Friday, June 29, 2007

Fullbore Friday

Something quick and peaceful - kind of - for FbF. Not all ships could slug it out in The Slot, but had careers just as, if not more, consequential then their peers. One of those was the USS PENNSYLVANIA (ACR-4) later USS PITTSBURGH (CA-4). First thing that hits you is what a beautiful ship she was, which is probably one reason she was both a MED and PAC Flagship.

She was an aviation pioneer.
During the winter of 1910-1911, a plane landed on and took off from a platform constructed on her afterdeck, opening the era of naval aviation. At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California in January 1911 she was fitted with a temporary wooden deck in preparation for Eugene Ely's airplane landing attempt. Upon completion of her flight deck Pennsylvania cruised to San Francisco Bay, California, where she anchored for the Eugene Ely's historic flight. Ely landed his Curtiss pusher biplane on board the ship on the morning of 18 January 1911, the first airplane landing on a warship. The landing deck, 120 feet long and 30 feet wide, was inclined slightly to help slow the plane as it landed, and had a thirty-degree ramp at its after end. She then sailed to San Diego Bay, California, and on 17 February 1911 additional test flights were conducted. Glenn Curtiss the designer of the Curtiss Hydroaeroplane was on board for these tests.
She saw the end of the pre-Dreadnought era and tried to pick a fight in WWI.
Around the end of June 1918 Pittsburgh and the USS Vermont were patrolling the waters off Antofagasta, Chile protecting American interests and preventing Austrian and German ships from sailing. It was during the last week of June that the USS Radnor a US Navy cargo ship made port in Antofagasta, Chile on the 28th of June, but due to she being a US Navy ship tensions were high in Antofagasta and the Radnor was ordered out of the harbor by the German ambassador or she would be interned in port. Lt. Comdr. Marcus S. Harloe, Captain of the Radnor radioed for help and the USS Vermont and USS Pittsburgh answered the call. Radnor readied for sea in a hurry and Vermont and Pittsburgh arrived and escorted Radnor to safety before hostilities started.
And like another FbF boat, was an old China Hand.
She sailed on 16 October for Chefoo, China arriving there on 23 December 1926. Early in January of 1927, she landed sailors and Marines to protect Americans and other foreigners in Shanghai from the turmoil and fighting of the Chinese power struggle. When Chiang Kai-shek's Cantonese Army won control of Shanghai in March 1927, Pittsburgh resumed operations on patrol and exercises with the Asiatic Fleet. On 28 March 1928 Pittsburgh was in Hong Kong, China according to post cards mailed from the ship and cancelled with Hong Kong postmarks.

In the book “The Sand Pebbles” by Richard McKenna, which was also made into the famous movie by the same name starring Steve McQueen there is a passage that refers to the USS Pittsburgh. McKenna wrote this book, which tells the story of the men in the US Navy known as “China Sailors” of 1926. This was also the beginning of the start of the Pittsburgh’s tour as Flagship of the Asiatic Fleet from 1926-1931. It refers to something that happened while in South America several years previous, which is likely to be the murder that took place on the Pittsburgh during January of 1918 while the Pittsburgh was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In those days “China Sailors” were clearly regarded in a poor light. In the movie “The Sand Pebbles” Jake Holman played by Steve McQueen tells Shirley Eckert (Candice Bergen) “…nice American girls don’t talk to China Sailors.” Even the local Chinese mock them and their superior officers treat them badly and the people whom they protect regard them as an embarrassment. McKenna reminds us in his book that the US Navy of the 1920’s was not necessarily seen as a career (except by the officers), but often as a means of escape or even punishment for the lowly China Sailor.

This may help explain the following reference form McKenna’s book, in which the implication was that the Pittsburgh had a bad reputation, with one character saying “I would rather have my sister in a whorehouse then have my brother serve on the USS Pittsburgh.” A second sailor replied, “I would rather have your brother.” In the book, the next day the second sailor received a warning in the form of a scrap of canvas with a pile of wet sand on it. This canvas warning likely refers to the old tradition in the navy known as “cobbing” or being beaten with a stocking filled with wet sand. There was no doubt that to the sailor who received the sand on his bunk that this was an old seagoing warning and that the message was very clear.
I think she deserves some time.

Hat tip Tim.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What Skippy woke up with

Did you know Mr. Liberty Risk, I mean Skippy was been "down under?" I think he has had a bit too much of a good time. He needs to get back to the land of the rising sun - pronto.

Sir, SCOTUS is on the VoIP

"The principle that racial balancing is not permitted is one of substance, not semantics," Roberts wrote for the majority. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
...but will they listen?

Where is my email list to the NRD COs......

Not be-dazzled

WASHINGTON — Two years ago, Marines in Iraq asked for an emergency order of

When the lasers hadn't arrived by last fall, a frustrated lieutenant colonel named Marty Lapierre dipped into a special fund and requisitioned 28 of the devices, which temporarily blind — and therefore stop or redirect — unwelcome drivers.

But those handheld lasers, called the CHP Laser Dazzler, didn't make it to the troops, either.
200 nonlethal lasers to keep innocent Iraqis from being killed when they fail to stop at U.S. military checkpoints.
Why?
Just before Christmas, Marine generals told Lapierre and Marine science adviser Franz Gayl to shelve the lasers because they were unsafe — even though the Army and Special Forces were using them.
Something dangerous in the war zone!

What is going on here? Is there a bowl of rice next to a gored bull?
Instead, in March, Marine brass shipped a competing laser called the GBD-III, or Green Beam, which is made by B.E. Meyers & Co. in Redmond.

Gayl and some Marine officers said the Dazzler, with its wider beam, is much better for the Marines' purposes.

E-mails from Lapierre and others question why it took nearly two years to get lasers to Marines in Iraq, and why the Pentagon second-guessed field commanders and rejected the device they wanted.
Good question. Let's dig around some and see what we find.
When Marines wrote an emergency "Urgent Need Statement" asking for Dazzlers in May 2005, they thought they'd found a simple solution to a difficult problem.

"Marine Forces have recently experienced a string of lethal encounters and casualties" in Al Anbar province, they wrote. They wanted to stop Iraqi civilians at checkpoints without shooting them.

At the time, some troops were testing the Dazzler. In Redmond, B.E. Meyers was working to adapt one of its existing military lasers for use at checkpoints.

The Dazzler and the Green Beam operate in similar ways: They shine a green laser beam to temporarily blind a target. If a car is racing toward a checkpoint, troops briefly flash the laser at the windshield.

The Dazzler, which costs about $8,000, is made by LE Systems in Connecticut.

B.E. Meyers, which sells the Green Beam for about $10,000,...

The Army and Special Forces have used the Dazzler since at least last year. But the Navy and Marines have their own requirements.

"I don't care about SOCOM [Special Forces], don't care about the Army," said Raymond Grundy, a Marine combat-development expert who recommended the Green Beam over the Dazzler.
Ah ha! There is the owner of the bull and bowl of rice.

Don't listen to me though; follow one of Phibian's 10 rules for success: when in doubt - follow Lieutenant General Mattis.
In an angry e-mail in February, Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who commands the First Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., called the review board "a bunch of smug, safe, stay-at-home" second-guessers. He added that some issues the board raised were "claptrap."
That doesn't do it justice. Read the PDF of the emails in question here. Personally, I like how LtGen Mattis comes out strong .... and I invite solid men like Skippy (when he gets back from his "Men who love to wear thongs" convention) to tell me what word has been blacked out.



