Monday, July 31, 2006

USAF nukes 30 Flags!

Listen up Navy, the Air Force leads from the front!
The Air Force plans to cut 30 generals from its rolls as part of a new force-shaping plan, according to the service’s top civilian leader.
“We are cutting the force from top to bottom, in fact, leading with 30 general officers,” Wynne said. “The officer field and the enlisted field are imbalanced, so it is a working process to make sure that we have force balance across the spectrum.”
“We’re going to operate more efficiently,” he said.
Yes, yes, yes and for goodness sake yes! With each Flag Officer BA you invite to join the ranks of taxpayers, you reduce the flotsam and jetsam that come with them. While you are at it, look at, gulp, O6 jobs. One of the nasty secrets out there is that there are some communities fighting strength has been cut, both UIC and units, by over 60% since the end of the Cold War, and they still have the same number of Operational Commodores and Flag Officers. Priorities are?

Anyway, right move USAF. Navy, benchmark - the Fleet is shrinking and our ship is way to top heavy. I have a DC-loving 2 Star that has dodged more IG's (after being found in violation) than I have cars that I would like to nominate as the lead unit in the Flag BA decommissioning.......

Sec. Webb: my kingdom for a Craney Island

Skippy isn't going to like this.

Picture that you have a former Sec. of the Army who is running for Senate in Kentucky. In a debate, he is asked about Fort Knox, and he has never heard of it.

Well, former SECNAV Webb of Reagan Administration fame/infamy, is running as a Democrat against Senator Allen of VA. Things are not going well.
Republican Sen. George Allen has a 16-point lead over Democratic challenger Jim Webb in the latest independent statewide poll, published Sunday, but a fifth of the electorate is still undecided. ...

Forty-eight percent backed Allen and 32 percent supported Webb in the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. survey of registered voters likely to vote in the Nov. 7 election.
The Democrats had a shot here. What seems to have sunk him? During a debate, this exchange took place,
Allen asked: "Jim, what's your position on the proper use of Craney Island?"

Webb replied, candidly: "I'm not sure where Craney Island is. Why don't you tell me?"

No doubt feeling very pleased, Allen replied: "Craney Island's in Virginia."
Yes, former SECNAV doesn't know Craney Island is in VA. Hint, it is right under the big trapezoid looking thing here. It is a little important to VA and the Navy too,
Craney Island Fuel Terminal, Portsmouth, Virginia is the Navy's largest fuel facility in the United States. It possesses 1100 acres (4.45 E6 m2) of above- and below- ground fuel storage tanks.

The Captain gives no quarter.
Craney Island supports tens of thousands of jobs and serves as a major refueling port on the Atlantic Coast. It also has plenty of historical significance for a state that practically serves history with every breakfast. Ignorance of its significance painted Webb as a lightweight, and the new polling demonstrates that plenty of Virginians paid attention.
Ouch. Lesson Learned here, Shipmate. "I'm against Bush and the war...." will only get you so far. There is a lot more to being a Senator than helping a national party gain power. Much more.

Hat tip Captain's Quarters.

Neal Boortz pops a circuit breaker

Neal comes off the top rope. Note, don't bring a knife to Neal's gunfight. I think he has been waiting for this call for awhile. I'm not 100% with Neal....but he does make a point, or two, or three....

Oh, the video might upset some, but get over it.

This bounced my way three pings from
John Noonan, to Pundit Review then to MsUnderestimated.

Sen. McCain's youngest son enlists in USMC

A lot of folks may know that Sen. McCain's son Jack, 20, just finished up his plebe year at Annapolis - in the family tradition.

Well, his youngest son Jimmy, 18, has enlisted in the USMC. That, my friends, is a military family.

Qana strike - the reason

Most of the reporting on the civilian deaths in Lebanon has been horrible. Israel is trying to tell the story any military professional, if CNN, BBC, etc would ask them, knows. Hizbollah intentionally hides the rocket launchers it attacks Israel with in civilian structures wanting one of two things to happen:
- (1) Have plenty of dead children to send to video of to Arab media.
- (2) Have world opinion bluff off the Israelis so Hizbollah can attack with impunity.

Here is an IDF video of Qana prior to the attack, and below is another example of what they are doing.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Astronaut Charles E. Brady, R.I.P.

What a cautionary tale. Even if you see someone who seems to have it all, there is a very good chance that you may not want to trade places with them. In the end, a lot of things in life are just window dressings. It can be a "failure" in a fundamental that can lead someone to do the most drastic of acts of self destruction. Picture the man,
...Eagle Scout, an athlete, a doctor, a Blue Angel (editorial note: the Flight Surgeon for the Blue Angles, not a pilot), and a space traveler. A huge mural depicting Brady and the Space Shuttle Columbia overlooks the railroad across from the Old Elise Depot and the town hall. ... Brady was celebrated for his many accomplishments. His space flight 10 years ago remains the longest such mission to date. Brady and six other astronauts orbited the earth 271 times and broke the shuttle endurance record by eight hours.
He didn't set out to go to space, but to follow in the footsteps of his father, a small town doctor. His father, the late Charles Eldon Brady Sr., was a family doctor with his practice in Robbins. An Eagle Scout, Brady graduated from North Moore High School in 1969, studied pre-medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his medical degree at Duke University in 1975.

From Duke, he went to the University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville for his internship, then entered practice with a focus on sports medicine, serving as team physician for Iowa State University in Ames. He continued in sports medicine and family practice for the next seven years, working as a team physician at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East Carolina University, then joined the Navy.

As a Navy doctor, Brady trained to be a flight surgeon at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla. In June 1986, he reported to Carrier Air Wing Two on board the aircraft carrier USS Ranger and was assigned to the attack wing including Attack Squadron 145 and Aviation Electronic Countermeasures Squadron 131.

Two years later, Brady joined the "Blue Angels," the famous Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. He served with them through 1990, and was serving in Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129 when tapped by NASA for the astronaut program.

Brady reported to Johnson Space Center in August 1992. In addition to his Columbia flight, Brady worked on technical issues for the Astronaut Office Mission Development Branch; flight software testing in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL); was astronaut representative to the Human Research Policy and Procedures Committee; deputy chief for Space Shuttle astronaut training; and chief for Space Station astronaut training in the Mission Operations Division.

He logged more than 405 hours in space before returning to Navy duty as a surgeon
The fundamental,
"The call had come in for a verbal dispute, but [there were indications of] something more unusual," ... When they arrived at the scene, they spoke to a woman, Susan Oseth, and a 3- or 4-year-old girl.

Jon Zerby, undersheriff of San Juan County, said Brady and Oseth lived together on Orcas Island. Zerby said Brady was divorced.
The tragic loss.
A deputy reported that "Oseth told him Brady had left on foot and gone to a wooded part of the island. The Island is big, 58 square miles, according to Deputy Ray Clever, senior officer on the scene.
Seeking to render Brady aid, the deputies called for backup and began a search.

