Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

DoN Shipbuilding Funny Stuff

Bob? Undersecretary of the Navy Bob Work - is that you on page 9?
As just one of many examples, swift, fast sailing frigates were once the eyes of the fleet. In the future, the eyes of the Navy will be its Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF).

With its combination of Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial systems and manned P-8A Poseidon Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft, the MPRF will provide US naval commanders with an unparalleled level of maritime domain awareness. As a result, counting the number of ships in the Navy's battle force no longer gives one a full appreciation for the broad, cross-domain capabilities, capacities, and enablers found in the combined Navy-Marine Corps Team.
Man, Bob does not like frigates. The paragraph above is just full of holes; where do I start? First of all, we don't have 18th & 19th Century frigates. That is the definition he uses above. In the 20th & 21th Century; the US Navy on its actual website defines a frigate as;
Frigates fulfill a Protection of Shipping (POS) mission as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) combatants for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups and merchant convoys.
I'm sorry Bob, but - fail one. Bob is a good, smart, hard working and dedicated public servant - but his almost palatable blinkered dislike of frigates is a foundation weakness of many of his arguments. Good man; just wrong.

Next fail; how they define BAMS and the P-8A. Fail two is a classic case of hyperbole. The P-8A is simply an evolutionary development. Higher altitude, better reliability, and quicker speed - but only marginally more mission capable than the latest spiral of the P-3C. BAMS is just a maritime Global Hawk. Both do roughly the same mission that maritime patrol aviation has done since WWI. Better evolutionary - but nothing "unparalleled" about it. Also, ask anyone who has worked with theml though useful and important - an aircraft cannot substitute for the long-dwell presence of a warship. Full stop.

Here is the next funny thing. The Terrible 20s in pictures.
Those SSBN numbers will shrink - as will the rest of the graph.

Wait ... something else ... who chopped this thing? Look at the overlap on the y-axis? Classic noob xls graph error. I know that is petty ... but once an N1 .....
DoN 2013 Long Range Shipbuilding Plan Report to Congress

Fullbore Friday

I got the link to that via Herb's retweet from‏ @SarahJSchles link ... which led me to the following:

That man is not an actor. That is Jack Jennings, Private, British Army. A short interview.

Jack served with the Suffolk Regiment, the First Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment, and was fighting a fierce last stand in Singapore when it eventually fell to the Japanese in February 1942.

Jack explains: “After the surrender had been signed we had to just wait for the Japanese to come and collect us. 500 of us were rounded up and taken to sit in a tennis court at the back of a large house. We had to sit there for five days, in the full sun, with water only occasionally and just biscuits thrown over the fences for food.

“We were then moved and put into Changi prisoner of war camp – worn out, tired and starving. The camp was packed by the time our company had arrived, so we had to settle for anything. After a meal of rice and watery soup, we felt better.
Read it all, here.

Fullbore Friday

You laugh because you can't cry or scream - you're a professional Soldier.
Corporal Adam Tucker said Cpt Head had been called to Padaka after a suspicious wire was seen protruding from the ground. She attached a device to the bomb and extracted all the components from the ground remotely using a wire and hook.

As they were being laid out in the sunshine to be photographed for intelligence purposes she stepped on a pressure pad designed to set off the second bomb on the other side of the alley.

"That's when I heard a small pop as the second device partially detonated,” he said.

"There were no injuries. She was not even thrown to the floor. There was small bit of dust around her feet.

"Obviously, it shook her up. She retired to a safe distance and had a Condor moment. She had a few cigarettes and made light of it.

"I asked her if she was happy to continue and being a stubborn Yorkshire woman she was."

The third bomb, a five kilogram device of ammonium nitrate and aluminium detonated just as Cpl Tucker noticed that Cpt Head, from Huddersfield, was in danger.

The blast blew off both her legs, her right arm and fingers on her left hand. Despite protective body armour and a helmet she sustained severe brain injury.

Cpl Tucker and colleagues raced down the alley, applied field dressings and called for a helicopter. Cpt Head was taken to the field hospital at Camp Bastion, before being flown to the Queen Elizabeth military hospital in Birmingham, where she died on April 19 last year surrounded by her family.
Read it all. Of note, her parents were just two years older than I am. That's all I have to say.

Rest in peace Captain Head. We'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What an Adult Government Looks Like

Elections have consequences. In Canada's case, they elected adults - and the Canadian people seem to be acting like adults too ... at least on balance.
Canada's center-right government called for the retirement age to be raised and for major public service cuts Thursday, in an austerity budget that aims to balance the books by 2016.

Tackling unpopular measures that many industrialized countries are being forced to consider as their populations age, the Canadian government said its budget would help the country move a step ahead.

"Other Western countries face the risk of long-term economic decline. We have a rare opportunity to position our country for sustainable, long-term growth," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in the House of Commons.

"Looking ahead, Canadians have every reason to be confident," he said presenting what was dubbed a budget for "the next generation."

Under the plan, Canada will cut its deficit this year through "moderate" spending cuts, as the economy grows by 2.1 percent, Flaherty announced.

But much deeper cuts, including the laying off of 19,200 government staff, or 4.8 percent of the federal workforce, are planned for the coming years.

Flaherty said old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits worth up to a total of Can$15,000 and now paid out at age 65 would be offered only at age 67, starting in 2023.
We will have to do this one day as well - the sooner we do the less pain there will be.

The 30-yr Shipbuilding Fudge

Thanks to all for sending me the DoN Long Range Shipbuilding Plan Report - especially Galrahn who was first past the post.

Hopefully a lot of discussion will take place over the coming days, as there is a lot here to digest. For now, I am going to focus on just one part. As I used to spend and entire afternoon teaching the subject - let's go straight to page 6 and the planning assumptions.