Mmmmmm, I think I smell something different out there, how about you?
The 2008 federal budget contains $7 million for B.E. Meyers to improve its Green Beam laser. The money was added to the budget by Reps. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn; Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island; Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens; and Adam Smith, D-Tacoma.
Thought so....and if the following is true, this is a crime - and Marines are probably dead and wounded because of it.
"If we had sole-sourced [the Dazzler] in Oct. 2005, and delivered by Jan. 2006, how many innocent IZ [Iraqis] would not have been needlessly killed?" he asked.

One reason it took a year to get the Green Beam to troops after its approval in February is that Marines in Iraq didn't want it. They wanted the Dazzler, said Col. Roger Oltman, a Marine combat-development officer in Quantico.

The Marine command prevailed after warning that money for checkpoint lasers would vanish and troops would end up with nothing.
One final comment; I think if we can train our Marines not to shoot themselves in the foot, we can train them to use a laser, don't you?
Marine officers agreed new equipment should get to the field faster. But the safety of the troops as well as Iraqis is paramount, they said.

"Our Marines are already putting their lives on the line," said Col. Kirk Hymes, who oversees key lasers programs. "I don't want them putting their eyes on the line, too."
Yes Colonel, much better dead.

Dutch having second thoughts on Aquarius

You know the Dutch; all about free love, easy drugs, and anything goes...right? We should all be like that, right? It creates a better country, right? Well, let's see how the experiment is going.
For years, W.B. Kranendonk was a lone ranger in Dutch politics -- the editor of an orthodox Christian newspaper in a nation that has legalized prostitution, euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage and allows the personal use of marijuana.

Today, with an orthodox Christian political party in the government for the first time, and with immigration anxieties fueling a national search for identity, the country that has been the world's most socially liberal political laboratory is rethinking its anything-goes policies.

And suddenly, Kranendonk no longer seems so all alone.

"People in high political circles are saying it can't be good to have a society so liberal that everything is allowed," said Kranendonk, editor of Reformist Daily and an increasingly influential voice that resonates in the shifting mainstream of Dutch public opinion. "People are saying we should have values; people are asking for more and more rules in society."

In cities across the Netherlands, mayors and town councils are closing down shops where marijuana is sold, rolled and smoked. Municipalities are shuttering the brothels where prostitutes have been allowed to ply their trade legally. Parliament is considering a ban on the sale of hallucinogenic "magic mushrooms." Orthodox Christian members of parliament have introduced a bill that would allow civil officials with moral objections to refuse to perform gay marriages. And Dutch authorities are trying to curtail the activities of an abortion rights group that assists women in neighboring countries where abortions are illegal.
Reality has bitten them a bit.
"Has the Netherlands changed? Yes," said Frank de Wolf, a Labor Party member of the Amsterdam City Council. "There is not only a different mood among our people and politicians, but there are different problems now."

The Netherlands is going through the same racial, ethnic and religious metamorphosis as the rest of Western Europe: Large influxes of black, Arab and Muslim immigrants are changing the social complexion of an overwhelmingly white, Christian nation struggling with its loss of homogeneity.

But here those anxieties are exacerbated by alarm over the international crime organizations that have infiltrated the country's prostitution and drug trades, the increasing prevalence of trafficking in women and children across its borders, and dismay over the Netherlands' image as an international tourist destination for drugs and sexual debauchery.

"There is an uneasiness about globalization that the Dutch don't have control over their own country anymore," said James C. Kennedy, professor of contemporary history at the Free University of Amsterdam. "There is a more conservative mood in the country that is interested in setting limits and making sure things don't get out of hand."

De Wolf, the Amsterdam councilman, is part of that movement.

"In the past, we looked at legal prostitution as a women's liberation issue; now it's looked at as exploitation of women and should be stopped," said de Wolf, sitting in the offices of the medical complex where he works as an HIV-AIDS researcher.

He said Amsterdam's police force is overwhelmed and ill-equipped to fight the sophisticated foreign organized crime networks operating in the city. Laws designed to regulate prostitution and brothel operators have instead opened the trade to criminal gangs, according to de Wolf and other city officials.
Good for the Dutch. They have, and had, a great country - but there are more "indigenous" Dutch who are leaving to get away from the Muslim, Leftist and Socialist nightmare that makes life difficult there for many. Maybe they will fix things in time. Maybe.
"If you had said to me in 1995 that one of the main orthodox Christian parties would be in the government today, I wouldn't have believed it," Kranendonk said. "The number of Christians is diminishing, churches are closing."

He paused and smiled, "But there are other ways of believing."
There is a secular right. They are our friends - what ever country you find your self in.

Strategic weapons and targeting


Matt sends along a few shots from the road, and reminds me that there are all sorts of different ways to use Strategic Weapons against the enemy's Center of Gravity. More stuff over at Matt's place.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Baghdad-on-Clyde

So, you have a member of Parliament who has to resign due to death threats to his family because of his support of the government and the security services.

Baghdad? No. Welcome to Newlabouristan.
A Labour MP is stepping down after receiving death threats over his role in bringing three racist killers to justice.

Mohammad Sarwar, who became Britain's first Muslim MP in 1997, said he feared the lives of his family were also in jeopardy.

He was instrumental in arranging the extradition of Imran Shahid, Zeeshan ShahidMohammed Faisal Mushtaq after they fled to Pakistan.

The three were jailed for life last year for the abduction and racially aggravated murder of teenager Kriss Donald, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Glasgow in 2004.

Mr Sarwar, 54, told the Daily Record: "Life is not the same, to be honest with you, since I brought them back. I was subjected to threats.

"I was told they wanted to punish my family and make a horrible example of my son - they would do to him what they did to Kriss Donald. I received threats to my life, to murder my sons, to murder my grandchildren."

If you want to know how far Britain has fallen - imagine if this had to a US Representative or Senator - because that is the level we are talking about.

So, what is the problem? Could it be .... no .... can't say it.

Peas be upon you.

Hat tip Jawa.

Misogynistic blogosphere?

Is there an undercurrent of misogynistic behavior in the blogosphere? One that the anonymity of the medium encourages? I would love to hear what FbL, Bookie, and ninme have to say about it. I am a bit late on blogg'n on this, and perhaps they already posted on it, but this bit in The Washington Post from 30 April I think is very interesting.
Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post site is among the most prominent of blogs founded by women, said anonymity online has allowed "a lot of those dark prejudices towards women to surface."

Joan Walsh, editor in chief of the online magazine Salon, said that since the letters section of her site was automated a year and a half ago, "it's been hard to ignore that the criticisms of women writers are much more brutal and vicious than those about men."
...
Kathy Sierra, who won a large following by blogging about designing software that makes people happy, became a target of anonymous online attacks that included photos of her with a noose around her neck and a muzzle over her mouth....
Sierra, whose recent case has attracted international attention, has suspended blogging. Other women have censored themselves, turned to private forums or closed comments on blogs. Many use gender-neutral pseudonyms. Some just gut it out. But the effect of repeated harassment, bloggers and experts interviewed said, is to make women reluctant to participate online -- undercutting the promise of the Internet as an egalitarian forum.
...
"The sad thing is, I've had thousands of messages from women saying, 'You were a role model for me,' " Sierra said in an interview, describing communications she received after suspending her blog. Sierra was the first woman to deliver a keynote speech at a conference on the Linux operating system. Her blog was No. 23 in the Technorati.com Top 100 list of blogs, measured by the number of blogs that linked to her site.

Her Web site, Creating Passionate Users, was about "the most fluffy and nice things," she said. Sierra occasionally got the random "comment troll," she said, but a little over a month ago, the posts became more threatening. Someone typed a comment on her blog about slitting her throat and ejaculating. The noose photo appeared next, on a site that sprang up to harass her. On the site, someone contributed this comment: "the only thing Kathy has to offer me is that noose in her neck size."