After a time, the officers discovered Brady's body in a wooded area. A paramedic pronounced him dead at the scene,
Now the town is puzzled and saddened by reports of the circumstances of his death. According to Chuck McCarty, a dispatcher with the Sheriff's Office in San Juan County, Wash., Brady died of apparently self-inflicted wounds.
It can be tough when you master and excel on everything you do, everyone thinks that you are at the top of your game, you have the world by the balls - but for whatever reason, something so basic as having a stable family life just doesn't happen. No matter what you do, in this one area, you fail. Hmmm.

Maybe I should walk away from the computer for the rest of the day and spend some time doing a bunch of 'nutt'n with the wifey and kids.
Correction to original story - Just to note, the report regarding a 3 or 4 year old little girl or daughter was an error by sheriff's deputies. Brady and Susen Oseth had a son, 4 year old Charles E. “Charlie” Brady, III.

Patton had it figured out 60+ years ago

From PattonHQ, of course.
It took me a long time to realize just how much a student of medieval history could gain from observing the Arab.

It seems to me a certainty that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammed and the utter degradation of the Arab women are the outstanding causes for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have been developing.
Yep. And it flows with his ideas on history.
I have a notion that usually the great things a man does appear to be great only after we have passed them. When they are at hand they are normal decisions and are done without knowledge. In the case of a General, for example, the almost superhuman knowledge which he is supposed to possess exists only in the mind of his biographer.

I believe that for a man to become a great soldier it is necessary for him to be so thoroughly conversant with all sorts of military possibilities that whenever an occasion arises, he has at hand, without effort on his part, a parallel. To attain this end, I believe that it is necessary for a man to begin to read military history in it's earliest and crudest form and to follow it down in natural sequence, permitting his mind to grow with his subject until he can grasp, without any effort, the most abstract question of the Science of War because he is already permeated with it's elements.

We disregard the lessons of history.

I am convinced that more emphasis should be placed on history. The purpose of history is to learn how human beings react when exposed to the danger of wounds or death, and how high ranking individuals react when submitted to the onerous responsibility of conducting war or the preparation of war.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Remembering our friends in Iraq

Those from other nations who serve, and sacrifice.
Lieutenant-colonel Stefan Balan, commander of a Romanian army battalion, hugs his 14-year-old daughter at Otopeni military airport, near Bucharest July 28, 2006, after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq, where Romania has a 700-strong contingent in the U.S.-led coalition force. Balan and his wife died in a car accident while their daughter is badly injured shortly after their departure from the airport. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (ROMANIA)

The American Economic Clolossus

Some much needed perspective from The Economist. We should be happy, joyful, and confident. Not since a Trajan and Victoria have a people been in a better position.
...Whether American firms are building plants overseas as a way to exploit cheap labour, or closing down factories because they cannot compete any more, the widespread assumption is that the country's entire industrial base is being “hollowed out”. “Our media (NB: Prime Directive-Make Bush look bad) act as if American manufacturing is going to grind to a halt at around two o'clock this afternoon,” says Cliff Ransom, an independent analyst who scours America for the most assiduous metal-bashers.
But someone forgot to tell American manufacturers the bad news. Most of them have enjoyed roaring success of late. Net profits have risen by nearly 9% a year since the recession in 2001 and productivity has been growing even more rapidly than is usual during economic expansions (see chart). The country's various widget-makers, moreover, show no sign of losing their innovative edge.
Capital equipment and durable goods-makers such as Caterpillar, General Electric, an industrial conglomerate, and Boeing, an aerospace giant, have always been the strongest bits of America's manufacturing base. Their position is the most secure, says James Womack of the Lean Enterprise Institute, a think-tank in Cambridge, Massachusetts, because there is so much knowledge embedded in what they make. Even when a company such as Boeing stumbles over its efficiency, as it did a few years ago, its intellectual property gives it room to recover. These days, however, American manufacturers of all sorts—not just the big durable-goods makers—are quickly improving their efficiency.
Manufacturers were already outpacing their rivals in rich countries during 1995 to 2000, when their productivity was growing by 4.0% a year. After 2000, the country's metal-bashers somehow managed to raise their productivity growth by another notch, to 5.1% a year, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
IT drove much of America's productivity burst between 1995 and 2000. In a new paper, Messrs Jorgenson and Stiroh, along with Mun Ho of Resources for the Future, a think-tank, have compared the late 1990s with the productivity growth of the past five years. Not only has productivity growth accelerated further—by another 0.7% a year, to 3.2%—but the forces behind it also appear to have become more broadly based.

The economists looked at the entire private sector, not just manufacturing, and suggested that there could be several explanations for the recent strong performance. Because American firms are finding myriad ways to raise productivity, and are not merely riding one wave of innovation from the IT boom, the economists think that productivity growth will settle at a rate above what America achieved in the two decades before 1995. Over the next decade, they expect private businesses as a whole to boost productivity by 2.6% a year. That would be good news. Manufacturers, which are boosting productivity even more rapidly than the rest of the economy, should do even better.
And here is something our enemy finds out on the battlefield on a regular basis.
“Being flexible and willing to learn are skills that America still excels at,”
As a sidebar to all the happy-happy-joy-joy above - review what happened within a century of the above named rulers and the power of their emp...err...nations.

Ralph, the sword is up or the Book is open – take your pick

If nothing else, this should get Ralph more face time with the MSM.
For the first time, we may face a problem we have no hope of fixing.
Here's the brutal reality: If Iraq is destined to become yet another monument to Arab failure, there could be far worse outcomes than a bloody civil war - as long as our troops are out of it. We should be drawing up contingency plans to move a reinforced division and adequate airpower to the Kurdish provinces in the north, to withdraw the remainder of our forces to the south, and then to let Iraq's Sunni Arabs and Shias go at it.
That is one of the worse Courses of Action I have heard yet.

As always, you have to understand that Ralph’s dial goes to 11; but he offers two options here, only one that could be taken seriously.
Now the only way to avoid an outright civil war is for our troops and the Iraqi army to break the sectarian militias in a head-on fight. The media will howl and we'll see a spike in American casualties. But it's our own fault. We put off going to the dentist until the tooth rotted. Now it's going to hurt.
That is viable to discuss. The next though, that is just not worthy of discussion.

The Venetians were a very binary people, and it worked for well over half a millennia, - you are either at war or you are not. They had a great phrase to describe it.
Quando el leon alsa la coa tuti li altri sbasa la soa
Roughly that translates to,
When the lion raises his tail, everyone else lowers theirs
They even had a flag for war, and a flag for peace. Yep, watch that flag close when the Venetian galley is row’n your way.

You do not go with the “run to Basra and Kurdistan and see what happens” option. If you are going to do that, you might as well run up the white flag, negotiate with Sadr your retreat to Kuwait and Umm Qasr and tell the Kurds they will have to work things out with the Turks on their own.

Take the disgrace and hollow military of the post-Vietnam era, square it, and throw in the “feed the monster” results of our retreat from Somalia, square it too. That is it. Remember this and this? Want that for Iraq and, don’t be naïve, Afghanistan too? I know some do, but you?

In war you win or loose. In prison you fight, f^ck, or hit the fence.