Really, all you need to know is here. Before I start, the last line needs to be repeated for emphasis.
If any of these assumptions prove to be faulty, future shipbuilding plans will include fewer ships and battle force inventory will change, inevitably dropping below 300 ships.
Go to page 5 - the plan doesn't even reach 300 (exactly 300 for 1 year) until 2019 and then dips below it until touching it again in 2023. Child please. I feel cheap just reading it.

Let's stoplight the Five Planning Assumptions:

PA-1: Yellow. There will be changes, there always are.
PA-2: Red. You are expecting an increase in shipbuilding funds ... in real dollars based on commodity and labor price inflation? Really? What budget of what nation are you looking at? This PA is invalid on its face.
PA-3: Red. Before our Navy cowardly decided to hide INSURV, we saw the I&W of what so many years of poor maintenance and manning theories have done to our ships. We first saw it with the SPRUANCE class a decade+ ago and are seeing in in spades in their TICO sisters. To make that work will take money ... a lot of money. See PA-2.
PA-4: Red. Where has our Navy proved its ability to control costs? So, what you are saying is that no allowance is being made for even EXPECTED cost increase? Really?
PA-5: Red. See our track record in these areas in the face of the budget issues outlined in PA-2.

Fine; we have one yellow and four reds. We'll call that the worst case scenario.

Let's assume that I am too pessimistic about the Planning Assumptions. That would be a fair critique. I'll take a deep breath and move PA-1 to green and PA-4 + PA-5 to yellow. I am sorry, I cannot move PA-2 + PA-3 to anything but red. Let's call this the most likely scenario.

What does that leave us with - two reds. We'll throw PA-3 to the Green to be nice. I will give you all that - which leaves us with one red.

Who here can, with a straight face, tell me that we will be at 300 in 2019 and will then drop in to the 290s for a few years before climbing back up over 300 in 2023 because all our Planning Assumptions will be valid?

Please, prove me wrong. If you do that though, I'll just point to the LCS and giggle. Numbers aren't everything.

We are not going to be a 300-ship Navy. We should accept that and plan accordingly. We'll be fine at 275 and should have risk-mitigation plans for 250. Hopefully we do, somewhere.
DoN 2013 Long Range Shipbuilding Plan Report to Congress

Diversity Thursday

The Naval Audit Service put out a report in OCT of 2011 titled, "Naval Pilot and Naval Flight Officer Diversity" that was released in a redacted version via a FOIA.

In it is this graph? What does it mean? I'm discussing it over at USNIBlog.

N2012-0001 redacted

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Retro Wednesday: Menu From the Chief Petty Officers Club on Yokosuka Naval Base

The Korean War ended less than a decade ago and Vietnam was just a back page story.

If you were a Chief and you had $5 burning a hole in your pocket ... (click image for larger)

The Windjammer Menu, 1961

The first Chief Petty Officers Club on Yokosuka Naval Base was in Building H-83 located in the area of the new Middle School. It had been used by the Imperial Japanese Navy as a gymnasium for Judo and Fencing, it remained the CPO Club from 1945 until it was destroyed by fire in 1949. Three months later H-43, (where JRNOC is currently located) which previously had been a galley and dining area for the Imperial Japanese Navy shipyard workers, was remodeled into a CPO Club. It remained so until 1978 when it was also gutted by fire.

The Chiefs Club then moved to the old Seaside Club Building J-201 and utilized the Bar Area as the CPO Club until the completion of the Arleigh Burke Officers Club when they moved into the Chain Locker.

The current CPO Club, Building B-39, was completed sometime in 1927 in which the Japanese Imperial Navy used first for offices of the Shipyard Superintendent and later as a Supply Office. At the end of World War Two, the Occupation Forces continued to use it as Supply Offices until 1949 when it was renovated and remodeled into a recreation facility for Petty Officers below the grade of Chief Petty Officer. The Petty Officers Club closed in 1982 with the opening of the new Club Alliance at the Main Gate.

In 1982, CNFJ Force Master Chief, SKCM Jim Berry, realized that the Chain Locker in the Officers Club was not working out and convinced CNFJ and CFAY to relocate the CPO Club to B-39. The inside was renovated and the current CPO Club opened for business in 1983.
Hat tip PD.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prairie-Masker Goes Green

SECNAV - if you want to make an effort to make the Fleet more fuel efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels, I have a suggestion.

Let's ignore the Green Lobby and paying 4-times the going rate for fuel, and instead benchmark something industry is already doing.
The Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) was the first air lubrication system in the world to be applied to a newly built ship, and resulted in a substantial reduction in the ship’s resistance. Therefore, a performance estimation method using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) needs to be established as soon as possible to apply the MALS to general commercial ships.
As reported in Wired six months ago;
The boats, to be completed by 2014, rely on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ proprietary Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS). Mitsubishi claims that MALS can reduce CO2 emissions by a quarter compared with conventional dry bulk carriers. Considering the ships will carry about 100,000 tons including cargo, fuel and crew, that’s a significant reduction. The three ships ordered by ADM will be 131 feet wide and 777 feet long and will be built by Oshima Shipbuilding.

The Caution of Drones & Cyber

I'm a tech geek from way back ... but I also have a healthy suspicion of giving technology too much room to run. Too much love of technology can cause too much blindness to the downside of being "hands off."

Why? The power of algorithms. Me - keep a man in the loop, or lose control. This is about finance - but translate in to military and ponder.

Hat tip JMA.