On yet another Web site came the muzzle photo, which struck her as if she were being smothered. "I dream of Kathy Sierra," read the caption.

"That's when I got pushed over the edge," she said.

In what she intended to be her final blog post last month, she wrote:

"I have cancelled all speaking engagements.

"I am afraid to leave my yard.

"I will never feel the same. I will never be the same."
Like I tell my girls, the Internet is just like a very large city. You have many great and wonderful things out there, but you also have some of the worst things man can think up. Evil lurks there - and you aren't going out there without me being with you. As an adult though, especially women, you are open to the predators regardless of what age you are. Finally, Michelle cuts to the chase.
Some female bloggers say their colleagues just need thicker skin. Columnist Michelle Malkin, who blogs about politics and culture, said she sympathizes with Sierra but has chided the bloggers expressing outrage now. "First, where have y'all been? For several years, the unhinged Internet underworld has been documented here," she wrote, reposting a comment on her site that called for the "torture, rape, murder" of her family.

Report the serious threats to law enforcement, she urged. And above all: "Keep blogging. Don't cut and run."
Ladies, what have you seen? Not just hard-nosed types either - even super-women like PalmTreePundit? Most of the blogs on Technorati come from the Feminist Victim, angry women school. I am interested in the sane, non-medicated, normal women out there that think and instead of emote.

Don't look the other way - plan

Iran has expanded its naval presence in the Straits of Hormuz, the passage for an estimated 40 percent of global crude oil shipments.

The U.S. Navy has determined that Iran has amassed a fleet of fast patrol boats in the 43-kilometer straits. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for strategic programs, leads the effort.

At this point, officials said, IRGC has deployed more than 1,000 FPBs in and around the straits. The vessels, armed with cruise missiles, mines, torpedoes and rocket-propelled grenades, are up to 23 meters in long and can reach a speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

"You just don't get 1,000 or 500 or even 20 of anything under way and tightly orchestrated over a large body of water to create a specific effect at a specific time and specific place. They have their own challenges.''
Take some of the above with a chunk of salt - but the challenge there is substantial. Millennium Challenge 02 and LTG Van Ripper has already answered questions about what kind of danger.
(Van Ripper) sent orders with motorcycle couriers to evade sophisticated electronic eavesdropping equipment. When the US fleet sailed into the Gulf, he instructed his small boats and planes to move around in apparently aimless circles before launching a surprise attack which sank a substantial part of the US navy. The war game had to be stopped and the American ships "refloated" so that the US forces stood a chance.
Why do we live in denial?

Stop making excuses and find more .50 cal and other GOTS crew-served weapons in quantity (though .50 cal is kind of hard to come by now-a-days) to put on our ships with the training to go with them. We really need more than we have now. The other goodies out there cost too much and run out of rounds too fast to make the fix now. Flow in fancy stuff as it comes on line - if you can - but we need more - NOW.

Being slow gives you a survival edge

Most of the time; though it doesn't do anything for your hearing.



....and yes, the classification at the starts gives me the willies - but there it is - I didn't create it - and its out there now - and over 4 years old.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Laura, Bernie, and me

I'll let her speak for me.



..and you can add Mark to Bridge night as well.

Hat tip HotAir.

The Pace Backstory

Funny thing about my MilBlog buddies - no one is real comfortable, or interested in the whole Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell (DADT) issue. I think it is mostly that everyone was sick of the topic before they started blogg'n, and others, like some of my reasons, just don't like to talk about it because, well, let them explain it. I don't think you can ignore it though - because it isn't being ignored by our Civilian masters. Some don't want to believe it, but it is in the top-5 issues. If you don't think so, then you need to spend more time in the Beltway. It isn't in my Top-5; but I watch what the Boss is spending time on - and I watch who gets fired for what. If you think that General Pace wasn't renom'd strictly because of Iraq, well.... Read the Washington Times,
Other officials said lukewarm support for reappointing Gen. Pace among key Republicans influenced Mr. Gates' recommendation. Sens. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Armed Services member, and John W. Warner of Virginia, a former panel chairman, were among those Republicans, the officials said.

Gen. Pace was disappointed by the decision, which effectively ends his career, the officials said. Earlier this year, he was told that he could expect to serve a second two-year term. He angered homosexual groups and their supporters in Congress earlier this year when he called homosexuality "immoral" in a newspaper interview.
The Washington Post,
Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) took the reins of the congressional effort to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy this week, though she was quick to point out that ending the ban on openly gay service members has little chance of passage unless a Democratic president takes office in 2009.
...
Tauscher is taking over sponsorship of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act from Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), who is leaving Congress in July to become chancellor of his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
...
Along with the change in the makeup of Congress, comments made by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have inflamed the debate about "don't ask, don't tell." He told reporters at the Chicago Tribune in March that he believes homosexuality is immoral. His position drew criticism from several fronts, including Tauscher, who called it "wrongheaded."
And of course, The San Francisco Chronicle,
Supporters of lifting the ban cited a Zogby poll taken late last year that 73 percent of military personnel are comfortable with gays and lesbians serving openly. The Advocate magazine is running a story next week featuring three active-duty soldiers who are open in their units and contend that their being out has made their units stronger, rather than weaker.

Former Georgia Republican Rep. Bob Barr, who led the fight in 1994 against same-sex marriage, wrote Wednesday that opposition by GOP presidential candidates to lifting the military ban is wrongheaded.

"Attitudes both within and outside the military have shifted greatly since 1993," Barr wrote. "There is little reason left to believe gays openly serving would break the armed forces. Americans want strong, moral leadership, and they are quick to sniff out pandering and expediency."
If you want to know what I think, go here.

In with the Service Number - out with the SSN

Making every Servicemember and Familymember go around and use their Social Security Number has been one of the most thoughtless, cruel, and damaging things we have intentionally done to our Military Family.
U.S. military personnel have emerged as prime identity theft targets.

The Department of Defense since the late '60s has used Social Security numbers for everything from dog tags to chow-line rosters. Now, data thieves and con artists have begun to increasingly target military personnel, data security experts say. "Thieves know this is the Achilles' heel of the system," says Todd Davis, CEO of identity theft detection firm Lifelock.

Data thieves in the past year have grabbed computers containing sensitive data for nearly 30 million active and retired service members from four Veterans Affairs offices. That's a big portion of the more than 100 million personal records reported lost or stolen in the USA since 2006, based on a USA TODAY analysis of data compiled by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
I didn't like it before computers took hold - and I like it even less now. Problem is, we are so tied to our bureaucracy and ossified decision process, we cannot get rid of something we know is so wrong. Our shame - no actual - Congress' shame. They can fix this. It is not as physically bad as the medical care problems, but the financial problems of identity theft is, has, and will destroy families, careers and lives because the Administrators who are supposed to serve the Warfighter think it is, "too hard."
The Defense Department has made it a priority to tighten data-handling policies and has increased training on theft prevention, department spokesman Maj. Stewart Upton said in an e-mail interview. Because of the heavy reliance on the Social Security number, "The cost to remove or replace its use will potentially be very high," Upton said.
What a bucket of FOD and a lame excuse.
Last summer, the FBI recovered a Veterans Affairs laptop that had gone missing for two months carrying data for 26.5 million active and retired service members. Agents said they found no evidence the data were misused.

But Earl Laurie Jr., 57, of Colorado Springs, isn't so sure. The retired Navy chief petty officer uses a post office box, shreds sensitive papers and does not bank online. Yet, a month after the laptop's recovery, Laurie got phone calls from Capital One and U.S. Bank. Each asked him to confirm he had filled out an online credit card application, for $8,000 at one bank and $15,000 at the other. He had not. "The FBI says nobody got it (his data), but it seems awful funny that a month after that, someone tried to get those credit cards," Laurie said.