Fight and win or bring everyone home from Asia, Europe, Southwest Asia, and while we are at it close the door on NATO and let the Southeast, Mountain, and Great Plains USA go our own way and the hell with the rest of you. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

D@mnit Ralph, you ruined my breakfast. Where is my Super Colon Blow?

Hat tip that lovable Commie.

Fullbore Friday

USS South Carolina (BB-26). Just by a few months she could have beat the HMS Dreadnought. First of her kind. Limited operational time, really not a player in any major conflict, though she played her part in the convoy escort role in WWI and operations in Haiti and Mexico. Great pics.

I bet the 4th guy, front row was a pain in the a55 in the wardroom.

His Sailors were outstanding men in spite of him.

....and she deserved better in the end.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Admiral Blair’s self-inflicted smear

Let me start by saying that I am sure that Admiral Blair is 100% on the up-and-up. That being said, he is smart enough to know that you have to avoid the appearance of conflict, and this just smells.
A think tank that endorsed a three-year contract for a troubled jet fighter program is run by a former military officer with extensive ties to one of the program's subcontractors, according to internal Pentagon documents and corporate statements. ... The endorsement came from the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a federally financed research center whose president, Dennis C. Blair, is a member of the board of a subcontractor for the F-22 Raptor fighter program, EDO Corp. ... Blair holds options to buy tens of thousands of shares of EDO stock, although he has exercised only a small portion, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. ... "I am at the top of that process," Blair said. But he chose not to recuse himself because his link to EDO was not of sufficient "scale" to require it, he said.
Hold on there. Let's define "Scale." EDO stock right now is ~ $22.80. At a min multiply that by 10,000. I don't think the average taxpayer thinks that $228,000+++ is "..not of sufficient scale.."
Danielle Brian, executive director of the independent Project on Government Oversight, which has been critical of the F-22 project, said that "institutions like IDA carry tremendous weight in advising the government on how to spend taxpayer dollars," adding, "But in the end, the government is not getting the independent analysis it is paying for" because of the absence of any rules barring conflicts of interest at such centers. Blair, a retired Navy admiral who formerly commanded the U.S. Pacific Command, responded: "My review was not affected at all by my association with EDO, and the report was a good one. I had never, at EDO, worried about the F-22 contract."
Read it all. ADM Blair, and everyone else, knows that they are hired after they leave because they have clout and connections – and the laws that let them us them. Does he really need to work both jobs? Lord knows a 30+ year 4-star’s retirement pay in enough. Is his good name worth the extra $$$$?

Now, you want to see where greed for the military $$$ can lead you if you are not careful? Looking for a perp walk? Check out Chap’s report.

UPDATE: As I pulled this out of drafts to publish, I see in today's WaPo that ADM Blair has done the right thing,
Retired Adm. Dennis C. Blair, president of the Institute for Defense Analyses, said in letters to Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) that he told EDO Corp. he would resign from its board. EDO is a subcontractor for the Air Force's multibillion-dollar F-22 Raptor program, which the institute has evaluated for the Pentagon.
Blair also wrote that, contrary to his statement Monday, the institute "has a clearly articulated set of policies" approved by the Defense Department regarding conflicts of interest, which apply to the institute's corporate officers. He did not say what those policies required. "I do not want there to be any doubts in the minds of our sponsors or members of Congress concerning our commitment to providing high-quality, impartial analyses," he wrote.
This is a good learning point for all. Often your good name is worth more than your pocket book - especially when they are connected at the hip.

Tony Blair's historical folly

Next year will be the 300th anniversary of the United Kingdom. Good chance you won't see a 400th. Via The England Project from The American Spectator.
From the day it gained office in Britain New Labour, in an ambiguous alliance with forces further left, has either initiated or connived at loosening, weakening, unscrewing and generally damaging the structures of virtually every British institution and tradition. Its crowning achievement may be the actual destruction of the United Kingdom.
Study devolution and West Lothian question.

History will probably remember Tony Blair as a selfish, political narcissist who sold hundreds of years of honored history, bought with seas of blood, for nothing but short term political gain. Love the war on terror thingy, but for Great Britian he is a cancer. Odds are good he set his nation on a course that will lead to its disolution. Listen here for the BBC report.

Nazi CV Graff Zeppelin found

Yes, this is cool.
Graf Zeppelin, the Polish Navy sent out a hydrographic survey vessel on Tuesday, said Lt. Cmdr. Bartosz Zajda, a spokesman for the Polish Navy.

"We are 99 percent sure — even 99.9 percent — that these details point unambiguously to the Graf Zeppelin,"
From one of the great "What if's" of history. A deck full of Bf-109, ME-111, Fi-167, and Stukas ... imagine 2-3 of these in the North Atlantic in '39-40.... Then again, one could argue that Hitler would have been better off folding that money, steel and shipyard time into more U-boats - the end we won; so there!
According to new Russian sources, the Graf Zeppelin was sunk after weapons tests in August 1947:

The carrier was moved to Stettin in April 1943 where it was sunk by its own crew on 25.04.1945. Being captured by Russians, Graf Zeppelin was renamed to IA-101 (Floating Base No. 101) on 03.02.1947. On 16.08.1947 the carrier has been sunk as a target ship off Swinemünde.

Graf Zeppelin sank as she "scored" 24 (!) bombs and torpedo hits, including two 1000 kg air bombs. One of them was mounted into the funnel; as it exploded, the funnel was completely destroyed up to top deck, but superstructures of the island remained intact. Two 500 kg bombs, three 250 kg and five 100 kg bombs plus four 180 mm 92 kg shells were used on the ship. All these charges were mounted upon the flight deck and hangar deck. Six training air bombs dropped from the dive bombers and two 53,3 cm torpedoes from the torpedo boat OE-503 and destroyer Slavniy were fired on the ship. The last torpedo scored the fatal hit that finished the destruction of carrier. 23 minutes after the last hit, the Graf Zeppelin sunk.
Good German engineering.

Sino scenario south of Sidon

The Little Red Hen” discussions about who can do what in South Lebanon mostly involve trying to find some way to avoid looking like a man grabbing hold of a rabid Raccoon, and have led many, including myself and Lex, to think about China. When that thought first came to mind earlier this week, some pro-China thoughts came to the front; no history in the area, military not committed in large numbers anywhere, not shy about ROE, and few National Caveats that in theory would get in the way of doing what needs to be done.

After the initial blush of self-congratulatory brilliance, there were some obvious problems that soon crushed my cute little theory. Just the Top 4:

1. China is not an honest broker or has the best interests of the area in mind, as the West sees them. Look at China’s behavior and realpolitik in the U.N. Their National Strategic End States are not in line with local players, Europe or ours.

2. Nose of the Bactrian Camel. Do we want to invite China to be a major player in this area, with boots on the ground in the Mid-East? (they are already in Sudan BTW) Will that make negotiations or resolution easier? Like point 1, they are more likely to use this, with Russia, as another wedge between the area and the Western Powers.

3. ROE, the “E” stands for “Engagement.” Do we want China face-to-face with Israel? What happens when China’s aggressive ROE bounces against Israel’s habit of taking out anyone in their way?

