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June Tidbits: Naval fascinations, Xi Jinping, a couple great Australians

Newsletter - June, 2022

Hello from Driggs, Idaho! We're here for the next month to be wilderness bums.

The road toward Driggs with the Tetons in the background.

One of my favorite things about this new Substack/indie publishing era is the window I get into the media diet of various writers I follow. It's a callback to an earlier time before algorithmic newsfeeds when web "surfers" would post link lists and expose their blog rolls so you can read the same sources and learn interesting things. Some of my favorites in the space are the monthly-ish link lists from Astral Codex Ten, Conor Friedersdorf's Recommended Reading and the more-frequent Garbage Day installments (although most of it IS garbage and dumb internet phenomena, but there are gems in there). So, I've decided to straight-up steal this content format and make this monthly newsletter a link dump/roundup of all of the good content I've rallied in my notes app over the past 30 days or so. But first, a plug for my own stuff.

Videos I came out with in the last month in case you missed them

We were staying on Alameda during the first half of June and I wandered around the old base to get some shots. The video turned into a kind of meditation on military bases and what happens when the funding tap turns off.


Pete "Viper" Pettigrew shares his story of his air-to-air MiG kill (which needs a movie made about it) and his experience as technical advisor to the first Top Gun movie.


Continuing our Top Gun: Maverick theme, dad and I check out the USS Midway in San Diego.


Drone shots of Bisbee, Arizona, where my wife, Fiona, is from. It's a funky art town with a long and checkered mining history.

Dictator Book Club: Xi Jinping
...

A riveting deep-dive into China's government and how Xi Jinping fits into it.


Field Days
This space is all about having FUN!

My new favorite YouTube channel! It's all about fishing, survival, and watching this way-too-happy Australian guy subject himself to crazy dehydration ordeals.


Waste Russian Time

A funny concept.


As a runner, I found this really uplifting.


Russia Military Analysis
A blog on the Russian military

With the Ukraine-Russian war going on, Michael Kofman is the man of the hour. If you look closely at the New York Times/CNN/WSJ's coverage of the conflict, they cite Kofman constantly. He's a frequent guest of the War on the Rocks podcast and director of the Russia Studies program at CNA (Center for Naval Analyses), a DC think tank. The link above is to his personal blog which it doesn't look like he's updated since September of '21 (I presume he got much more busy since then), but it's chock full of crazy insight into Russian force structure and equipment. It's also pretty damn funny.


I've plugged Perun (another Australian!) before, but he's really good so I'm doing it again. These are long, war-college-style lectures, but they're excellent and incredibly well-researched.


I'm not that great at fly fishing, but I'm currently in one of the greatest places to do it, so I'm trying to absorb everything I can. This is a really, really good and easily-comprehensible playlist covering all the basics. I watched all of them and, while I may not yet be catching many fish, I feel like I sound less like an idiot when I'm in the fly shop.