Scam artists often target service members deployed overseas. When Marine Cpl. Jacob Dissmore, 22, of Janesville, Wis., returned from Iraq in February 2006, he learned that someone in San Diego had opened credit card accounts, started a T-shirt business and even bought a house using his data.

Lifelock helped him prove the accounts were frauds. It took a year.

Speaking for his son, who is again in Iraq, Michael Dissmore says the corporal doesn't blame the military: "But he wishes they had a better system for tracking … other than Social Security number."
Admin weenies - come up with a fix. CJCS, push it. Congress fund it.

Instead of a Purple Heart....

Your tax dollars - and VA budget - at work.
Scores of veterans across the country are getting lifetime checks from the government for gonorrhea, genital herpes and other venereal diseases they caught while in the ranks.

The disability payments are made under a little-known provision from three decades ago that entitles vets to monthly benefits for sexually transmitted diseases they contracted, or simply aggravated, while in the service -- even if they became infected on their own time years ago.
How do you do a line of duty investigation.
Among those receiving VD disability payments is a Texas veteran of a four-year hitch in the mid-1980s, who convinced the Board of Veterans' Appeals that he deserved to be considered 30 percent disabled -- worth $350 a month now -- because his genital warts left him seriously depressed.

Another veteran, this one from Wisconsin, waited 30 years before applying for benefits for the residual effects of gonorrhea he acknowledged he contracted from a prostitute during his basic training at Fort Polk, La., in 1972.

This former soldier, who mustered out of the Army in 1975, said he continued to suffer from recurring gonorrhea-related urethritis when he sought benefits in 1996. Eventually, the appeals board deemed him 10 percent disabled, and thus eligible for a monthly check of about $100 for the rest of his life.
Of course, you know where this is going. Have I hit on the Boomers in awhile? Nawwwww. Don't need to. They give me plenty of material. This has to do, as expected, with the Boomers and the 70s with all the rot that came with it.
The question of compensating veterans for sexually transmitted diseases is one that apparently has not arisen in Washington since 1972, when Congress changed old rules that had categorized the contracting of such diseases to be an act of "willful misconduct."
Read the whole thing - there is a lot more. I would stop now - but I can't help myself. Here is something for notanon.
IN WASHINGTON, D.C., a veteran who served from 1962 to 1965, and for eight months in 1991, filed for benefits for the six condyloma acuminata, or anal warts, which medical dictionaries describe as sexually transmitted. The vet said the growths had bedeviled him since his service during the Persian Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and, despite treatment, always return.

"The veteran also testified that he experiences a lot of discomfort when he is in the sitting position," said a summary of his testimony during a 1994 hearing on his case.

In 2000, the appeals board deemed him 10 percent disabled because of the warts, entitling the vet to about $100 a month for the rest of his life.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Get your hands off my Von Stauffenberg


As stated before, I am a great fan of "Claus von Stauffenberg " Well, they are making a movie, and I am on the same sheet of music as his son, Berthold Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, Brigader General German Army, retired,
"But I fear that only terrible kitsch will come out of the project."
...
"I had hoped for a long time that the project was just a publicity stunt on the part of Cruise," Stauffenberg said. "Clearly that appears to not be the case. It's bound to be rubbish."
...
His advice for Cruise? "He should keep his hands off my father. He should climb a mountain or go surfing in the Caribbean. I don't care what he does, so long as he keeps out of it."
For those who only read Sports Illustrated or Cosmopolitan;
Stauffenberg is something of a hero in Germany for being part of a plot to kill Hitler with two suitcase bombs on July 20, 1944. The aristocratic officer was executed by the Nazis the following day for his role in the conspiracy.
Great, all we now is Barbara Streisand's husband to play Reagan.....
Hey, since I put this in draft this weekend, Drudge is on the hunt and points a way to something that shouldn't surprise anyone; the Bundeswehr isn't happy either.
Defense Ministry spokesman Harald Kammerbauer said the film makers "will not be allowed to film at German military sites if Count Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult".

"In general, the Bundeswehr (German military) has a special interest in the serious and authentic portrayal of the events of July 20, 1944 and Stauffenberg's person," Kammerbauer said.
Hey, standing up for your heroes - well done.

That will leave a mark

Poland comes off the top rope.
"We are only demanding one thing - that we get back what was taken from us," said Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the opening of the EU summit in Brussels, chaired by German chancellor Angela Merkel.

"If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million."

The issue of population is at the heart of a heated row over voting rights that could wreck Tony Blair's last EU summit.

A proposed new system of sharing out votes rewards countries such as Germany with the biggest numbers - and Poland is angrily demanding more.

Poland's population is 38 million - implying that Mr Kaczynski blames the Germans for the loss of 28 million people.
One could say that you did get East Pomerania and Silesia in exchange for the area around Lwow now in Belorussia...but...

That is OK, this fits fine for Europe as we know it.
New French president Nicolas Sarkozy said there were multiple disputes.
"We don't just have problems with Poland," he said. "We have problems with the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, a little bit with the Czech Republic. The problems are numerous."
The article does have a nice summary though - Poland has a right to be prickly. After all, they saved Europe from the Muslim hoard last time, only to be carved up by Austria, Prussia and Russia later. I would hold a grudge as well.

Next time, just kill him

I'm sorry, anyone who is a leader of a Marxist or Maoist Revolutionary cell is just like a leader of a Islamist terror organization; don't capture them if you ever think they will see the light of day again. Just kill them. They will lie, cheat and steal to get free again, and when they do - they will do their best to attack you and kill those you are supposed to protect.

Playing Charlie Brown to FARC's Lucy; Colombia and France thought you could make a deal with these people - with the expected results.
A Colombian Marxist guerrilla leader released this month from a prison north of the capital of Bogota at the request of new French President Nicolas Sarkozy has embarrassed both Mr. Sarkozy and President Alvaro Uribe by calling on guerrillas to keep fighting.

"I will never demobilize or call for an end to armed struggle until our objectives are met," said Rodrigo Granda, foreign minister for the rebel movement, in an interview published by the French newspaper Liberation.

It was hoped that his release would be an inducement to help free more than 1,000 hostages held by the rebels.

The hoped-for hostage swap would include a former French-Colombian presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, and three American defense contractors.

Mr. Uribe accused Mr. Granda of failing to live up to his promise to make a public call for peace and for the demobilization of his group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The leftist group has been fighting Colombia governments for more than four decades.
Next time, just a bullet to the forehead will be just fine; then move on to the next in line. Guerrilla war is different than guerrilla crime.

This is varsity football people; cowboy up - take lessons from the men
Michael Yon are with.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Joint failure

If you can wade trough the usual Boston Left kabuki dance of chanted, obligatory dogma, Bacevich has some good points worthy of discussion - though I don't buy all his argument, especially when he gets personal; it is the system no the people - and flows into something I have come to believe is essential; throwing Goldwater-Nichols onto the dustbin of history. It ain't working. Bacevich, however, pushes the argument up to 11; he wants to get rid of the JCS, all of it - which I don't think is a good idea; what they need is a restructuring.
...abolish the position of JCS chairman altogether -- and the entire JCS system along with it.

History will render this judgment of Pace, who succeeded General Richard B Myers as chairman in September 2005: As U. S. forces became mired ever more deeply in an unwinnable war, Pace remained a passive bystander, a witness to a catastrophe that he was slow to comprehend and did little to forestall. If the position of JCS chair had simply remained vacant for the past two years, it is difficult to see how the American military would be in worse shape today.