4. China has no reason to be balanced towards Israel, just the opposite. China is building strategic partnerships with Hezbollah’s sponsor Iran, and terror supporter Sudan based on the oil needs China has to keep their economy humming and therefore keep the support of the Chinese people for the Communist Party.

Wrong country. Wrong mission. Wrong time. Wrong place.

Sometimes it is best to follow the wisdom of;
Don't just do something, stand there.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I like ‘em big

Everyone here knows my opinion of our shipbuilding habits over the last 15 years, well one place that I am on the same sheet of music with Big Navy is on Big Deck Carriers. I ignored retired Admiral/Director of CIA Stansfield Turner (Carter’s CIA Director, credited with destroying our covert capability and HUMIT that we are still paying the price for – he thought technology could do it better), but I could another technology fetish type has come out in the Virginia Pilot – and I can’t help myself.

First of all, I am not going to go 2,000 words telling you the sky is blue and the grass is green. A big deck carrier is power projection, SeaBase, force multiplier, and floating island of sovereign territory all wrapped up in one nice package.

Secondly, we have small deck carriers already, they are they have an L in their designator had have all sorts of jets and helos and stuff on them. They have an island…looks like a duck….

Anyway, if the other side of the argument wants to have any credibility, they need to move beyond WBB and Thomas Group PPT and pipedreams.
Bob Work, a retired Marine colonel who now analyzes Navy programs at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, said Architzel and other Navy witnesses "argued quite forcefully and, I thought, effectively" on behalf of large carriers at Bartlett's roundtable.

But Work, among several independent analysts who also spoke at the session, said he thinks the Navy should cut its carrier fleet to 10 ships and experiment with smaller "escort carriers," to take on some carrier missions.
... if the aircraft they will carry, including remote-controlled unmanned drone, perform as advertised, the escort carriers might take on some missions beyond the reach of today's flattops,
... have the potential to transform naval aviation. If both live up to boosters' expectations, a smaller carrier may approach...
“Think…if…might…may…” Bob Work (Col. USMC Ret.); Shipmate, that don’t flush. The last paragraph is just damning.
There's no disputing the value of big carriers, but Work worries that "the Navy's being too dogmatic," in its advocacy of CVN-21, he said. "I wouldn't argue for anything until we have a little more experimentation."
“More experimentation,” indeed. The burden is on your shoulders to
prove, (1) You have 40 hour UCAV that can fly a strike mission in a
non-permissive environment with a strike sustainment capability on par with a Carrier Strike Group (TLAM on CG/DDG/SSN/SSGN included). (2) Get a real on just to fly 40 hours in International airspace…etc…etc.. Back to the drawing board.

Check Lex as well.

Ooooo, lookie what we found in a bog

Almost as good as ladies lying around ponds handing out swords. With today's headlines, finding a 1,200 year old religious document with your backhoe and having it open or a readable page, that happens to have Psalms 83 would make one pause.
Irish archaeologists Tuesday heralded the discovery of an ancient book of psalms by a construction worker who spotted something while driving the shovel of his backhoe into a bog.

The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.
The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.
In case you are wondering; I
Psalm 83
God Implored to Confound His Enemies.

A Song, a Psalm of Asaph

1 O God, do not remain quiet;
Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still.
2 For behold, Your enemies make an uproar,
And those who hate You have exalted themselves.
3 They make shrewd plans against Your people,
And conspire together against Your treasured ones.
4 They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation,
That the name of Israel be remembered no more."
5 For they have conspired together with one mind;
Against You they make a covenant:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah.
9 Deal with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon,
10 Who were destroyed at En-dor,
Who became as dung for the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb
And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 Who said, "Let us possess for ourselves
The pastures of God."
13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like chaff before the wind.
14 Like fire that burns the forest
And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your tempest
And terrify them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with dishonor,
That they may seek Your name, O LORD.
17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever,
And let them be humiliated and perish,
18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
All I need to know.
UPDATE: Here is a picture.

Oy vey! Not with my daughter, you schmuck!

It is after reading a little ditty about Darren and Joanne (hey, that would go with a JCM song...) I thank my stars that I am not in the dating scene. Thank you for my wonderful wife. I don't have to go through this at J Date:
So Darren asks Joanne out. Joanne accepts. They eat at China Grill. (Nice restaurant. I've been there.) Darren pays, despite Joanne offering to split the check.

At some point after the meal, Darren gets the idea that Joanne didn't like him.

Rather than just chalk it up to a bad date (hey, it happens, right?) Darren... Well, Darren has other plans.

You have to go visit PR. Differently. They have audio. Even if it is a spoof, it is a great story.

Hat tip JPOD at The Corner.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

DTS: can you kill the undead?

Yes, someone needs to be fired. Read other posts here and here on DTS, then let's look some more.
After eight years of development, the Defense Travel System will finally approach full deployment in 2006. But only a fraction of Defense Department travelers use the system, and its costs have risen. So the Senate is using its budget powers to force accountability and reward performance by switching from appropriated funding to a fee-for-service system. ... The original contract anticipated full deployment by 2002.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), ... “most Pentagon employees would be better off to go to Travelocity or Orbitz.”
That's a fact.
DOD said the system will save the government $13 million this year. But the calculations that produced that figure are unclear.
Northrop Grumman’s six-year DTS contract expires at the end of fiscal 2006. According to the Government Accountability Office, DTS will have cost $474 million by that time,
Let's do the math. Save $13, not let's round up to $15 million a year. Cost is $474 million. Break even in 2037 if you start from FY06. Mmmmm. Given Moore's Law, what'cha bet technology in industry will have a better answer by then? Oh, I know, the savings were this year when the system isn't fully up and running (DOD says that represents a 60% usage figure for the first year. This would give you ~ $21 million a year at full utilization and a run to 2026 to break even).

Ok then. Let's say it generates 10 times the savings of the original figure to $130 million. That still gets you to 2009. Moore's Law. Think the Pentagon will change its already outdated computers that caused a lot of the coding problems by then? One would hope. Then what?

Don't even get me started on the user interface, documentation, and personnel training of the system.......

Dutch “disproportionate response” in Afghanistan

The last week has been a curious one as the strange "disproportionate response” line ululated from the chattering classes about Israel. I wonder if they are going to go after the Dutch?
Dutch commandos killed 18 enemy fighters who set up positions in rugged hills overlooking a Dutch camp in southern Afghanistan, the country's military chief said Friday. There were no Dutch casualties during a 10-day mission. … the Taliban fighters were massing on terrain on both sides of the Baluchi Valley, about 6 miles north of where Dutch troops are building Camp Holland, which will be their base for a reconstruction mission due to start Aug 1.

"The Baluchi Valley is a strategic position and in the end we decided that if we did not do something about it, it would be a major threat for us,
Digging around a few other sites, what happened boils out; the Dutch have sent a message loud and clear; “You do much as look at me and I am going to rain hell down on you. You bring a set of binoculars; I am bring ground troops backed with F-16, Apache gunships, and APC. You will die, we will go back to base and eat stroopwafels in our Speedos.”

