collective control.



If there is going to be a revolution to “tear down the man”, it’s always nice to know who is paying for it.


  1. In my younger days, working the rigging on a tall ship would have interested me. I spent my youth climbing our silo’s and forking corn silage to the Holsteins, before dad bought a silo unloader for mom for Mother’s Day. My interest in that has faded with my hair color!

    • Term limits…by their fruit you shall know them.

      The American government was established along the lines of citizens serving in the legislature for a few years, and then returning to their previous occupations. Think of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, the Roman farmer who set aside his plow to serve the early republic in a time of crisis and then returned to his plow.

      After winning a swift victory circa 450BC, Cincinnatus relinquished his power. His success and immediate resignation of his near-absolute authority with the end of this crisis inspired George Washington and the other founding fathers. Even today it is cited as an example of outstanding leadership, service to the greater good, civic virtue, humility, and modesty. There are none like him in the American political class today. But there might be a few if we had strict term limits.

      • The Founders had hoped doing so would eliminate the career bought and paid for politician within government because those who served did so out of obligation and honor, to give their best, but would desire more than anything to hurry back to their prior lives and businesses, not spend half their time getting reelected and voting themselves into prosperity. Crockett’s “It’s not yours to give” speech comes to mind, after an encounter with an educated farmer constituent.

        Term limits freshens the edges, like a proper surgery. Now the DC entrenched are glued in place year after year never to be removed except by old age or death. I’d give a kidney to have Washington, Adams, or Jefferson return and see what they would do to the grifters and legal thieves who inhabit the hallowed halls of congress….and to see The Hologram be run out of the Oval Office on a rail.

      • We instituted term limits here in Florida quite a while ago. It hasn’t panned out as hoped. What happens is that Joe Politician gets name recognition by being on the news or in the paper regularly. When Joe gets term limited out of the state senate, say, he runs for the house or some other office. Name recognition gets him the new job. The job gets him the contributions and we get the same old names with a different title.

        In the big picture sense, we have term limits already, we just have to vote them out of office after their first or second term. It requires an educated, mature citizenry.

        If anyone were to advocate for some sort of test to be allowed to vote, something simple like, “who’s the incumbent?”, they’d be cancelled and probably have their house burned down.

        • Joe Politician can’t bounce from government sinecure to government sinecure if this is to work. Not that I expect anything to happen or work. The citizenry by in large, is incapable of making mature decisions or acting in the name of public good rather than their own self interest.

          Please forgive me and indulge me for quoting Pink Floyd here:

          Get away
          You get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
          It’s a gas
          Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
          New car, caviar, four star daydream
          Think I’ll buy me a football team
          Well, get back
          I’m all right Jack
          Keep your hands off of my stack
          It’s a hit
          Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
          I’m in the high-fidelity first class travelling set
          I think I need a Lear jet
          It’s a crime
          Share it fairly
          But don’t take a slice of my pie
          So they say
          Is the root of all evil today
          But if you ask for a raise
          It’s no surprise that they’re giving none away

          • So right…read this bit last night:

            “ “My way of looking at the world is that some folks do what they want, and they don’t care what happens to others, so long as it’s good for them.” (Archer, One Good Deed – David Baldacci)

            Basic selfish nature at play…and now, thanks to you, I’ll have Money in my head the rest of the day.

          • And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
            And if there is no room upon the hill
            And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
            I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

      • I’m not a fan of term limits because I don’t think it really solves anything. I would like very much to have the net worth of Congress Critters monitored and have any and all income very clearly available to the public. In addition they would not be allowed to lobby.

        • Would they be allowed to receive honorariums?
          The way that works in practice is that you give them a suitcase of money in exchange for them speaking with you in person.

          Sure there are the $100K speeches at universities, but the person to person honorariums are more pernicious – and legal.

          • Absolutely not. I’m talking about a severely limited money stream for these creeps.

            Work in a Quick-Trip or Maverick? Sure thing.

    • Simple. Freeze their assets. If they can’t get richer by being a politician, then only those who actually are willing to serve will serve.

      Like, yaknow, Trump losing over a billion during his 4 years of service while the Obamskis netted 150 million.

      • Obama REPORTED a $150 million bump during his regime. That does not include secret accounts and there were a lot of those.

  2. The Hermione frigate, from 2012 to September 2014–

    Body armor– “…not necessarily wear it to the drive-through when you’re ordering a burger.” Agreed. However, if you are employed at the window?