I left that part in for fair warning - Bacevich is grinding more than one axe here - and this lets you know where his biases are. That doesn't mean that everything he says should be dismissed though.
Dissatisfaction with the Joint Chiefs dates virtually from the moment in 1947 when Congress passed the legislation creating it. Trying to fix the JCS soon became a cottage industry. The widespread unhappiness with Pace's performance, culminating in his de facto firing, affirms that these various reforms have failed.
...
The creation of a permanent JCS two years after the war was intended to replicate that success: drawing on the accumulated wisdom of their profession, the new Joint Chiefs would help the president and Congress maintain adequate but economical defenses, avoid unnecessary wars, and wage effectively those wars that proved unavoidable.
Measured by these criteria, over the course of six decades the Joint Chiefs of Staff have performed miserably.
...
...instead of military professionals offering disinterested advice to help policymakers render sound decisions, the history of this civilian-military relationship is one of conniving, double-dealing, and mutual manipulation. As generals increasingly played politics, they forfeited their identity as nonpartisan servants of the state. Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, each for different reasons, came to see the members of the Joint Chiefs as uniformed political adversaries.
Even worse for the US military - now those in Congress see military leaders as political adversaries. It is bi-partisan as well.

Even while he was in uniform, one of the worst kept secrets in DC was Shinseki's grooming as the next Senator from Hawaii. Both Parties treated him as such - and the fault was his. The closer those in uniform get to politics inside the Beltway, the worse it is for all of us.
In 1986, these efforts culminated in the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which designated the chairman (no longer the Joint Chiefs collectively) as principal military adviser to the president and the secretary of defense. In effect, Goldwater-Nichols demoted the service chiefs while greatly expanding the clout and standing of the chairman.

The result was Colin Powell. Appointed chairman in 1989, Powell proved himself in short order to be the savviest, most charismatic, and most influential officer ever to occupy that post. In some respects, he was enormously effective, seemingly fulfilling the expectations of the reformers who had devised Goldwater-Nichols. In the end, however, he overplayed his hand.

Politically, Powell posed a problem. As he skillfully exploited his superstar status to insert himself into a range of controversial issues, Powell demonstrated a capacity and willingness to preempt the politicians, limiting their options and investing his own policy preferences with an almost irresistible authority.
OT, the next para points out something a lot of you don't want to accept, but I will keep reminding you of. For most in the chattering classes, being gay is just as important as....
Powell proved that the JCS chairman could now in effect tie the president's hands. During Operation Desert Storm, he convinced President George H. W. Bush to end the ground war after just 100 hours; he insisted that U. S. forces after the Cold War retain the capability to fight two large-scale conventional wars simultaneously; he questioned the wisdom of humanitarian intervention in the Balkans and elsewhere; and he torpedoed President Bill Clinton's efforts to permit gays to serve openly in the military.
As usual, they bring out Shinseki as some kind of hero - which he isn't in my book. A blatant political animal who in a post-911 world he was more worried about huge white elephants like Crusader and other pie-in-the-sky systems, and is never held account for his lack of focus on what the infantry soldier needed to win in a light-infantry war. He is as guilty as Rummy et al - if you feel the need to point fingers (which I think is counter-productive at this point).
When Donald Rumsfeld served as defense secretary, silent assent became an absolute requirement, as army chief of staff Eric Shinseki learned, to his chagrin. When Shinseki testified, during the run-up to the Iraq invasion, that occupying the country might require many more troops than were
available, Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz went out of their way to humiliate and discredit the general for having the temerity to venture an independent opinion. The message to the senior officer corps was clear: those interested in getting ahead were expected to toe the party line.

Pace exemplifies this breed. Only once during his time as chairman has Pace asserted himself -- and that, somewhat bizarrely, was to express his view that homosexuality is immoral.
Ha, ha Anon - more gayness!!!

As for the next, I didn't know this, but WTF!
Perhaps symbolic of that willingness to accommodate, even as Iraq continued to unravel, Pace found time to write a pre-sentencing letter on behalf of convicted perjurer Lewis "Scooter" Libby, assuring the trial judge that Libby is a selfless team player. Pace's involvement in an issue so tinged with partisan overtones was at the very least unseemly, and raises troubling questions about his priorities, if not about the hierarchy of his loyalties.
At least the Left now admits that it was a political trial, but Pace was wrong here nonetheless.
The JCS lies beyond salvaging. Before you build a new house, you tear the old one down. For the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it's wrecking-ball time. A chairman possessing vision, strategic insight, and integrity ought to be the first to acknowledge that.
Very true. But once a gain, we need to restructure the JCS, not throw it away. We also need to look why we have one COCOM running both AFQ, IRQ, looking at IRN, Egypt, Saudi, and until AFRICOM stands up, HOA; not to mention port-n-starboard with EUCOM on Lebanon. Not effective, not efficient.

My take to wind this up - the base problem is not that there are too few military leaders giving advice, no, the problem is that we have reached the point that you almost need the translator from the Oracle of Delphi to tell you who is running what. Let's look at Afghanistan just as an example. If the President has a question or wants advice, how many GOFOs does he have between him and the Operational Commander? He has the Chairman and the other Service Chiefs in the JCS - all Four-Stars - but they serve more of a support and advice role and are very far removed from what is actually going on, and they have no direct role in Operations. So he goes to the Strategic Commander - CDR CENTCOM, ADM Fallon a US Navy 4-star (who he also goes to for all the above mentioned hot-spots while EUCOM, PACOM, SOUTHCOM, NORTHCOM cool their jets). From CENTCOM the information flow (US Only - NATO, run by Gen. Craddock a US Army 4-star, is as SHAPE the NATO Strategic Commander and via the Operational Commander in ISAF - COM ISAF who is Gen McNeil another US Army 4-star - in charge of Afghanistan now - wont' always be a US guy) bypasses the whole Operational Level to the only US commander in charge (Tactical Commander) of 1 of the 5 Regional Commands, RC-East, MG Rodriguez a US Army 2-star. I think I have that right. A diagram helps.

Does this sound like an efficient and effective system that does not need to be fixed? And whose fault is it? US Military. Want to know what would happen to a Senior Officer who pushed a change in the
COCOMS and JCS? See Billy Mitchell.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fullbore Friday

Imagine a ship that had the following life;
(She) reported to Admiral "Bull" Halsey's Third Fleet and participated in task force strikes on the Japanese mainland near the close of World War II. On August 9, 1945, she fired the final salvo on the home islands of Japan. She rescued two British POWs just before entering Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies on September 2, 1945. From November 1945 until early 1946, she was anchored off Shanghai, China as the flagship of Task Force 73.

During the Korean War, (She) supplied close gunfire support for United Nations troops, conducted gun strikes against enemy supply lines, and rescued downed pilots. She participated in the drive to Chongjin, the Inchon invasion, Wonsan, and the Hungnam evacuation. On July 27, 1953, (she) fired the last salvo of the war, just two minutes prior to the cease fire.
...
(She) became the first heavy combatant to be permanently homeported in the Orient since the pre-World War II days of the Asiatic Fleet. She operated from Yokosuka, Japan as the Commander Seventh Fleet flagship for more three years. In June of 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower embarked on (Her) for a trip from the Philippines to Taiwan. Three weeks later, she became the first Navy ship to raise the new 50 -star flag. She hosted nearly a quarter million visitors during this extended Far East assignment.
...
On 17 November, she provided gunfire support to the United Nations troops advancing on Chongjin. That day, shrapnel from a near miss by a shell from a Communist shore battery injured six men at gun mount stations. The cruiser destroyed the enemy emplacement with counter-battery fire and continued her support mission.