This is exactly what the Dutch needed to do. The Taliban now know that the Dutch on the ground are of the type that would make the Stadholder proud - unlike Dutch Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen. From LGF;
THE HAGUE, 22/07/06 - Socialist Party (SP) leader Jan Marijnissen has suggested that Islam terrorism may be compared to resistance against the Nazis during World War II. “Terrorism occurs in all times and places and its objective is usually to make things as unpleasant as possible for the occupier”, he says in an interview for Penthouse magazine.

“During World War II, Dutch people thwarted nazi Germany’s destruction machine by blowing up town halls, because this was where the Jews were registered. Things are not all that different in the Middle East. Islamic fundamentalism, including the terrorist wing, is a reaction to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, to America’s presence in the Middle East and to the West’s support of undemocratic regimes in the Middle East.”
If Marijnissen had to choose he would rather see Iran build up a nuclear arsenal than US military intervention in that country. “If I had to make a choice between the two options then at this moment I would certainly say: do not attack, it is the most stupid choice possible”. According to the SP leader, the Iran issue can be traced back to American hypocrisy. “Surely it is immoral to deny countries their right to nuclear energy when you own nuclear weapons yourself!?”
Don't laugh too much. This guy could be at the front of the next Dutch govt. Watch neighbor Mike at least once a week, he should comment as the elections get closer. My guess, the Dutch will do something dumb, and Mike will call it.

Eating the soul of a child

Hear about Dakota Fanning's latest "movie?"
... written and directed by Deborah Kampmeier - calls for Fanning's character to be raped in one explicit scene and to appear naked or clad only in "underpants" in several other horrifying moments.

Fanning's mother, Joy, and her Hollywood agent, Cindy Osbrink, see the movie as a possible Oscar vehicle for the pint-size star.
Fanning's carefully choreographed rape scene has already been filmed. But then the production - which also stars Robin Wright Penn, David Morse and Piper Laurie - was shut down for lack of funds. Penn, who's also an executive producer, gave a pep talk to the dispirited cast in the days leading up to the shutdown. The desperate producer, Jen Gatien, daughter of former club czar Peter Gatien, sent out an SOS to New York entertainment entrepreneur Lawrence Robins. Robins located emergency investors, filming resumed, and the movie is scheduled to wrap tomorrow.

I lost hope for Hollywood's soul a long time ago. If you ever doubt what self described caring, civilized, liberal, educated people are willing to do to make a buck, or be on the "cutting edge" of their art - have no more. These adults, including her parents, should be in jail; instead they are trolling Senator Clinton's constituents for cash, and coming back with bags of cash. Cash soaked with a child's innocence.

When the police dig around a pedophile's apartment after his arrest, and this is in his CD collection, I hope "Joy" gets a thank-you note from the victim's parents.

Midshipman Owens: absolved

Not only was he found not guity of rape,
On Friday, a military jury recommended no punishment for Owens in connection with two lesser charges.
This sad bit is behind us now. Result? Annapolis smeared as a direct result of poor leadership. At sea or ashore, this comes from leadership. The only bits that comes out of this looking good are the judge and the jury.

As always, CoRev has the edge.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Feel like the wheels coming off the wagon?

Drink@Work will make you feel better. It could be worse. These could be the breaking news at CNN.

--Taliban forces capture control of U.S. Senate, hold Republican Party line on women’s reproductive rights, gay marriage, stem cell research and reprimands for unfavorable news coverage.

-- Category 9 hurricane removes North Carolina. South Carolina, Georgia residents await inevitable.

--North Korean missile tests have awoken 50-meter, prehistoric metaphor off coast of Japan. Witnesses describe fire-breathing, screaming creature as “pugnacious, unstoppable.”

--Millions fleeing from everywhere. Updates as events warrant.

--NASA officials report space shuttle Discovery has landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inadvertently carrying deadly alien virus, deadly alien and Death himself.

--U.S. Federal authorities report swarms of killer bees returning to southern portion of United States. Each bee said to be piloting stolen F-14.

--Approaching 40-mile meteor observed moments ago by bored Little League outfielder.

--Rand McNally removes Lebanon from all maps, globes.

--Latest al-Qaeda video reveals terrorist organization has mastered cloning. President Bush vows to continue seeking all Osama bin Ladens.

--Molemen no longer stuff of legend. Numerous underground attacks cause oil prices to skyrocket to $200 a barrel.

--Canada, Mexico make historic agreement to share border. United States to conscript everyone.

--The Center for Disease Control reports “everything stolen” from labs.

--Apes said to be mobilizing, donning armor, attending Berlitz language classes, establishing governing body.

--Excessive heat warnings issued for the Northeast, Midwest, southern plain states and North Pole.

--G8 summit ends with world leaders huddled in corner, crying.

--Red vines, crop circles, ray gun attacks witnessed throughout world.

--Sharp, sudden increase in "manimals" linked to casual consumption of corn fructose, vitamins, water.

--Talks between India and Pakistan break off as both nations begin to raise, arm undead.

--Rocket ship with world's best and brightest seen blasting off earlier today. Explanation still pending.

--Earth appears to have just passed by Mars, fast approaching Jupiter.

If it really gets too bad for you, just say "I blame Bush."

Hat tip Skippy-san.

Green Salamander, defined

Green with envy. Never begrudge a man a good deal, and John from Argghhh!!! has been invited to a once in a dozen lifetimes opportunity.

While we went into the war with several classes of Destroyer, the workhorses of the war were the Fletchers. And this story will revolve around the last of the "High Bridge" Fletchers, DD-574, the USS John Rodgers. The Rodgers received more battle stars from her service in World War II than any other surviving destroyer from that war. Which is one of the reasons we want to keep her out of the hands of the breakers.

After the war, she found herself at loose ends and in storage, when she got a new lease on life - in the Mexican Navy. The ship was transferred to Mexico 1 May 1968. She served in the Mexican Navy as BAM Cuitláhuac, named after Cuitláhuac (?–1520), the second-to-last Aztec emperor of the Mexica.
The Cuitláhuac was transferred to the ownership of U.S.-based nonprofit Beauchamp Tower Corporation on December 7, 2005. She will be moved back to the United States in 2006 and restored, with it ultimately becoming a World War II Pacific Theater Museum.

She starts her tow back the US 1 August, with an expected arrival at Mobile around 15 August.

And I'm going to cover it. We leave Wednesday for the Mexican Navy base at Lazaro Cardenas to do the final inspection and rig her for tow.

I'm the Project Scribe. And, since I'm the Armorer, I'm also the guy who's going to secure her guns so that the State Department will rest comfortably that we aren't going to be engaging in any piracy while we schlep her back to Mobile, Alabama, not all that far from where she was launched, the Consolidated Steel Corporation shipyards of Orange, Texas.

She'll be met at the International Lim

I think I know a shipfitter (Byron, call your office) who is probably turning a bit green now as well. John, BZ - good sailing. Now, I am going to go pray on that envy.