Generational Warfare II: Electric Boogaloo

Jeff Jacoby nails it on why - believe it or not; the youth candidate actually is Mitt.
‘I Don’t mean to be flip with this,’’ said Mitt Romney during a q-and-a with students at the University of Chicago last week. “But I don’t see how a young American can vote for a Democrat.’’ He cheerfully apologized to anyone who might find such a comment “offensive,’’ but went on to explain why he was in earnest .

The Democratic Party “is focused on providing more and more benefits to my generation, mounting trillion-dollar annual deficits my generation will never pay for,’’
Washington’s staggering spending binge is entailing a burden of fearsome proportions on the millennial generation — voters in their late teens and 20s. With the government more than $15.5 trillion in debt and continuing to borrow 40 cents of every dollar it spends , Generation Y is in for a prolonged economic beating. The national debt now exceeds the entire annual output of the US economy. Millennials will be paying for it through higher taxes, slower growth, reduced public services, fewer jobs, lower incomes, and a more uncertain future than their parents or grandparents confronted.
With, of course, the help of their father - my kids get it and none of them can even drive yet.

This is exactly what this unbearable debt we are taking on is - giving the older generations guv'munt jobs, goods, and services the nation cannot afford by taking out loans in the name of children - and doing it at a peacetime rate that is unheard of in modern history.

It is smart to point out who is to blame, and who is going to have to fix it. The cut off is 55 for most "ideas" - so you know what that means. The tail end of the Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Mellennials are going to eat it - the question is how hard.

The earlier we act - the less pain we will have. We can take a hit like Germany did earlier last decade - or we can implode like the Greeks. The chance to be Germany actually passed us a few years ago - best case now is the UK ... but we are trending towards Greece and Spain at this rate.

If the youth really were voting their interests - they wouldn't be voting for the Democrats this cycle; unless of course their interest is to be the indentured servants of the Boomers.

So, how are PTS, PFA, and ERB force shaping tools working out?

Interesting things coming out of the Fleet about Force shaping tools we have been using. We've seen these cockups before ... but after awhile you start to wonder who had a clear and honest view from the Fleet. This shouldn't be a shock to anyone ... unless we simply have a command climate that does not allow anything but the best case scenario to be used to make decisions.

You have to wonder if the "Most Likely" and "Most Dangerous" are even in the briefing package - or do they simply go for what is the easiest for both the briefer and briefee - the "Best Case?"

As expected, the Force reduction plans we have out there are not quite producing the 2nd and 3rd order effects we wanted; and the emails and Skypes are coming in.

AIRPAC and AIRLANT recently identified a record number of over 500 crossdecks, diverts, and TADs conducted this year to keep deploying carriers and TACAIR squadrons at FFC-mandated 90% rating fit. That is just about twice the FY11 rate. ~100 of that 500 are needed to meet FFC-CPF mandated reliefs for Sailors coming home for mandatory transition and processing due to ERB.

For the next round the number is over 600.

So, are we over manned, inefficiently manned - or are those in charge of enlisted manning reductions going to receive a good wire brushing for not planning for this?

Here is the question - if the Force is lean ... then where is fat?

Simple place to start - Shore staffs. Sailors belong on ships; ships belong at sea. Firewall that then work out until you run out of bodies and the Shore screams.

Instead of going after rates - we need to go after other variables. First item - leave the tip of the spear alone and focus on the bloated and pampered shaft. Get a run of who has not deployed in the last decade. Cut Shore BA/NMP focused on those "nice to have" billets that we know are out there.

Once you do that - then take a deep breath and ... enable the flattening and narrowing of our Staffs by making an immediate 20% reduction in Flag Officers. That is the shock that will force the change (and the Navy will be just fine).

Gather the last 5 Surface, Air, and Subsurface Commanding Officers who just left CDR Command, lock them in a room and tell them to cut and gut the Staffs they have been feeding over the last few years. They have the best view of bureaucratic overhead and the pain it causes; they will give you the best plan. The Force at Sea is in pain - time to shift it to Shore.

If you must give a general quota of serving personnel heading out the door by the end of the FY - then give COs their % or # and the ability to decide who goes home and who does not. They have the best view of personnel. Let them pick.

Whatever we did in planning for this reduction, we did not do it right. Why wasn't it done right? Simple, it was overly centralized and bureaucratic. Trust your O5/O6 leadership at the front more, and less on Millington and the Potomac Flotilla.

What is the solution now? Good question. First step would be a "N1 Standdown" to make sure present and future plans don't repeat this problem, or make this worse - then find a better way forward.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Biden Challenge II: Electric Boogaloo

Due to the fact that I will not be want for a FbF topic for a loooonnnnggg time ... USNIBlog has a nice companion bit to last week's "The Biden Challenge."

Make sure to head on over to USNIBlog and add your ideas to the exemplary post, "500 Acts of Audacious Planning in the last 500 Years."

Hot Mic Mr. President .... HOT MIC!

This is, in a word; disturbing.

There is no task greater for POTUS than that of the defense of our nation. In that - his first priority should be to coordinate domestic factions towards a unified position facing the international community.

Isn't it a bit strange to coordinate with foreign nations AGAINST your own electorate and its representatives? Of course, I understand the challenges of an election year - but ....
Unaware that a microphone was recording him, President Obama asked outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Monday for breathing room until after Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign to negotiate on missile defense.

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Mr. Obama told Mr. Medvedev at the end of their 90-minute meeting, apparently referring to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Medvedev replied, “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”

“This is my last election,” Mr. Obama said. “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

The Russian leader responded, “I understand. I transmit this information to Vladimir.”
Good googly moogly, I'm glad I don't have to explain this away.

Good luck spinning this as it just fits all the stereotypes that derive from his political background on the far left.
UPDATE: Well ... here's the video.