As the Chinese Communists began massive attacks late in November, United Nations forces commenced a general withdrawal to consolidate and hold south of the 38th parallel. She provided close support for the Republic of Korea I Corps on their east flank as they withdrew from Hapsu, and along the coast, as they retired from Chongjin. On 2 December, she moved north again, conducted night harassing missions above Chongjin, then moved south to support the withdrawal of the Republic of Korea Capital Division to Kyongsong Man. She entered the harbor at Wonsan on 3 December to provide a curtain of shellfire around that city as United Nations forces and equipment were moved to Hungnam; then followed the forces there, and remained to cover the evacuation of that city and harbor between 10 December and 24 December.

From 21 January to 31 January 1951, She conducted shore bombardment missions north of Inchon where, on 26 January, she was again fired upon by shore batteries. On 7 April, in special TF 74, with destroyers Wallace L. Lind (DD-703), and Massey (DD-778), landing ship dock Fort Marion (LSD-22) and high speed transport Begor (APD-127), She helped to carry out raids on rail lines and tunnels utilizing 250 commandos of the 41st Independent Royal Marines. These highly successful destructive raids slowed down the enemy's resupply efforts, forcing the Communists to attempt to repair or rebuild the rail facilities by night while hiding the work crews and locomotives in tunnels by day.

She returned to the United States for yard work at San Francisco, California, from June to September, then conducted underway training before sailing on 5 November for Korea. She arrived off Wonsan on 27 November and commenced gun strike missions. During the following weeks, she bombarded strategic points at Hungnam, Songjin, and Chongjin. In December, she served as an antiaircraft escort for TF 77, and, following a holiday trip to Japan, returned to operations off the coast of North Korea. In April 1952, She participated in combined air-sea attacks against the ports of Wonsan and Chongjin. On 21 April, while the cruiser was engaged in gun fire support operations, a sudden and serious powder fire broke out in her forward eight-inch turret. Thirty men died. Before returning to Japan, however, she carried out gunstrikes on railroad targets near Songjin, during which she captured nine North Koreans from a small boat. Following a brief stay in port and two weeks on the gun line, she headed home and reached Long Beach, California, on 24 June.

On 28 February 1953, She departed the West Coast for her third Korean tour and was in action again by April. In mid-June, she assisted in the recapture of Anchor Hill. With battleship New Jersey (BB-62), she provided close support to the Republic of Korea Army in a ground assault on this key position south of Kosong. The cruiser was fired upon many times by 75 mm and 105 mm guns, and observed numerous near misses, some only ten yards away. But on 11 July at Wonsan, she received her only direct hit from a shore battery. No one was wounded, and only her three-inch antiaircraft mount was damaged. On 27 July, at 2159, she conducted her last gunstrike and had the distinction of firing the last round shot at sea in the war. The shell, autographed by Rear Admiral Harry Sanders, was fired at an enemy gun emplacement. The truce was effective at 2200. She then commenced patrol duties along the east coast of Korea.
...
In 1963, she was visited by the Secretary of the Navy, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Commandant of The Coast Guard. John Wayne and Kirk Douglas filmed scenes for the movie "In Harms Way" as she steamed from Seattle to Hawaii in 1964.
...
(Her) second Vietnam deployment began April 3, 1967 when she steamed west from San Diego. It would be seven months and 20,000 rounds later before the Fighting Saint would return. In her 1966 deployment, she had fired more than 10,000 rounds in support of allied troops south of the DMZ. Prior to that it was in Korea that CA-73 had last fired her big guns at hostile forces; and more than 20 years since the "Snooky Poo Maru", as she was affectionately known to her crew, had participated in World War II.
...
On September 1, 1967, she engaged in her toughest battle of the deployment. Accompanied by two destroyers, she moved in to attack waterborne logistics craft when about 25 coastal defense sites opened fire. She immediately returned the enemy fire and a running batle ensued with shells falling all around the ship.

More than 500 rounds were fired at Her that morning, and one round found its mark. A shell entered near the starboard bow and damaged a storeroom and several staterooms. There were no personnel casualties. Continuously firing, the ship maneuvered to safety and retired to sea for repairs. Working all, night, crewmembers pumped the damaged area dry and welded a patch over the hole. The patch held during high-speed turns, and the next day, "The Fighting Saint" returned to the gunline.

The ship later steamed to Subic Bay for permanent repairs. (She had been in Subic Bay just a month earlier to have all of her 8" guns replaced.) She returned to Sea Dragon where she destroyed six more waterborne craft, two concrete blockhouses, and two costal defense sites. She also heavily damaged railroad yards at Cong Phu and the shipyards Phuc Doi. She was relieved by USS NEWPORT NEWS CA-148 in October and headed to San Diego.

In May 1968, on her third Vietnam deployment, (she) returned to Sea Dragon operations. She picked up right where she had left off, shelling enemy targets on call-fire missions on a round-the-clock basis. She silenced North Vietnamese Army gun positions and sank three 30-foot logistics craft while damaging two 50-foot motorized tugs. The ship again took a brief mid-deployment break for regunning in Subic Bay. In over 1300 missions, she was credited with 380 enemy killed and 800 military structures destroyed or damaged. She was relieved in October by USS NEW JERSEY BB-62 before pointing her bow eastward for San Diego.

During her 130 days on the gunline on this deployment, "The Fighting Saint" fired a total of 64,055 rounds, making a total for the Vietnam conflict of more than 93,000. These figures established the 23-year old CRUISER as "Top Gun", having fired more rounds during a single deployment, and more rounds in all of her deployments, than any other warship.
...
Although "The Fighting Saint" had been decommissioned by the time the Vietnam conflict ended, she holds the distinction of two famous gunfire "lasts". As a member of Admiral 'Bull' Halsey's Third Fleet, she fired the final round on main home islands of Japan on August 9, 1945. She followed up that notoriety by letting go the last salvo of the Korean War on July 27, 1953, just two minutes before the armistice took effect. In more than a quarter century of service to her country, She earned 18 battle stars and fired more rounds of ammunition than any other United States crusier in history. She hosted eight heads of state. A total of 18 of her commanding officers and executive officers ascended to flag rank.
What a girl.

You know my bias, and the story of the ST PAUL just makes it stronger. Think about the bang for the buck we got from the
ST PAUL. Then think about the limited gene pool of a fleet we have now. Think about Somalia, Pakistan, SE Asia, China, South America - anywhere there is a shore line. Look at the mission she did and the firepower, and ability to take a hit, she took with her. Littoral? Yea, she has that. Range? Ditto? You can go on and on.

Here is the point to ponder, did we take the wrong fork in the road when we left the gun cruiser behind? Don't talk to me about the 5" guns we put on our CLG (which is what a Tico class is) or the Arleigh Burke class (which are a CLG as well - I don't care what you call them).


The dirty little secret here is that the Navy has realized that it did make a mistake when it decided to go all missile and pop guns, and left the MK-71 behind. DDG-1000 proves my point.

155mm = ~6.1". DDG-1000 is the size of a WWII Pocket Battleship. It may be a lot of things, but it is not a DDG. It is another CLG. One with 6.1" instead of 5", but a CLG none-the-less.
The problem though, was the execution. Instead of doing what the USAF is doing with the B-3 Bomber (proven technology that is evolutionary not revolutionary), we fell in love with the theory, the bleeding edge of what might be able to be done if we just throw enough money at it. Everyone wants to be part of something cosmic, not pedestrian. Some people join Comet Cults, some people build warships that work. As a result, the Comet Cult has bought us an expensive bucket of unproven technology in one unaffordable short run of a half-dozen ships, if we get that. All on the promise of the CGX, which is really going to be a CBX. Right answer, wrong execution. Enough of that, just look at the ST PAUL and say, Bravo Zulu. Fullbore.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Too many people on Shore Duty

UPDATE below.
Does anyone actually talk to Sailors anymore? Does anyone actually walk through spaces at 2130? Does anyone come in on Sunday to talk to those on watch, or the few just staying on board ship because they have nowhere else to go?