Bad Staff Work defined

If you are one of the 5 people who have not see Rep. Wexler (D FL-19) humbled, you owe it to yourself to watch and weep. Weep for his Staff when he gets back and finds out whose bright idea this was. Woe. Woe. The horror. The horror.

Sestak - out of uniform, out of order, out of his mind?

Greetings GatewayPundit and PoliPundit readers! Make sure to read the comments as there is some solid give and take about the good the bad and the lame excuse his campaign is using to avoid the fact he is wrong here. Too much pride is a bad thing. When you are done, click "cdr salamander" above and catch up on some more goodies. Cheers, Phibian
Look at the picture to the right? There are three HUGE problems, hence the title of the post. From review,
Rear Admiral Sestak, (USN Ret.) is running against Representative Weldon from Pennsylvania. If you don't know the man, who he hangs around with, and his background, two of my posts are here and here, also check out Chap, LargeBill, and William M. Arkin. Here are the three, and why. 1. Out of Uniform: In an article quoted on his own webpage, he retired as a Rear Admiral (2-stars), though he was a Vice Admiral (3-stars) until he was fired by the Chief of Naval Operations (See Skippy's comment here). He was not a VADM long enough to retire as one. Look on his shoulders, he is wearing 3-stars. I'm calling on my JAG over at MilBlogs - but I don't think that is Kosher, Halal, or honest. Heck, I will save him the trouble. Let us quote TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART II > CHAPTER 45 § 772(c).
(c) A retired officer of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps may bear the title and wear the uniform of his retired grade.
Now, is he trying to Sea-Lawyer himself into 772(d)?
A person not on active duty who served honorably in time of war in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps may bear the title, and, when authorized by regulations prescribed by the President, wear the uniform, of the highest grade held by him during that war.
I don't think that flushes. I think he has run aground.

2. Our of Order: He is retired and running for office - and he is campaigning in uniform, at an unauthorized rank. This is not mid-70's Paraguay where we have people wearing military uniforms directly involved in politics. Especially a Flag Officer. That is something that a professional-minded American leader just does not do. Yes, I said that. Want to March in a parade, sure. In uniform, sure. While you are actively running for office - that is just tacky and not in line with the American Tradition. He would have showed some class if he would have changed into civies before getting in front of the microphone. In line with #1, I'm going to check with my JAG at MilBlogs, but that can't be kosher, halal, or approved for shipboard use.

3. Out of his mind: When he put that on, he had to know that someone would call him on it. He knew it was wrong. Someone in his campaign for the House should have told him. Does his campaign have a "Command Climate" such that his staff is afraid to say, "Boss, that isn't a good idea.."? Could it be that he is blinded by an ego that has never recovered from the shame of being fired by the CNO? Blinded by the insult he feels on not getting a 4th star in a constellation of what he perceives to be lesser men - and being forced to retire with 2? To put on 2 stars is to admit that he was found lacking. Right or wrong - that is the truth.

RADM Sestak is a very smart man, one who worked countless hours in service to his nation. A strong professional who, regardless of what you think of his personality, should be given the respect due to his Flag Rank and honorable service. Should. He leaves himself open when stunts like this are done. Bad move, and I'm calling him on it. Perhaps somewhere he has found a way to
Sealawyer his way to wearing 3 stars, but I don't think so. Even if he does - from the cheap seat it reeks of poseurism, and does a disservice to those still on active duty.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Oooohhhh, modern torpedo boats

The Norwegian Hauks have more than torpedoes, but what a ship for a young officer to have command of.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Try to put these women in a Burka...

Go ahead, irhabis, try. Yep these women. May not be the type of women you are used to - but you're a tough guy? Right?

The Economist is caught in a logic trap

Sometimes, you see this a lot with BDS or RDS, smart people are so blinded by their dislike or hate of an individual or institution that they can't think straight. Here is a perfect example.
A war that starts by accident is not necessarily easy to end. This one is what Israelis call a “war of choice”. Mr Olmert did not have to react the way he did. But now that he has, the stakes could hardly be higher for both sides. It is no longer a matter of wounded pride or the fate of the kidnapped soldiers.

If Hizbullah is beaten, it risks losing its position as the strongest power in the fractious Lebanese state, with damaging consequences in the region for its Iranian sponsor and Syrian ally. If Israel falters, many of its people think, the iron wall of military power that has enabled it to win grudging acceptance in the Middle East will have been seriously breached.
All valid points. What does The Economist think should happen?
What is needed now is a way for both sides to climb down. Israel must get its soldiers back, Hizbullah's departure from the border area and an undertaking that
Hizbullah will not attack again. The Lebanese army or a neutral force should then man the border. Hizbullah needs to be given a way to consent to these changes without losing face. Squaring this will take time, ingenuity and the full engagement of the United States. It will not bring peace to the Middle East but it might silence a dangerous new front. America should start its work at once.
What is needed now is that my hair should be darker and thinker. I should be able to run a 6 minute mile again. I should be selected for Major Command at Sea - now, to the place I want to go. I should be appointed by my Gov to the next open seat in Congress. I should win the lottery by acclamation.

What another planet. Both The Economist and Phibian in the above paragraph are asking for things that will never happen, yet like a child, expect them to be granted just so things will be easy.

And the gall of the last part. I thought unilateral US action was a complete nightmare from the British Press point of view - America is the source of all evil in the world. Give me a break. I pay too much for that subscription to read such KosKids logic and two-faced knowitallism.

Midshipman Owens: not guilty

As predicted and hoped for, MIDN Owens has been found not guilty of rape.
A former U.S. Naval Academy quarterback was acquitted last night of raping a female midshipman but was found guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer for having sex with the woman in her dorm room and disobeying an order to stay clear of her.

The verdict by a jury of five naval officers means that Midshipman Lamar S. Owens Jr., 22, could face up to two years in a military prison as well as dismissal from the Navy. He avoids the life sentence that could have come with a rape conviction.
Owens's attorneys immediately objected to the jury's decision, saying that there was no credible evidence to support conviction on any of the charges and that they would ask the judge, Cmdr. John A. Maksym, to overturn the verdict today.
As for the lesser charges - if he wasn't falsely charged with rape, these other charges would never have seen the light of day and he would be Ensign Owens turning his leadership from a winning quarterback for a winning team, to a leader of Sailors.

Worse; his name has been smeared for the rest of his life, and those who smeared it are going to the Fleet with immunity. Yep, they will have lots of credibility with the Sailors under their charge. Lots.

We will see later today what the judge does. For the sake of justice, they should let him get his commission and have the other charges delt with by NJP ... but have him pay back 4 years of tuition? No.

But ... the Carnival of Courts Martial continue. Two more this summer from the USNA. The USCGA Courts Martial, if you recall, also involved a football player and a false accousation of rape. Not guilty there as well, but guilty of lesser charges thrown on after the original charge
was brought. For the Sea Services, 0/2 with two more times at bat. Once again, if there isn't real leadership and honest discussion of the problem of looking the other way - this will not stop. Want to know who not to listen to?
Anita Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the Miles Foundation, an organization that tracks violence against women in the military, said Owens' acquittal highlights the military's flawed system of prosecuting rape. "Unfortunately the current Uniform Code of Military Justice doesn't support the prosecution of these date rapes, because the terminology in the current code says, 'by force and without consent,' and these type of assaults do not always include force."