Do you hear that?

I was very good about hearing protection while on active duty and off duty when at all possible. Heck ... I've always mowed the yard with hearing protection ... but ...

I've got it, and I'll be watching this close to see how it works out. If this is works out it will do a lot for those who spent a career in the military where tinnitus is for most an occupational hazard.
Loud, concussive explosions on the battlefield may last only a few seconds, but many soldiers returning from combat in the Middle East are experiencing lingering symptoms that cause them to perceive sounds even when it is quiet. Doctors can do little to treat the problem—typically described as a ringing in the ears—because they lack an effective way of delivering medication to the inner ear. That could change in a few years, in the form of an implantable polymer-based microscale drug-release system that delivers medicine to the inner ear.

Called tinnitus, the condition afflicts at least one in every 10 American adults and is the most common disability among Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Up to 40 percent of all veterans may be suffering from tinnitus, and the VA spends about $1 billion annually on disability payments for tinnitus, according to a study published last year in Nature. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

To address the problem, the U.S. Department of Defense has commissioned Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., to spend the next year fleshing out a concept for a small delivery device inserted near the membrane-covered window—no more than three millimeters in diameter—separating the middle ear from the inner ear. Once at the membrane the device (essentially a polymer capsule, although Draper is not developing any of medicines that might be placed inside) would release a drug into the cochlea, the tubular organ residing in the inner ear that enables us to hear. The plan is to embed wireless communications into the capsule so that a patient or doctor can control the dosage. After the capsule finishes delivering its supply of drugs, it would dissolve.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

An AFG indicator in May

Pledging and then providing are two different things - but it will be interesting to see the breakout on this in May.
An international conference on the future of Afghanistan is to be hosted by Nato in Chicago in May, when donor nations will be asked to contribute $4.3 billion (£2.7 billion) a year after 2014 to maintain the country's reconstruction effort after three decades of incessant conflict. Washington has indicated that it is prepared to contribute £1.75 billion, with the remainder coming from Europe and other states, such as Japan and Australia, that are currently supporting the Nato mission.
Chicago is a strange place to hold such a summit ... but sobeit.

What we do know is this - the promises made from forces on the ground by NATO when it took over the AFG operation in '05/06 were never met.

The Germans with the police, the Italians(!), with the judicial system, and the others who promised much out of the Bonn Agreement never came to pass - so what should we expect?

That is something I plan on writing more about in the coming months. Most of you know where this is heading, so we might as well flesh it out.

The Irregular History of Warfare, on Midrats

There is an echo that regular listeners to Midrats are very familiar with; the critical importance of an understanding of history in the profession of arms.

More than almost any other field, there is nothing new under the sun. The tools may change, but the play of power, economics, intellect, and drive which makes the difference in war and therefor human history remain the same.

A professional must reach back to Sun Tsu and Alexander the Great ... but he must also look closer.

Join EagleOne and me this Sunday, 25 MAR, from 5-6pm EST with returning guest LCDR Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong. He recently returned from deployment as the Officer-In-Charge of an MH-60S Armed Helo Detachment which conducted operations with the BATAAN ARG and 22D MEU in support of Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR in the 6th Fleet AOR and maritime security/counter-piracy operations in the 5th Fleet AOR.

When BJ isn't off playing helicopter pilot, he is an occasional naval historian. His research extends over the subjects of naval history and irregular warfare. He is the author of numerous articles including "The Most Daring Act of the Age: Principles for Naval Irregular Warfare" in The Naval War College Review, and "Nothing Like a Good Maritime Raid" in USNI's Proceedings.

His article "Immediate Redress: The USS Potomac and the Pirates of Quallah Batoo" is forthcoming in the May issue of Small Wars & Insurgencies.

Join us live if you can, but i
f you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio - the best way to get the show and download the archive to your audio player is to get a free account and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

How They See Us

Smart power ... indeed.

Hat tip rdb @ ace.

Fullbore Friday

Over the years, a lot of you have sent me links to this. It shows up now and then ... so ... it is time.

The Battle of Athens. A very American story ... and all true.

Thanks Paul for being the straw on the back.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Best Rumor of the Day

S-3B coming back as ... a KS-3B? (not a new idea at all, heck we've had 'em, see page 16).

Dedicated tanker squadrons running Dets like the C-2 bubbas.

Zero info in open-source though ... and this rumor has been around before as the S-3 sundown took place. I've seen study from a few years ago about how affordable and smart this is - and what a money maker it would be too.

Without Flag Support, sponsorship, and in the face of funding challenges - do I think it will happen? No, very small to zero odds.

Nice to think about though if you are a believer in the requirement for deep strike along with a respect for the vastness of the Pacific and the threat of SLMB & ASCM the closer you get to shore.

Then again, in Sal's world - the CSA would already be at IOC.

Diversity Thursday

A little something different this DivThu; a view on the topic written in a way I wish I could write it.

With his permission, today's post is from a Chaplain taken from a post of his from 04 MAR you can find on his blog, Adonai is Semper Fi. Padre - over to you.
The True Meaning of Diversity

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Having just finished Black History Month, and a recent prayer breakfast on this subject, I thought these verses would be especially appropriate this week as we celebrate our diversity within the military community.

First, what is diversity? The dictionary definition is “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements.” In the military, it means having a diverse – or varied – group of people within our organization. This is seen not just in race, heritage or gender, but in rank, MOS, experience, etc. We all contribute to the diversity of our unit in some way. This benefits us by bringing in a variety of experiences, languages, cultures, etc. It adds breadth and depth.