Why do we have Command Master Chiefs if we are going to do everything by a New Age group grope? We need another Task Force like we need another POS outcome that Task Force Uniform got us (that was a such a cost effective success, wasn't it?).

Who is advising the CNO and why did the MCPON let this go through? To me this just says, "Our Chiefs don't know their Sailors, our Officers never make an effort in know the needs of their Sailors, and our Flag Officers spend so little time at sea they need a gaggle of out of touch people to develop leadership by committee."

This is an insult to our entire Navy. We are better than this. Give me 72 hours and I can answer all these questions by walking down to the pier and getting a random sample of CMDCM and LPOs - chaired by a 30 year in service LDO and a 18 year in service CWO2.
R 192328Z JUN 07
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO NAVADMIN
ZEN/NAVADMIN @ AL NAVADMIN(UC)
INFO ZEN/CNO CNO
BT
UNCLAS
SUBJ: TASK FORCE LIFE/WORK//
PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
UNCLAS //N03000//
NAVADMIN 159/07
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/JUN//
SUBJ/TASK FORCE LIFE/WORK//
RMKS/1. THIS NAVADMIN ANNOUNCES THE STAND UP OF TASK FORCE LIFE/WORK (TFLW) WHICH WILL INCLUDE A TEAM FROM ACROSS THE FLEET, NAVY ENTERPRISES AND OFFICER/ENLISTED COMMUNITIES WITH THE MISSION OF DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING POLICIES, PROGRAMS, AND CHANGES WITH THE REAL POTENTIAL TO ENHANCE OUR SAILORS
LIFE/WORK BALANCE.

2. RECENTLY A SMALL NUMBER OF NAVY FLAGS, DON SENIOR CIVILIANS, AND SENIOR ENLISTED LEADERS MET TO EXAMINE THE EMERGING CHALLENGES WE FACE IN RECRUITING AND RETAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF 21ST CENTURY LEADERS. OUR NATION S CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS, ABOVE AND BEYOND GENDER AND RACE (of course), MUST BE ADDRESSED IF NAVY IS TO REMAIN RELEVANT IN THE EVOLVING AND HIGHLY COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE FOR TALENT. DESIGNING NEW APPROACHES TO EXPAND AND TO STRENGTHEN LIFE/WORK INTEGRATION WHILE REMAINING TRUE TO MEETING NAVY S MISSION REQUIREMENTS IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS IN OUR RECRUITING AND RETENTION EFFORTS, BOTH TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE.

3. IN THE NEXT YEAR, TFLW WILL FOCUS ON INITIATIVES TO ENHANCE HEALTHY LIFE/WORK BALANCE SUCH AS THE RECENT UPDATE TO THE PREGNANCY AND PARENTHOOD INSTRUCTION. SPECIFIC TFLW TASKS INCLUDE: EXAMINE INITIATIVES NAVY CAN INFLUENCE NOW THROUGH POLICY; IDENTIFY EFFORTS WHICH REQUIRE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OR CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL TO PLAN FOR LONG RANGE ENGAGEMENT; AND SOLICIT FEEDBACK FROM THE FLEET ON WHAT CHANGES SAILORS DESIRE FOR IMPROVED LIFE/WORK BALANCE.

4. OVER THE COMING MONTHS, WE PLAN TO TAKE WHAT WE LEARNED DURING THE LIFE/WORK SUMMIT TO THE WATERFRONT TO BRIEF SAILORS AND GET THEIR DIRECT FEEDBACK (Why just stick to the waterfront? We can find a COD for you if you want to talk to Sailors while deployed. Stay for awhile. Spend some time on the enlisted smoking sponson or we can put you on the Sunday Holy Helo to the small boys for a few days - take some time having a cigar with the Chief's Mess on DDG-XYZ.). YOUR THOUGHTS, OPINIONS, AND INSIGHTS ARE IMPORTANT TO TFLWAS FUTURE WORKFORCE POLICY IS DEVELOPED AND IMPLEMENTED.

5. IMPROVING LIFE/WORK BALANCE FOR OUR SAILORS MEANS RECOGNIZING THAT OUR SAILORS NEED AND WANT TO MAINTAIN DIVERSE INTERESTS IN ADDITION TO THEIR NAVY COMMITMENT (we don't now? Maybe YOU don't). IT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO CHANGE WHAT H
AS MADE US SUCESSFUL SIMPLY FOR THE SAKE OF CHANGE (yes you are) OR ARE MERELY PURSUING FEEL GOOD PROGRAMS WITH NO REAL IMPACT(you protesteth too much). BY POSITIVELY IMPROVING LIFE/WORK BALANCE FLEET-WIDE, WHILE CAPITALIZING ON THE BEST OF OUR TRADITIONS AND HERITAGE, WE CAN SIGNIFICANTLY INFLUENCE HOW WE CONTINUE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS, DEPLOY FORCES FORWARD, AND PREPARE OUR 21ST CENTURY SAILORS FOR A RAPIDLY CHANGING FUTURE (if you are saying that now we are "negatively improving" and "insignificantly influencing" then who is going to be held accountable?). TFLW IS NOT LOOKING FOR THE EASY BUTTON (oh, how cute, a pop-culture reference) FOR OUR SAILORS - IT WILL BE LOOKING FOR THE BETTER BUTTON.

6. POINTS OF CONTACT:
- LT STEPHANIE Mxxxx, OPNAV N134, AT (703) 695-xxxx/225 OR EMAIL AT STEPHANIE.xxxxx(AT)NAVY.MIL.
- CAPT KEN xxxxx, OPNAV N134, AT (703) 695-xxxx/DSN 225 OR EMAIL AT
KEN.xxxx(AT)NAVY.MIL.

7. RELEASED BY VADM J. C. HARVEY, JR., N1.//

BT

NNNN
Para 5 is a classic; if you have to tell someone .....

Finally, what has happened to clear and precise language? Why do I feel the need to parse every sentence? Because I know this is not the whole agenda - because if it was a clear agenda the message would be half the size and wouldn't feel like it just got out of an afternoon of yoga and aroma-therapy.
UPDATE: Oh, dear hearts. I am not cynical, I just get to see the PIO release early, maybe.

Why am I not surprised about the press release on Task Force Work/Life? If the focus is on Sailors work/life then why is this PIO releasing it?
By Lt. Cmdr. Kim Dixon, Chief of Naval Personnel Diversity Directorate Public Affairs
Very nice. I thought is smelled of the Diversity Bullies. The rest speaks for itself.
“Retention statistics and survey feedback tell us that meeting the professional and personal development needs of our Sailors, particularly women, ..... “This (summit) is a very big signal,” said Harvey. “I want it to be a signal to our Navy, our women, ... After hearing additional briefs on the retention of women in the Navy, particularly in the unrestricted line officer communities, ..
I knew my suspicions were right.

VADM Harvey had this very interesting thing to say as well,
The second phase will be to start a pattern of activity that demonstrates Navy leadership’s level of commitment in influencing positive cultural change.
It begs the question: if we need positive cultural change, it implies that there is something wrong with our Navy culture. If you want change, first you need to define what is wrong. State the default and the conversation can take place. If you cannot define the default, because to clearly define what you see as a fault in the Navy culture would be too inflamatory, then perhaps that inability to clearly discuss difficult issues should be the first thing an effort to "influence positive cultural change"
should be made at.