She said Owens' acquittal, as well as the acquittal of a U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet on a rape charge in June, may prevent rape victims from coming forward.

Fullbore Friday

USS Quincy (CA-39) during Operation WATCH TOWER. A map of the sound.

In better days.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oliver Stone, I owe you an apology

Over a year ago, I considered Oliver Stone making a movie about 9/11 a dishonor. It looks like this time I was the one with 180deg lockoff - sounds like he has made a movie we can all be proud of. From Cal Thomas;
I have a long list of favorite patriotic movies, including "Victory at Sea," "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Sands of Iwo Jima," but Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" is right up there with the best of them. It is one of the greatest pro-American, pro-family, pro-faith, pro-male, flag-waving, God Bless America films you will ever see.
...Whatever one thinks of Oliver Stone, the man knows how to make movies. This is one of his best. It deserves an Oscar in so many categories. It also deserves the thanks of a grateful nation. Go and see it beginning Aug. 9 and make him a large profit so he might consider inspiring us again, as his predecessors so often did during Hollywood's Golden Age.
I'm waiting for someone to call Oliver Stone something he never thought would be thrown his way - Republican lackey. After all, how can you make such a film that doesn't somehow blame Bush? Here is a trailer from YouTube, but go the site for another - it is worth the visit.

Hat tip The Corner.

Only little parts left at Whitehall

Devastating political deconstruction. If I could write like this guy….

From The Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer just takes British Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett apart in one of the most brutal and exact disassembling of a senior sitting political figure I have read in a long time. This is so well written and effused with facts that I don’t see how the Foreign Secretary can respond. If she is smart, she will ignore it and the interview where she put the hilt to the deck, the point to her chest, and slipped. If she wore one, I would tell her she needs to stop by and see Mr. Heffer – not only did he eat her lunch, he has her jock.
Hearing our Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, being interviewed on the Today programme reminded one of some of the reasons why they abolished bear-baiting. As Jim Naughtie probed her about Britain's response to the crisis in the Middle East, one could not be sure what Mrs Beckett was trying to conceal more: the general lack of a coherent foreign policy by the Blair administration or her own utter inadequacy in her role as one of the alleged titans of international diplomacy.

Even my children, aged 10 and 12 and not yet candidates for the Foreign Office exam, know that this is all part of the same problem, as does the entire electorate. … we have a Foreign Secretary as out of her depth as it is possible to be without actually drowning. … experience of foreign affairs has been limited to the more exotic excursions of the Caravan Club …

Mrs Beckett has a long parliamentary experience, during which she has for reasons either of conviction or self-interest passed through almost every imaginable incarnation of Leftist before attaining her present lofty position: Bennite, Footite, Kinnockite, Smithite and, of course, Blairite. Her sovietical ability to give utter loyalty to whomever is in charge of her party at the time, and to detect which way the wind is blowing before many of her confreres feel it rustling their
hair, explains where she is now.

Mr Blair long ago decided to be his own foreign secretary. The last incumbent, Jack Straw, was increasingly humiliated by this, demoted as he was to the status of bag-carrier and also-ran. Mrs Beckett has taken on these tasks with glee.

The Government's foreign policy is, not least in its divorce from our poor defence policy, incoherent in the extreme.

So we have a Government that awaits orders from America, an opposition that refuses to engage, and the makings of the third world war. Perhaps Mr Blair should "just talk", but preferably to some foreign policy experts, and tell the rest of us definitively where we are going in the world.
Even if only half on target; devastating. Almost as painful to read as the latest from Annapolis. That being said, there is one other great thing from this bit. A classic Churchill quote.
… (an) exchange between Selwyn Lloyd and Churchill when the former was appointed a minister of state at the Foreign Office under Eden in 1951. "I was flabbergasted. I wondered whether it was a case of mistaken identity. . . I said: 'But Sir, I think there must be some mistake. I do not speak any foreign language. Except in war, I have never visited any foreign country. I do not like foreigners.' He [Churchill] replied: 'Young man, these all seem to me to be positive advantages.' "

SeaBasing: nothing new under the sun

Sid gets 50% credit for a guest post (I know, I shouldn't encourage him); I built this mostly from his email. Sid, if you don't like any of my add-ins, please correct in the comments.
Fold in a few bits floating around the Navy braintrust: SeaBasing, LCS, Navy Fire Support, and the quest for relavancy in The Long War.

Assuming most of these concepts survive Mullen's tour mostly intact, it might be helpful to look at where we come from. Just one example from the last real Navy war; WWII. Like the ships in the upper right hand corner (click for a larger view, or here for another), we had lots of SeaBases, in a fashio, called "Tenders." Ask anyone about the until recently decom'd Destroyer Tenders; they were a base unto themselves - they could almost build a DD or FF. Without going into a disertation lenght paper - let's review some known-knowns:
- A SeaBase if involved in Expeditionary Ops or the care-and-feeding of LCS will be close.
- In a high OPTEMPO war, promised protection and support may not be there when you need it.
- Your enemy will be there when you don't need them - and they don't care what your maintenance schedule, fuel state, or CASREP status is.
- You will take losses. Plan and accept it.

Though technology, strategy, and battlespace geometry and depth have changed - like sunrise, sunset, and the fact that you win wars by a young man with a gun in his hand standing on someone elses property - some things do not change.

Those ships in the nice little picture. What happened to them?

- The USS Black Hawk, Bulmer, Ford, Whipple, and Heron all survived WWII, the other ships did not fare as well.
- USS Pillsbury was sunk by gunfire with all hands as was the USS Edsall, on the same day.
- USS Peary was sunk off Pelelieu Island.
- USS Stewart was captured in a drydock and used by the Japanese.
- USS Pope died as well and this infamous photo records her death throes:

That picture, my friends, is the nasty bit of our line of work. I recommend you follow the links to the ships lost above. There will be losses like that again. Just know where your strategy can bring you. Are you ready? Do you know what a shore-based 155mm can do? Ponder.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Adds you won't see in the U.S. - Part III

Shame. Well, the fact the kids might start singing it at Sunday School may be an issue....

What thought police look like, at the beginning

The Belgian authorities are going after Paul Belien at The Brussels Journal:
This morning, a police officer from the "Projectcel Mensenhandel en Vreemdelingen" (Project Cell Human Trafficking and Foreigners) came to my door to question me about alleged "racist" articles on this website. I was not in. My son was told to tell me to contact the police asap in order to make an appointment for interrogation. Apparently crime statistics in Belgium are so low that the police have nothing better to do than harrass journalists. However, since my lawyer is on vacation they will have to wait. The Belgian regime has decided to intimidate me in the hope to close down this website. I am becoming quite a regular at the local police station. Last month they questioned me for homeschooling my children. I will keep you posted.
Maybe Anne should tell PalmPilot to turn down those NATO orders...

