A Different Christmas Poem

Posted By Subsunk

[Annual Repost - first post December 7, 2005]

Subsunk here.  December is upon us.  The winds are howling and the snow is falling in much of America.  I came in to work today and found this in my inbox.  Folks at work know I am very pro-military, and look out for things like this for me.  I don't know who wrote it, but he has all the makings of the Bard in him.

Many will say they have seen tributes like this before, but this one is new to me.  I have seen Christmas remembrances to the military before.  But not this one.  This one explains what those who do their duty expect of "We, the Protected".  Whether you serve in Alaska or Amariya, Iraq, some small tidbits in the news have recently pointed out why our servicemen sign up to serve.  They've even mentioned that the Iraqis signing up to join the Iraqi Armed Forces feel the same way as our men and women in uniform do.  They signed up because it is their duty.  To defend America, to defend Iraq and America from terrorists, to defend Americans who sleep at home safe and sound, because it is a dirty thankless job.

But someone needs to do it.  And when you get to the bottom, remember why they do it.  Do they matter to you?  And have you shown it?

For you ladies and gents around the world, standing your watch, walking your post, doing your duty, giving your lives to us, WE REMEMBER:

A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM

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December 13, 2012 • PermalinkComments (43)TrackBack (18)
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Godspeed, Lex

Posted By Subsunk

I note with sadness the passing of Neptunus Lex, CAPT Carroll "Lex" LeFon, USN (Retired). Apparently, his Israeli Kfir crashed while he was flying as an aggressor pilot out of Fallon, NV for the Navy's Top Gun school. His command of the English language and grasp of the ironies in Life were an outstanding characteristic of his life, as was his deep and abiding love for his family, and a commensurate deep love of his country.

 

You may leave a tribute to Lex here: Comments are closed. Leave your tributes at Lex's place.....

 

Godspeed, Lex. Keep my seat open and the Guiness cold.

 

Subsunk

March 07, 2012 • PermalinkComments (0)TrackBack (0)
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A Bit Chilly Up Here...

Posted By Subsunk

...... Today. Tom Selleck I'm not. Neither did I inherit any of Sam Elliott's facial hair characteristics.

To provide for public record my meager progress in growing what will, nevertheless, be my entry in support of the 'Stache Bash, I submit the proof that I can grow a mustache that is grey and reasonably well covers the disfigurations on my upper lip that caused me to choose to hide my face below the ocean waves in the past. A face only me Mother could love anyway..... But it WAS totally bare a month ago...

I am violating one of my primary rules with this post. "No photo is worth the risk of counterdetection." One of the most common submarine axioms in the book. Just remember I warned you that nothing good could come from this, unless you choose to support the Brave and Honorable Men and Women who will receive greater care than they previously would have without the outstanding efforts of Soldiers' Angels and the sponsorship of Matt and the fine Men of Blackfive. I sincerely hope each and every one of you has delved deep into your pockets to find what you can give to support Soldiers' Angels in their support to the Troops who serve and protect us this and every year.

Subsunk1A

God Bless them all, and Merry Christmas, Folks.

PS, Yes it is real, it is grey, and I am old enough to know better. WAY older than the rest of my team mates....

Subsunk

December 10, 2011 • PermalinkComments (3)TrackBack (0)
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Veterans Day for the Civilized World

Posted By Subsunk

A Small Tribute For Veterans Day. God Bless 'em, Every One....

 

Semper Fi

 

Made In America

 

Press on.

 

Subsunk

November 09, 2011 • PermalinkComments (8)TrackBack (0)
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The Marines Have Won. No One Wants To Fight Them Anymore.

Posted By Subsunk

SigonOn San Diego has the news. Best read of the day. The photos are great. Look how young they are!

What have we done to earn this today???

Marines turn the tide in the Fallujah of Afghanistan

By Gretel C. Kovach

 

SANGIN, Afghanistan ” It would be hard to forget that face, even if they hadn't seen it just the day before.

A young Afghan man stood on the side of a narrow dirt lane, watching an open-top truckload of Marines head into a volatile neighborhood in this river valley town coveted by Taliban insurgents and drug lords.

The man smiled at the Marines and waved. Then he yanked a kite string detonation cord attached to a bomb buried in the road.

A platoon from Camp Pendletons 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment would have been decimated in the attack. The battalion already had suffered more casualties than any other in the 10-year war in Afghanistan, long before its seven-month tour ended this month. But the homemade device was a dud. It smoked but failed to explode until the Marines drove safely out of the way.