If you want to address the fact that it is exceptionally difficult for a Unrestricted Line Officer to stay on Active Duty, be the mother to three children, and still be competitive for Flag Officer - then say that is what you want to do. The Fleet will figure that out anyway - we can read your own press releases after all. Just be honest with us. It is what you expect from the Fleet - that respect flows both ways.

Skippy, find a good internet connection and help a brother out here.


Hat tip "my Fleet LT spy."

What would he say about the Air Force?

Yikes. Only a Marine could do this. I wouldn't, but then again, I'm not a Marine - and I run too slow to say it as a Navy guy.
Marines are getting too comfortable at their dug-in bases in Iraq, the Corps’ top officer told an audience at the Naval War College on June 13.

“Due to the available infrastructure in the Al Anbar and the longevity of our presence, Marines are getting used to living at fixed bases and with more comforts of life than we really need,” Commandant Gen. James Conway said in comments provided to Marine Corps Times.
...
“The comforts and the infrastructure of large bases in Iraq are a byproduct of our sustained presence there, and certainly do contribute to the morale of our Marines. However, Marines must guard against complacency and the expectation that tomorrow’s fight be marked by equally hospitable operating bases,” he said.
Ahem.

Navy sponsored bigots on parade

The Diversity Bullies are marching around in their new clothes again. They just don't see it, do they?
Blacks in Government (BIG) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) are seeking nominations through from Sailors for personal and professional achievements both on and off duty.

BIG is soliciting nominations for its Meritorious Service Award. The award honors an active duty or Reserve member who has significantly contributed to the global war on terrorism while showing leadership and initiative in support of the development, advancement and retention of African Americans in government service.

Nominations for this award should be submitted no later than June 29 by e-mail or regular mail to the Navy Equal Opportunity Office, MILL_Navy_EO_Advice@navy.mil or COMNAVPERSCOM, Navy EO Office, 5720 Integrity Drive, Building 457, Room 257, Millington, Tenn. 38055.

BIG award winners will be recognized at the Blacks in Government 29th Annual Training Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 13-17. Commands may provide funded orders (if available) to cover expenses incident to conference attendance, including transportation, per diem and registration fees.

SHPE has a number of awards available to Sailors who have made selfless and outstanding contributions in the fields of engineering and science as well as to the Hispanic community as a whole. During last year’s conference, Lt. Cmdr. Juan Orozco was honored with the “Hispanics in Technology – Government and Corporate Award.”

Nominations are due July 1 to SHPE National Office, 5400 East Olympic Boulevard, Suite 210, Los Angeles, Calif., 90022.

All SHPE award recipients will be recognized during the SHPE Conference in Philadelphia from Oct. 31 through Nov. 4. Commands may provide funded orders (if available) to cover expenses incident to conference attendance, including transportation, per diem and registration fees.

Detailed instructions on these and all diversity related awards are available at www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/Diversity/.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Diversity Directorate, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cnp-diversity/.
They should listen to this some more. Bigots, simply well dressed, well paid, well educated bigots. Some people just can't see to leave the 1970s.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chris, I agree.

Tomorrow I am going to be rather harsh to my Navy - tough love and all. So here is something fun. Watch the whole thing to find the pony - and thank NewsBusters for their great work.

Fred goes Foreign

Well, foreign policy.

From his London visit. All four videos can be seen here.

Hat tip Jawa.

No freedom in Europe

Is it funny or pathetic? Guess which poster is going up in the USA, and which one in The Euro-Socialist Pact? I like this comment from The Brussels Journal,
Yes indeed, two different titles for the same movie! I guess the "live free" part of the title was considered to be too sensitive outside of North America? I know that "Live free or die" is the state motto of New Hampshire, but that is hardly an excuse. A second difference is that The Statue of Freedom in the background on top of the U.S. Capitol is a lot closer to Willis' ear in the international version. Because the voice of freedom is much more faint?

Oooooo, more training opportunities!

Yes, more please. I want to make sure all the Citgo gas I buy on base is going towards ASW Readiness.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is expected to finalise a deal on buying up to nine Russian submarines during a visit here later this month, a Russian newspaper reported on Thursday.

Caracas has already ordered five 636-type diesel submarines and four of a new model of diesel submarine, the 677E Amur, the Kommersant broadsheet said, quoting unnamed sources in the ship-building and arms export sectors.

Chavez may have to settle for the older 636 submarines for the time being as the new 677E Amur has not yet been presented to Russia's own navy, a source at the arms export agency Rosoboronexport said.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What I have to deal with

Speed limit was 65.

Flow of traffic was 80.

He was in the left lane going 60 behind a SUV going from 75 to 60 and back with a female driver talking on her cell phone.

I was blocked on my right by a 1979 Mercury loaded with a short school-bus full of future citizens looking for the George W. Bush memorial Z-Visa vending machine. An angry boomer with a bad rug was about 3 inches off my stern in his Jaguar convertible.

I was stuck behind this goatee wearing, double hooped right ear, pot-belly POS and his car for the length of the Dutch Revolt.

His bumpersticker was giving me a headache.

I don't like "3."

To make it worse, I don't like Trekies.

I was not armed - so I took a picture.



This is what I have to deal with. Time to pray on my anger ... again.

Shut up, get out and help push


Matt Sanchez has a solid report from Iraq that ends on a phrase that I think Chap said to me early on in our relationship.
...stop pretending that whining gets anything done.
I had to laugh, because it is so true.

Matt hits on a note that everyone deployed will understand - the disconnect between being deployed and being home. Parallel universes. In doing that, he gives some time to a character that we all know. Back home, she gets carded for beer. She gets called a girl, chick, and oogled at truck stops. Deployed, she is everything. She is a Soldier. She holds victory in her hands - double-clutching hands - she is Sergeant First Class Jacobs - and if you oogle her you might need a MEDEVAC.
Sergeant First Class Shirley Jacobs said it best, “I had a choice, and chose the Army to make something of myself.” In three deployments, Sergeant Jacobs has successfully completed over 100 convoy missions into Iraq. Despite barely looking old enough to vote, the men and women SFC Jacobs has safely lead on and off of IED ridden roads call her “meticulous,” “demanding,” “tough,” disciplined, and motherly. Days are long and hard for a military convoy, especially during a time of war. I personally watched Jacobs adapt to unpredictable schedule changes, equipment problems and shortages.

Despite the obstacles Jacobs rose to every occasion—did I mention that the May weather was exceptionally hot? Jacobs called it “just doing her job,” a job that demanded 12 to 18 hour days. Yet the most extraordinary characteristic about Jacobs, ... was that she never once complained.

The Collaborators

Oh, our friends at NAVSEA just do not have an ounce of irony in their bones. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of fellas - yes SPAWAR, I'm talking about you. The Wheel of Torture.

If you want to see what taxpayer supported Purgatory some of our good friends are going to have to deal with, see the letter and and PowerPoint that introduces the "wargame" the acquisition folks are going to have this summer. It is a great laugh if you can read Bullsh1t Bingo lingo. The questions should tell you a lot. My favorite line from Slide 6, the "Wargame Actions" slide is;
Developing Specific Justification Statement for Authorization of Travel Orders for Local Participants to Stay at Hotel and Obtain Per Diem Due to Extended Work Outside Normal Business Hours
You can't make this stuff up. I'll have to remember that line next time when I leave the office at 2145.
UPDATE: PowerPoint fixed. Please take a little plop-plop-fiz-fiz and try the link again. My bust.