India hits a speedbump on the AngloSphere roadmap

Shame. Banning websites is so, well, Pakistani.

At least their Navy is doing good work.
Over 1,000 Indians assembled at the jetty as four Indian warships -- INS Mumbai, INS Betwa, INS Brahmaputra and auxillary tanker INS Shakti, anchored overnight off the Lebanese coast, moved into the port to pull out the anxious Indian nationals and shift them to camps in Larnaca in Cyprus, Navy sources said here.
UPDATE: Check out The Jawa Report. Not a fatwa, but close Shipmate. Work harder!

Photo without parody

Sometimes you want to run a caption contest, but sometimes the reality is about as good as it gets.

Athlete Kathy Brennan (R) of Washington, D.C., helps to apply tanner on Forrest of Ferndale, Michigan, before the Physique competition during Gay Games VII in Evanston, Illinois, July 18, 2006. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)
As for me, my tastes are more along the lines here and here.

USNA rends itself asunder

I knew a few girls like this in college….….and so did a lot of people. A lot.

Sober, she was a nice, fine, happy, type-A girl. Fun to be around, good sense of humor - sober. Some of her girlfriends did not like going out with her though. She did like to drink. That is when she changed

She was dangerous, had a bad habit of calling at 0300, blotto, inviting you to “visit.” Had a tendency to show up at the window outside your room about 30 minutes after closing – yelling her head off to see if you were home. Next time you saw her, she didn't remember the 0300 call - she doesn't even remember when your girlfriend took the line and told her off. A couple of dewey-eyed guys tried to have her as a ligit girlfriend, but is always ended with something like, “Dude, your girlfriend went home with some Sig Ep last night.”
The … boyfriend, … testified that the woman was drunk on the night of the incident, and that he struggled to get her to bed that night while she repeatedly asked him to stay. She flirtatiously slapped him at one point, he said.

About 3:40 a.m., the woman sent a series of badly spelled instant messages from her desktop computer to her boyfriend, asking him to come back and saying she wanted "to cuddle."

"But you slapped me," he replied, according to a copy of the exchange that was saved by the boyfriend and was shown in court yesterday.
The witnesses said she was obviously intoxicated in the hours before ..
"She didn't need to drink any more from my point of view," said 2nd Lt. James Winston.

…three defense witnesses … testified that the woman becomes "socially aggressive" and "flirtatious" when she drinks but is otherwise very "reserved." …"She was usually incredibly drunk. … She would kind of aggressively pursue men."

(another) testified that she was "usually incredibly drunk" when she frequented bars in Annapolis and recalled one occasion when he met her more than a year ago.

(he) testified that when he walked into a midshipman's room where the woman was present, she asked Whittle whether he wanted a lap dance. When he said no, Whittle testified, she yelled an expletive at him.

She … didn't say "no" or alert her sleeping roommate.

…a forensic psychiatrist … testified about how memories can be corrupted and "re-packaged" erroneously by people who are impaired during events they later try to remember.
No, I don’t enjoy posting on this. I have daughters. I have sisters.

Reasonable doubt? Read all the above in full here, here, here, here, and here.

Sad and cautionary tale. Tough call, but even if her account is 100% accurate – it isn’t rape from the cheap seats. No means no, but you have to say it. In the real world, there isn’t a signed, step-by-step checklist in a challenge-and-response progression. Retroactive "no"s do not count.

This soap opera on the Severn is a symptom of a rot brought about by bad politics, policy, and leadership. All three need changing or this is going to happen over, and over, and over. Oh, and soon she is going to be leading Sailors. We made this mess; we have to deal with it.
Lieutenant General Mattis, call your office.
A military judge stopped just short of throwing out a rape charge against former Navy quarterback Lamar S. Owens, Jr., hinting that had the decision been up to him, he would have acquitted the Naval Academy midshipman.

Outside the presence of the jury -- which is how challenges to evidence or objections are argued in military court -- Cmdr. John Maksym said Owens' civilian attorney "eviscerated the alleged victim during cross-examination" in a manner that was "difficult to endure."

"A reasonable jury could find substantial reasonable doubt as to Owens' guilt as to the [rape] charge, based on the credibility, or absence of credibility, of the alleged victim," he said, referring to the 20-year-old female midshipman who has accused Owens. But the judge denied a motion to dismiss the charges, saying the jury would decide.

Cmdr. John Maksym, the Navy judge who has shown a colorful streak throughout the five days of the trial, sharply criticized a Naval Academy victim advocate today. He said the woman, Lt. Maureen Brown, exceeded her responsibilities as an advocate by acting as a "cheerleader" for the female midshipman during the investigation of the Owens case.

The Navy judge supervising the rape court-martial of former Naval Academy quarterback Lamar S. Owens Jr. chided military prosecutors on Thursday for having "weak facts" and "anemic witnesses."

Maksym drew early attention when he lectured Rempt for sending e-mails to academy personnel that "insinuate guilt."

Yesterday, after a Navy nurse, Lt. Cmdr. Amy Branstetter of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda - who conducted a rape examination on the woman - said she found no evidence of injury, ..

Maksym sustained a defense objection to the witness and did not allow the prosecution's expert witness - Navy Lt. Cmdr. Cynthia Ferguson, a nurse, midwife and forensic rape examiner at Bethesda - to testify.

"She's not even a physician," he said.

He added that Ferguson - who had been brought into court to testify before the judge and lawyers but not yet to the jury - showed prejudice because she assumed all the women she examines in rape cases are victims.

The accuser's friend, who said Owens confessed to her, admitted under cross-examination that she had had several bad relationships with football team members and had "sworn off" dating them.
Heberlig, the defense attorney, attacked the friend's credibility. Under cross-examination, she admitted to "binge drinking" despite being underage, consuming alcohol while using the prescription painkiller Vicodin in Bancroft Hall, and renting an off-campus house - all apparent violations of academy rules.
One fact witness who testified for the prosecution yesterday gave an account of the victim and her friends - all of them current or former varsity athletes - living a life at odds with Naval Academy rules. ... The witness also said she would occasionally drink while on guard duty and would be absent from her post for as much as 40 minutes at a time.

The woman said that in exchange for truthful testimony, she had been given immunity by the academy from any judicial or administrative punishment. … The accuser was also given immunity for her testimony.
Honor, Courage, Commitment?

The above from here, and here. There is also some day-by-day reporting over at TheCountervailingForce.

Yep, I edited out a lot from the above – but I think it is what the jury would focus on. I would. Is Owens perfect? No. Is he a rapist? I don’t think so.

Are running a military academy or a co-ed school with a strict dress code? Read it all again, and answer it for yourself. If you want a good idea what the non-military public sees, I think Jean Marbella does a good job here.

Executive Summary: Like I have said for the better part of two decades – never sleep with a Shipmate. I don’t care what she says, or where she has her hand when she says it. Stand up (I don’t care if it would be embarrassing – no one will think worse of you) grab a couple of real friends and go somewhere else. Heck, go by yourself. Just go. Let someone else be led into temptation. You’ll be better in the morning.