The next day, the Marines shot their way back into the ravine, wounding an armed fighter who was dragged into a mosque. When they reached the alley where they had been attacked, Cpl. Jason Gaal and Staff Sgt. Nathan Stocking couldn't believe their eyes. Both recognized a guy riding by on a motorcycle.

"Lo and behold, there's our trigger man," Gaal said.

Stocking walked the trembling flex-cuffed detainee back to base, overcompensating for his fury with exaggerated gentleness. "My buddy ... my buddy," he sang, guiding his prisoner lightly by the arm.

Read the rest. We aren't worth their spit.......

Press on, indeed!

Thanks, Lex

Subsunk 

April 25, 2011 • PermalinkComments (9)TrackBack (0)
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Honor Defined

Posted By Subsunk

If you haven't read David Bellavia on Victory, you absolutely HAVE to read this. A better description of why Victory is important and why we fight, and how to Honor for our Fallen, I cannot find so well expressed anywhere else. From the guy who was there, and knows what we seek in our service to our country, and sacrificed for our comrades, I can find no finer testimonial.

Read it all.

Subsunk

February 21, 2010 • PermalinkComments (6)TrackBack (0)
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Voting Present

Posted By Subsunk

Quoting Victor Davis Hanson in toto:

 

Voting Present Is Not an Option   [Victor Davis Hanson]

While our Narcissus-in-Chief is frozen gazing at his perfect image in his private pool, choices have to be made in Afghanistan. Consider the following:

(a) We have a Democratically controlled Congress that by and large has supported, since 2004, the Kerry-Obama-Hillary Clinton narrative of a "good" war in Afghanistan, supposedly shamefully neglected by George Bush's neo-con adventure in Iraq, but absolutely vital to the security of the United States, and one entirely winnable — if only we allot sufficient resources.

(b) We have a proven command in Generals McChrystal and Petraeus and their circle of subordinates, who crafted a winning counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq that defeated the terrorists, ensured stability for the fragile constitutional government, and took a tremendous toll on the human and material resources of al-Qaeda, as well as the reputation of radical Islam among the Middle East street. 
 
(c) We have thousands of battle-hardened, experienced veteran soldiers and their officers, who know far more about the Middle East in general, and counter-insurgency in particular, than was true than when we first deployed to either to Afghanistan in 2001, or Iraq in March 2003.

(d) The Islamic world is much less in thrall (polls tell us that) to bin Laden and his advocacy of suicide bombing and terrorism than it was five years ago; Pakistan in general, the victim of numerous terrorist attacks, is far more willing to take concerted action that aids our cause than at any time in the last eight years. And we have a president who by his own admission resonates abroad in a way not true of the past, and will be given a level of international support not usually accorded to American efforts in the Muslim world.

(e) The president has a domestic opposition — entirely unlike that of George Bush's — that is eager to support President Obama to fulfill his promise to win Afghanistan by devoting more resources to the effort. 

(f)  We have a media mesmerized by Obama, that will withhold criticism of him in Afghanistan in a way that was simply not true of the Bush effort in Iraq, that, nonetheless, proved successful. 

(g) We have a split public, but one far more amenable to a surge in Afghanistan than was true in late 2006 of the proposed surge in Iraq.

(h) We should be bolstered by our success in Iraq, and the enemy demoralized by its failure; rather than vice versa.
 
Given the above, and given that George Bush made a far more difficult choice that saved Iraq, it is hard to figure out why Obama can not make a simple decision to send troops requested by commanders on the ground.
 
 
Discuss amongst yourselves. There will be a test afterwards.
 
Subsunk out.

October 22, 2009 • PermalinkComments (19)TrackBack (0)
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Another Nuclear Power in the Oceans of the World

Posted By Subsunk

India's nuclear-powered submarine ready

United Press International, July 13, 2009

If all goes as planned, India, according to various reports, will soon join the exclusive club of nations with their own domestically built nuclear-powered submarines, marking a giant leap for its naval defense.

More than 20 years in the making and until now known only as the Advanced Technology Vehicle project, the Indian navy's new nuclear-powered submarine named INS Chakra is expected to be launched in the coming weeks to begin its sea trials.

 

The report said the 7,700-ton INS Chakra will undergo sea trials for several months after entering the waters of the Bay of Bengal from the Vishakhapatnam port in southeastern Andhra Pradesh state. It is designed to carry intermediate-range submarine-launched missiles that have already been tested on the eastern coast, the report said.

The INS Chakra is the first of five such nuclear-powered submarines India reportedly plans under its Advanced Technology Vessel program to complete its triad of air, land and sea-based nuclear weapons systems.