But diversity can be a touchy subject sometimes. Although for some it means recognizing the many different cultures and ethnicities that make up our American society, and trying to ensure that each has the same opportunities to succeed and excel in their chosen profession, let’s be honest; for others it has negative connotations, and signifies quotas, affirmative action, and methods of "leveling the playing field" which are a sort of reverse discrimination. This word can have a polarizing effect – for while we all may agree that diversity is a good thing to have in any organization, we may have differences of opinions in how to best implement that goal. But the goal of diversity is not just to “have diversity.” There must be a purpose, and there must be a standard.

To me, these verses that Paul wrote to the church in Galatia around 50 A.D. are a prime example of true diversity. You see, prior to this – prior to Christ’s birth – the Jews were God’s chosen people. They had received God’s laws from Moses that instructed them on how they were to live, and what they needed to do to live rightly before God. And for hundreds of years, they were a pretty exclusive club – the keepers of God’s laws, and His representatives to all the rest of the nations around them. You were either born into it as a Jew, or you could marry into it, provided that you converted and agreed to follow all the laws and practices, up to and including circumcision.

But Christ’s death on the cross changed all of that. Now, by God’s grace, the doors have been flung wide open and everyone is invited. Jesus himself foretold all of this during his ministry. Look at one of his parables, from Matthew 22:

“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Now in this story, the invitees represent the Jews – they were the ones to whom the personal invitation had been sent by the king himself. The servants represent the prophets, who continually reminded the Jews of their need to repent and turn back to God, and who were often mistreated or killed. And the people on the street? Well, they represent the Gentiles – those like you and me. We may not be the original invitees, but the door has been opened and all are invited to the wedding banquet.

But, like I said before, diversity simply for diversity’s sake doesn’t do much. There has to be a purpose or intent behind it. In the military, we work to ensure that all citizens who meet the standards have an equal opportunity to serve, to be recognized, and to be promoted – not on the basis of their color, creed or gender – but in spite of it. To be judged, as Dr. King said, on the content of their character. As an organization, we want to have the benefit of many ethnicities, languages, cultures, and experiences, but in order to get in you have to be qualified and meet the military standards.

The same thing is true for the Christian life. The purpose of opening up the gates of heaven for all is not to meet some sort of divine quota, but because of God’s great love for all his people. Go look at John 3:16. It’s because God so loved the world that he gave his Son – that whosoever believes might have eternal life. That is the appeal of the Gospel: it’s not something that is only available to the rich, or to Americans, or to those who give a certain amount of money to the church. It’s for everyone.

But, just like the military, there are standards that must be met. What is that standard? Let's look at a few verses:

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

So the first standard is faith in God; we must believe in God and in who Christ is in order to be saved. Romans 10:9 tells us that “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

But then, in Matthew 7:21, Jesus tells us that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

So here we have two seemingly contradictory things – faith and deeds. Believing and doing. It may seem contradictory, but really the two go hand in hand – they are two sides of the same coin. The degree to which you believe something is the degree to which you act on that belief. Are you married? If so, did your job of being a husband or wife stop once you left the altar? Did you just put a ring on your finger and return to your single life? Of course not.

We also know this in the military, because we practice it every day. We don’t call someone a soldier/sailor/airman or Marine just because they took the oath of office – they have to complete basic training first. We don’t call someone a pilot, or an infantryman, or a mechanic, or even a chaplain – unless and until they complete their training. They demonstrate their commitment to the military – to the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines – by going out and doing what they committed to when they first raised their right hand and took that oath.

So the two go together, and should be inseparable. Faith is the necessary starting point, which then naturally leads to action. The depth of one's belief can and should be measured by the degree to which they are willing to live out those beliefs in their life. As James says, faith without works is dead.

So to sum up:

· The Kingdom of God is full of diversity; every tribe and nation, every person on earth now has access to God and has been invited to the banquet.

· This diversity has a purpose; that God be glorified by having as many as will receive Him come to a saving knowledge of Him and have eternal life.

· This diversity has standards; that we have faith in God and that such faith will necessarily lead to actions in our lives.

If you like the way Padre Harvey thinks, you can follow his blog here or just follow the link from my blogroll.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Women Beat Their Women

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) just went on my watch list as a CCOI.

She is so good, I'll sit through Mathews show just to listen to her.

Marines Win Again

They get it. With rare exceptions - the Marine Corps recruiting is spot on.

Sure, I would like more things going boom and fewer shots of "aid" boxes ... but I'll take good over perfect. Matt it right; they have the best.

Whoever is putting together the USMC campaign ... can you make Navy's a double?

While others flatten, we fatten

There are a very few basics when it comes to a successful organization in the second decade of the 21st Century, one of which is the following.

1. If your income producing divisions are shrinking due to the economy, the non-income producing supporting divisions must shrink as much if not more than the income producing ones.

If you add to that a simple fact that due to technology and advances in management best practices - organizations are removing layers and thinning out overhead staff.

Both the above seem logical - but in unaccountable organizations a lack of focus on their core competance and corrupt "empire building" can warp what needs to be and should be done for the organization in order to meet the myopic desires of individuals who have motivations more personal than corporate.

That is a long warn path to irrelevancy, inefficiency, and eventual bankruptcy. Just ask the Jannisarries. Few can get away with "Though I should only spend a dollar, last year I spent $2. Next year I will spend $1.95. Wow, look at all the money I'm saying." Most of those few work inside the beltway.

Via Walter Pincus at WaPo:

The first thing that former senior military and civilian Pentagon officials of the Cold War era mention, when discussing reductions to the defense budget, is cutting the inflated size of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff.
... in the defense secretary’s office ... The fiscal 2013 budget for the office projects a reduction of $186.6 million from this year, but it may turn out to be less, say $121 million, because of inflation. Nevertheless, the office’s fiscal 2013 budget will still be $2.1 billion for the 2,124 civilians and 405 officers and enlisted personnel who work primarily in the Pentagon. Ten years ago there were 1,489 civilians and 481 military personnel on that office payroll.