    The mortar crew in the opening photo appear to be wearing the FLC MOLLE II vest. These are available on Amazon and other places for around $20. I got one, and so far it is working well. The straps in the back have LOTS of adjustment, however this is limited somewhat by the cross strap/drag handle at the top, which will run into the back of your neck. I was put off by this a first, but then found that because the vest rides just above my belt line, it doesn’t interfere when sitting, as in a vehicle.

  3. Hanit had their anti-missile defenses off, as they thought there was no threat. Same as Stark, back in the day. Seems to me it pays to leave that shit on, but there are liability issues and ELINT ones too.

    the article fails to mention that the other Hex C-802 missed, and then tracked on and sank a “friendly” cargo ship…

    • Oh, and I forgot – the ancient bureaucratic reason common to all navies and walks of life:

      “Turn that damn thing off, you’re gonna wear it out! You know what spares cost for that thing!?”.

      • We had a joke at Hughes Aircraft about how rigorously we tested the AIM-54…..”It’s been tested so much it has exactly one shot left it it.”

  4. I usually ignore surveys. Whatever the conclusions, how many actually lead to actions and solutions? Those benefiting from situations most people oppose don’t care. So long as it is sound and fury, they keep on keeping on.

    Solutions? I don’t have any; just one of the many in the piss and moan choir.

  5. Wooden ships and iron men, as I’m others will mention. Closest I’ve ever been to a ship like that was in high-school. Our senior trip went to the D.C. area, and a side trip to Philly and Boston, where I saw the USS Constitution.

    Do I feel the *need* for body armor? Not really. It’s more of a “That sure would be nice” item. I have no idea what a competent set of body aromor costs, so I’ve never really loked into it. Trauma plate or not? How may layers? What level of protection?

    Yes, sometimes “Olde Skool” can take on “High Tech” and beat the snot out of it.

    “Public Opinion” seems to indicate there’s a seething contempt for The Elected Class amongst a large portion of Americans…

    • I was having the discussion with someone the other day about problem solving vs. practical solutions. There are people out there who problem solve but are incapable of seeing if it’s practical. It’s like throwing a log over a small gap Vs. building a fancy suspension bridge, one is practical and the other solves the problem, but the person who proposes the suspension bridge can’t see why it’s not practical.

      The USA, if I’m being generous, has an entire procurement system run by problem solvers. If I’m not being generous…..

      • They’re not all crooks, but a lot of them are. A lot of vaporware is produced along with the stuff that works. Overlooking your buddy’s vaporware in exchange for compensation is common enough.

  6. “…neither conservatism nor liberalism, but widespread alienation and disdain among people who understand themselves to be subjects of a selfish power to which they have no personal connection and that exists beyond their collective control.”

    Well said.

  7. Body armor. Yes, if you can afford it and wear it.

    But… here’s the thing. Look at what threat you want to protect against.

    Are you only expecting the average street thuggie? Level 2 – which stops most 9mm and some .40, is good. Or Level 3 if you can wear it.

    Expecting protection from uparmed street thugs, Badge Orcs and Fibbies? Level 3A

    Expecting long guns? Level 4.

    Then there’s the whole, what are you going to be wearing it for?
    If Concealed, then a vest.
    If in a vehicle or fixed position during End Times? Up armor as much as possible, Level IV with chicken plates, add on neck armor, shoulder and upper arm armor, forearm protection, groin armor, butt armor, thigh armor, lower leg armor, armored shoes, and a helmet.

    Like, well, motorcycles where you dress for the slide, not the ride, Body Armor is similar.

    You wear the body armor you expect the threat you encounter. Where it’s legal, of course…

    • We wouldn’t want patriots, concerned about tyranny to armor up (or up-armor what they have), would we? It would be wrong…

  8. re:

    I say this often:
    * any government agent gets minimum wage
    * every government agent is employed for no longer than a couple-three weeks, then must find honest work
    * federal government agents get a picnic-table in a field in Nebraska or Georgia
    * voters should not petition their grievances through the accurate projecting of rotted vegetables… that would be rude, and gives the impression you have nothing better to do with your day.

    And I am pretty sure TheUnitedNations would work just as swell from Somalia.

    • As a former government agent, minimum wage wouldn’t have worked. I’m not even sure that there are a lot of homeless people who would have applied for the job. The job itself isn’t bad, but the administration inevitably sucks.

      The government needs quality people to work on its behalf. I have been through every sort of screening including polygraphs (I’ve worked at different places) and so forth that are designed to weed out the undesirables. Part of the current problem in the federal system is that there are incentives for hiring assholes. They are not all assholes, but the ratio increases as good people retire.

      X2 on moving the UN to Somalia. Far more politically correct demographic. You’d just need to gender reassign EVERYONE to make the place perfect.

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