The nuclear-powered submarine is also seen as helping to strengthen the navy's presence in its traditional sea lanes in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean and to keep its sea lines of communication open and unhindered.

The Financial Times reported the INS Chakra, which cost about $2.9 billion, is based on the Russian Akula-I class submarine. Its pressurized water reactor was developed at the atomic research center in Kalpakkam in southern Tamil Nadu state.

 

"This is a historic and big step forward. The project is quite indigenous and it opens the door for deploying nuclear weapons in the ocean," C. Raja Mohan, professor of south Asian studies at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, told the Financial Times.

One Indian expert told the Financial Times that China, with eight nuclear submarines and three times the number of combat vessels, is quite ahead of  India.

Separately, Indian media reports said Russia had resumed pre-delivery trials this month of its Akula class nuclear submarine to be leased to the Indian navy later this year. The Financial Times said India also is waiting to take delivery of a 30-year-old refitted Russian aircraft carrier as wells as building six French-designed Scorpene diesel submarines.

Commenting on the disclosure a senior Indian official reaffirmed that  New Delhi has no plans to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, reported the Indian press.

“No sir,” said Minister of State Prithviraj Chavan when asked whether  India has the intention to join the pact, which enlists signatory nations to promote non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

The other five countries which already possess nuclear powered submarines are the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France and  China, all permanent members of the UN Security council.

India is one of a handful of nations known or widely assumed to possess nuclear weapons – including rival Pakistan and Israel – that has refused to sign the non proliferation document.

So much for nonproliferation, folks. The Akula class is a very quiet Russian submarine and probably the only hostile competition for the United States Submarine Force. Although the Chinese, and other countries have nuclear submarines as well, the Russians have a seafaring history and some experience at submarine warfare (not much good experience, but they are capable of learning and not repeating mistakes and were formidable opponents during the Cold War). The Chinese are "uncomfortable" at sea in submarines. They do not have a long history of successful submarine operations, althought there is no reason to doubt their stated capabilities. The Indians will have some growing pains.

 

The Akula SSN that the Russians are selling them had an accident on onboard when a fire suppression (Halon) system was inadvertently activated and killed 20 sailors and shipyard workers. The Russians usually take their damaged goods and sell them off because they figure it is too hard to fix them. So the Indians will be stuck with the lemon Akula for a bit and work out the kinks on their program using it as a test case, I believe. Not that it will be a test or research submarine. Just that they will make their mistakes on the damaged goods boat, and use the lessons learned to make their indigenous craft come out better.

 

The oceans are getting more crowded every day. This is a big deal in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

Subsunk out.

July 14, 2009 • PermalinkComments (11)TrackBack (0)
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"I think my mother prayed me out of that camp"

Posted By Subsunk

He Kept His Faith In The Man Upstairs

Submariner survived 3½ years in Japanese POW camp

The Day, May 29, 2009 

Ernest “Ernie” Plantz survived 1,297 days as a prisoner of war during World War II because he had a “strong belief in the man upstairs” and the will to live.

”I never, ever really thought I was really going to die,” he said. “… I think my mother prayed me out of that camp. She was very religious. I wasn't a particularly religious boy. I had been raised Baptist, went to church, but like most teenagers I wasn't too religious. But I'm convinced that's what got me out, between my mother and the man upstairs.”

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May 29, 2009 • PermalinkComments (6)TrackBack (0)
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Hugo's Capabilities

Posted By Subsunk

I'm repeating an article I found in a submarine daily brief. It contains interesting points about Hugo Chavez and how he rules Venezuela.... by not honoring contracts or paying his bills. How long will the rest of the world continue to prop him up for that???? Hopefully not much longer. (This is the kind of intel reports we should all be getting and read for ourselves.)

 

Subsunk, out.

 

Separating Fact from Fiction: An Analysis of Venezuela’s Military Power

By Alex Sanchez, coha.org, May 13, 2009

Following the recently concluded Summit of the Americas held April 17-19, in Trinidad and Tobago, President Barack Obama claimed that the U.S. defense budget was 600 times greater than that ofVenezuela. While it is true that, in conventional warfare, a Venezuelan victory over this country is totally beyond any credulity, the question remains regarding how much relative military strength doesVenezuela actually project. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is widely acknowledged as having carried out an aggressive policy of military acquisitions in recent years, which has had far-reaching implications particularly through purchasing Russian military equipment. In effect, this arms program made Chávez appear on Washington’s SOUTHCOM security radar screen as well as those of neighboring South American nations, especially Colombia.