The Joint Staff has also ballooned.It has substantially increased the past two years, apparently with the absorption of functions from the controversial closing of the Joint Forces Command. The Joint Staff grew from an average of 1,007 officers and enlisted men in 2011 to 2,089 in 2012. Civilian employees on the Joint Staff also grew in the past year, from 364 in 2011 to 693 in 2012, according to Pentagon figures.
We are shedding Sailors and actual operators left and right - but the bloat bloats. It also plays games.
While the plan is to cut the Joint Staff military numbers by 683 next year, the number of civilian employees is projected to grow to 923 by the end of 2013. Some 465 of that military reduction represents a transfer of personnel to Transportation Command, part of the realignment of Joint Forces Command personnel, according to Pentagon documents, Another 137 of the military reduction represents a transfer of personnel to the Air Force as part of the realignment of work by the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center.
Some credit is due for some cuts - some - we think.
The Joint Staff had almost 1,100 contractors working full time in 2011 and 2012. Reducing 180 of them next year, who work under five joint staff programs, is expected to save $45.2 million, according to Pentagon materials. That averages out to almost $250,000 per person. The Pentagon notes the average salary of Joint Staff civilian employees is $145,500 and justifies that “premium” pay because they possess Top Secret/Special Compartmented Intelligence security clearances, which could get them higher salaries from private sector firms.
Read Walter's whole thing.

Much more work to be done. Much more.

Hat tip Paul.

Press and President Romney Preview

I remember the change in style, angle, emphasis in the press' visual and written work on the President between Reagan/Bush 41 and Clinton. The shift from Clinton to Bush 43 was almost as shocking as the change from Bush 43 to Obama.

I am fully ready for the change when the next Republican comes in, as I have never had an illusion about the political bias of most of the media since I shifted from left to right - mostly as a result of the disgust in the Left's willful ignorance of the Soviet slaughter of the Ukrainian people in the 1930s.

Some of the libertarian parts of my lefty days remain from weed (no, I'm not a user, but I don't think people should go to jail for having a dime bag in their backpack) to women to homosexual rights ... but I know I am a man of the right more than anything else.

In that light - I know the use and misuse of iconography. Especially today - pictures are rarely chosen at random.

When we think of President Obama ... you know the most used and abused photo of him.

I won't insult your intelligence by explaining that iconography.

So, before reading one of the many of my "actual" email addresses - this time via yahoo - behold the pic of Romney with an article.

Ahhh, yes. Here we go again. Who does that picture remind you of?

Of course .......

Actually - I think that might actually gain Mitt a few votes ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NYT Gets the Smear Bucket

First of all, this is not aimed at the people in question - this is aimed at NYT.

We know the movie ... we know the world view ... we know what we know.

Right out of Page 13 of the post-Vietnam "broken vessels" playbook - what I warned about over half a decade ago - here we go.
Like Mr. Pennington, many veterans injured in combat are finding that their invisible psychological and neurological wounds are proving more debilitating than their obvious physical ones.

About 1,700 American service members have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan, most in roadside bombings that seared skin, shattered bones and damaged internal organs as well. Most of those troops also came home with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, which in many cases were not recognized for months.
Well meaning, perhaps. Typical "vets are victims" slideshow included.

I don't deny that there may be specific issues ... but we again have the media trying to apply the specific to the general.

Remember the formula. All veterans are broken. Because they are broken, they are victims. Because they are victims, they are to be pitied. Because they are pitied, their opinions carry less weight. Because their opinions carry less weight - they are marginalized. If they are marginalized, they are to be patronized. If you are patronized, you are disenfranchised from public discourse. If you are disenfranchised, you can be ignored.

The Biden Challenge

Being that we have an eclectic international crowd on the front porch, I am going to strip away all nationalism in this by actually letting this be any action.

First the disclaimers: as I did when it took place, BZ to President Obama for the call he made and BZ+ to the operators who gave Osama his just awards: both the President's orders and the operators' actions speak for themselves.

What neither need is hyperbole. Especially from VP Biden. This is just sad:
You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.
There you go front porch: you can go back to 1512.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm sorry, you've failed your board

Anyone who has tried to train people on a moboard or ASW acoustics - or better yet had them come to you for PQS sign-off - this will sound familiar.

Hat tip Allah.

Vietnam's Sacrifical Monks

Remember Vietnam's Buddhist monks?

Well, none are on fire at the moment ... but China has to deal with them now. I'm pondering it over at USNIBlog.

Charting the Boomer Legacy

OK Boomer apologists ..... let me just give you some pictures.

As Tyler says at ZeroHedge;
the US economy, as represented by its Balance of Payments, the profligacy of the US consumer, the massive expansion of consumer leverage, and the collapse in US manufacturing jobs, and specifically its current near-terminal state, is as much as legacy of the baby boom generation's actions (and lack thereof), as of everything else that has already been mulled over and scapegoated an infinite number of times in both the mainstream and fringe media.
Click for larger.

Economic ped0phi1ia - satisfying your own selfish needs on the back of children.

Hat tip Andrew.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Funnies

I drove seven hours to be at your wedding. You are so cheap, and your actual friends are such poor planners - that they run out of beer the night prior to your wedding - pretty much mid-evening when I show up. I just start introducing myself around to people I really don't like (why did I agree to come to your wedding again?)

You turn to me ... me the guy who isn't even in the wedding party but came anyway out of some kind of ..... who knows why - throw me a wad of 20's and say, "You're sober - make a beer run, will 'ya?"

Me, "OK."

I'm mad at myself already for driving to a wedding I don't care about. Suddenly - I remember what the 25 yr old Sal would do.

Beer? No further requests? Ok. I'll get you beer.

People who I don't either know are don't like think I am a tool. Me? All I know is that 25-yr old Sal is laughing his a55 off.

Choke on it Yuppie Scum. I'll drink it.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Now & Next With LtGen Van Riper, on Midrats

You have heard the phrase, "Well, I've seen this movie before."

After over a decade of disjointed conflict that is still yet to play out, what have we learned, what do we still need to learn, and what do we need to forget?

Has the global threat that brought about the attacks of 11 SEP 01 been reduced, have they grown, or have they morphed in to something different?

To meet the challenge ahead, are we preparing our forces best intellectually, structurally, and materially?

Do we have the command climate and culture to encourage innovative and bright leaders to shape our approach to the unexpected challenges that we will face?

To discuss, this Sunday, March 18th from 5-6pm EST, our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, USMC (Ret.). He served his nation with over 41 years of commissioned and enlisted service from the Dominican Republic crisis, to Vietnam, to DESERT STORM and more through retirement in 1997.

He continues to serve his nation in both the government and private sector with a depth of experience that yes, he's "seen a lot of movies before."

Join us live if you can, but i
f you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio - the best way to get the show and download the archive to your audio player is to get a free account and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fullbore Friday

Sometimes, being Fullbore takes place after you have spent years being ... fullbore.

I have ranted since 2004 against those who are trying to do to this generation what they did to the Vietnam Generation WRT PTSD. The major reason is that there are real people with very human things they are working through - working through because they put everything on the line to make sure everyone here can live a life like no other.

The smears p155 me off, because those who actually have real PTSD are normal people; friends, brothers, sons, fathers, neighbors, husbands. They are not broken vessels to be pitied. As a matter of fact - they are fully functional and even deployed.

The fakes p155 me off because they take away funding and help from those who actually need it, and fake it so bad that they make everyone else look bad.

The poseurs p155 me off for all the reasons above.

Who has PTSD? One of those people is Master Sergeant CJ Grisham. I guy I know in person a few days and online for years, and look forward to knowing more in the years to come. A good man, a solid man, what you would expect in a US Army Master Sergeant.

He is also very open to his challenge in a way few men are/can/will. By doing so, he is doing a great service, by his example, for his Soldiers who may need some help as well.

As much as anything, this is Fullbore. Via the Sandbox a couple of months ago - I'm going to steal in large bits.
Today, I listened to the advice of more than a few people and finally went to the TMC and Combat Stress hospital. My right hand hasn’t stopped twitching after nearly a month and it’s beyond irritating. I’m not sleeping, not eating, and highly irritable. I’ve been under a lot of stress and feel like many of those above me are just making things worse.

So, for three hours today, I sat and got to revisit many issues related to my PTSD, depression, and anxiety as well as some new ones. While waiting to speak with one of the case workers, I had the opportunity of sitting down with “SFC Zeke.”

Zeke looked very busy when I entered the room, but could tell immediately I was there for business. He set aside his distraction and gave me his complete attention. He didn’t say a word. Just sat there and listened to me. He didn’t judge me; he didn’t interrupt me; and he never blamed me. In five minutes, Zeke did what few others could do having just met me -- he calmed me down and made me feel like I was worth listening to. I want to introduce you to Zeke:
Read it all.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

When IGs Go Bad

For those who are so quick to accept the findings of an IG (as with the case of CDR Jackson) - in spite of the problems we all know about them; let the story of Capt. Robert Gamberg, USN give you pause.
In an unusual reversal, a panel of admirals cleared a Norfolk-based Navy captain who was fired for alleged misconduct aboard the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, and it found major flaws with the service's investigation of the case.

But, despite the panel's January ruling, Capt. Robert Gamberg likely will not be allowed to return to sea command, his lawyer said in an interview this week.

Gamberg's firing was first reported in June, shortly after the Navy issued a news release saying he had been relieved of his duties as second-in-command aboard the Eisenhower. An investigation found he had engaged in "an improper relationship," the release said. Navy officials wouldn't elaborate.
In January, Gamberg faced what is known as a board of inquiry - a panel of three admirals tasked with deciding whether he should be allowed to remain in the Navy, and if not, whether his actions warranted retirement at a reduced rank and pay grade.

Because the matter did not go to a court-martial, it was Gamberg's first chance to defend himself in a courtroom setting.

At the end of the two-day hearing, the board decided that he should stay in the service. What's more, the members unanimously agreed that he had committed none of the misconduct for which he already had been punished - an outcome that Gamberg's Navy-appointed attorney, Capt. Michael Palmer, called exceptionally rare.

In written remarks attached to the decisions, the board's senior member, Rear Adm. Herman Shelanski, wrote that the government failed to meet the burden of proof for all of the charges. He criticized the Navy's investigation for relying almost exclusively on one source, the female officer's then-husband, who made the complaint that launched the investigation.

"The complainant did not provide a sworn statement, was of questionable motive and did not appear for the inquiry," Shelanski wrote.

He described the method by which the officer's husband obtained the emails used in the investigation as "illegal," saying it called into question his intentions. He also agreed with Palmer that the government could not prove the emails hadn't been altered.

"Had the totality of the evidence presented to the board been available during the initial investigation, prior to the (admiral's mast), the board believes Capt. Gamberg would not have been removed from his position as executive officer on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower," Shelanski said.
BZ to Rear Admiral Shelanski.

Captain Gamberg, if he had a likely successful career, would have been on the fast track to Flag Rank. Ponder.

Does this give him back his good name - not 100%. Ponder.

Diversity Thursday

"Sal, if the (D)iversity Bullies have their way, where does it locically wind up?"

That is a very easy answer. I don't have to play pretend - it is all unfolding right in front of you.

This has been a good week for what I have been blogg'n about every THU for years.

1970 thinking meets second decade of the 21st Century reality.

We have already covered in detail the prep-school raised, blond-haired, blue-eyed sons of major trial lawyers people clicking "Hispanic." We have Admirals - you can search this site for them if you wish for their sub-urban upper-middle class Wonderbread upbringing - who have laughable threads that connect them to their "minority" status - a laughable thread they have used from professional gain.

Back to the news of which I speak. There is so much goodness here - I just want to get nakid and roll around in it.
Compton City Councilwoman Janna Zurita owes her Hispanic last name to a grandmother from Spain, whom she never met. Zurita considers her mother black and said her father “wants to be black” even though he “looks Latino.”

Zurita, the mayor pro tem of Compton, sometimes jokes with her sister about their racial roots.

“She always tells me I look just like a Mexican: flat booty, straight hair. You know, just all kind of – how Mexicans used to look. You know, now they have big booties,” Zurita said in a legal deposition in November. “You know, little jokes about it.”

While Zurita takes a sometimes-playful approach to her racial identity, it became the serious subject of a recent lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act. In January, a judge ruled that a trial would be necessary to figure out whether Zurita could be considered Latina and whether that means Latinos have a voice on the council.
Armed with 2010 census data, a network of attorneys is increasingly targeting local governments – from cities and school boards to hospital and community college districts – for not reflecting the demographics of their constituents.
(For the record: I am not implying rolling around nakid with Zurita; just the goodness of the schadenfreude. In any event - for those who know my actual Latin American predilections, it has nothing to do with flatness...)

That is where these the (D)iversity Bullies all wind up if they are not opposed. Poor Zurita, she is of the same ethnic groups as I am, "American" - thought the bean counters won't let her be.

She is as many are, multiracial.
In Compton, lawyers representing two Latina residents argued that Zurita is not Latina. Zurita, on the other hand, pointed to her election as evidence that Latinos are represented. But even she seemed conflicted during her deposition, at one point saying that she is Latina, at another point that she isn’t.

Asked point-blank by an opposing lawyer, Zurita replied, “I don’t think there is any pure races.”

The brouhaha over Zurita’s race “raises an issue that I believe is silent in the legislation, which is, how are you calculating ethnicity?” said Compton City Attorney Craig J. Cornwell. “Is it people who have Latino ancestry? Is it how a person self-identifies themselves?"

The U.S. Census doesn’t provide clear answers, because it considers being Hispanic or Latino separate from race. On government forms, Zurita sometimes marks black, sometimes “other” and couldn’t remember if she ever marked Latino.

Adding to the confusion, Zurita later referred to her Spanish grandmother as Mexican. The attorney sought to clarify: “So she was from Spain, but her heritage was Mexican?”

“Well,” Zurita replied, “you know, I don't know. All this Mexican, third generation, fourth generation, Latina, Latino – I just kind of refer to the group as Mexican.”

Regardless, Zurita maintained that she represents all residents of Compton, where 65 percent of the population is Hispanic.

“I don't even think race, you know,” she said. “I don't look at race.”
Sad, isn't it? Zurita, I don't look at race either - too bad our government doesn't. Read more at the link ... this is why we fight ... but let's move on.

... and of course, we must have our metrics!
In order to make sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench, the state of California is requiring all judges and justices to reveal their sexual orientation. The announcement was made in an internal memo sent to all California judges and justices.
Both here and the link above - the steps the (D)iveristy Industry is taking continues to diverge from the fundamentals of a free society, but that shouldn't shock anyone. Their intellectual foundation is Cultural Marxism (look it up).

If there is one thing you can change even easier than your ethnicity (I know, in my family we have three + "other" to play around with) - it is your sexual preference. For some people, it changes over time (L.U.G. call your office) and no one should demand that they be stamped for life with one ... well, I don't think anyone should be branded. The (D)iversity Industry ... of course they can't have that. Privacy? Freedom? Individualism? Heavens no. They are all about breaking people apart - that is how they get their paycheck and power.
The next influx of UC students may be asked to state their sexual orientation.

In January, the Academic Senate recommended that upon accepting admission offers from a University of California school students should have the option of identifying themselves as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender.

The UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools had mixed reactions but agreed that the question would allow them to collect important statistical information. They recommended putting the question on the SIR forms instead of college applications to protect students’ privacy.
Leave them kids along.

California might just help us all by showing where it all leads to ... if we don't stand up to it.

Good news ... more and more people are standing up to it - especially the young.

This sectarian cancer must be opposed. It must be pointed out for what it is.

This is no less distasteful than someone who would base their support for a political candidate founded primarily on their self-proclaimed race.

In a fair and just society - one would not stand for a person of stature being so bigoted as to support someone based primarily on skin color; would you?

If you allow sectarianism grab hold without protest - it grows and becomes normal. Normal like this.

There is nothing wrong with being a strong supporter of President Obama. If you base that support around his self-identified race .... well ... then you have a problem.

That my friends, is an appeal to the most base and destructive brand of sectarianism - racism.

Shame on Chicago; and shame on us for letting this grow in broad daylight - but in a way that is good. As it is out in the light ... it is easier to destroy.

Good luck defending any of the above racialist actions ... you can't with a good conscience, can you? Of course not ... that is why it is so bad it is good.