Military Overseas’ Providers in the Chávez Era

A key facet of the Russian-Venezuelan military partnership has been Chávez’s continued interest in purchasing state-of-the-art Russian weaponry. This process, which can be traced back to 2006, at the same time marked the beginning of Moscow’s active return to the western hemisphere, as its influence in the region continually has spread through various precise spheres (military cooperation, commerce, trade and cultural relations). Meanwhile, Venezuela significantly has linked itself to Moscow and made Russia its most important military arms-provider in the region. This inevitably has fomented a comparison of the Caracas-Moscow relationship with the Havana-Soviet relationship dating back to the origins of the Cold War, even if such a comparison is not entirely warranted.

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May 14, 2009 • PermalinkComments (3)TrackBack (0)
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You Be The Judge

Posted By Subsunk

Humor from Liberalshere  and here 

Humor from Conservatives: here, and here

Who is the classier act? And who is funnier? You be the Judge.

(I submit that the current President of these United States can be pretty funny when he wants to be.... We'd do well to remember that not all of Life is a Socialist train wreck in slow motion, and laugh at ourselves when the opportunity presents itself.)

So yeah, I thought he was funny mostly, and even when he did take a couple of cheap shots, I don't begrudge him that time....even he deserves to relax and unwind.

But we all know who is the funnier, more genuine, and bigger Man in the room.

Subsunk out. (Yeah, I know. Two posts in one day. I feel like living dangerously)

May 11, 2009 • PermalinkComments (23)TrackBack (0)
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Welcome to Jimmy Carter's Navy..... Again

Posted By Subsunk

Well, it ain't like we didn't see this coming. We knew we were shortchanging the Navy, with good justification, because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, as good Sailors, we knew we had to suck it up and drive on. But we also knew there would come a time when we needed to stop living on the backs of our Sailors and the sweat off their brow, and would need to work on the ships they tend.

 

That time is here, folks. Ya think we're gonna see more money to maintain ships and care for Sailors in the future????? Nah, me neither. With his Nibs cutting a whole 17 Billion dollars out of his budget, and half of that coming from the military, what are the chances the Army and Marine Corps are also on the chopping block?

 

Pretty damn good, I'd say.

 

Your Defense got sold down the river when you elected the Dhimmicrats as a majority to Congress in 2006. All DoD is to a Dhimmicrat is a Pork Jobs Program. If you can find a Pro Defense guy with a D after his name, I'll buy you a steak dinner.....

 

And Sen Webb most assuredly doesn't count as Pro Defense to me. And he used to be my SECNAV too............. Gates just does what the bosses tell him to do. (Anybody else miss Rummy when you ask what is in the future of the Forces questions? At least he didn't sell out our National Defense because his boss was looking to make a political windfall.)

 

Read it and weep, because the Hollow Force is here to stay for awhile. I'm highlighting the important points here:

 

Will Cash Crisis Leave Navy High And Dry?

By Steve Liewer, San DiegoUnion-Tribune, May 9, 2009

A serious Navy cash crunch is threatening to leave sailors in San Diego and across the fleet stranded ashore, unable to change duty stations and without the bonuses that have long encouraged them to stay in uniform.

 

In recent weeks, Navy officials have instituted a series of austerity measures to reduce costs or postpone them until the next fiscal year, which begins Oct 1. The expense trimming includes:

·         Cutting at-sea time for nondeployed ships by about one-third and decreasing flight hours for carrier air wings by an unspecified amount. (This means we won't be as good at what we are supposed to be doing and so more sailors and civilians will lose their lives in our attacks and missions)

·         Reducing or eliminating the ships sent to promotional “Fleet Week” events in San Diego and other cities.  (I could give two squats whether San Francisco gets any Navy presence during Fleet Week, as they don't deserve the visits, but I'm sure this will get reinstated because Nancy feels San Francisco deserves some money, just because the hagfish of San Francisco is Speaker of the House)

·         Delaying “permanent change of station” transfers for 14,000 sailors who had expected to move this summer.  (This has happened before when we needed to save some cash, so I'm not surprised, but coupled with the next item, means trouble)

·         Eliminating most re-enlistment bonuses effective this month.   (This is a big problem! This is how we got out of Jimmy Carter's Navy. Eliminating bonuses for guys who are already underpaid compared to civilians, and making sure their life in the Navy sucks because they will be gone all the time, and their families will have to slave to make ends meet is goona drive Sailors out of the Navy in droves. Take it from an old Force Retention Officer. I saw this stuff happen and bonuses was the only way the guys got evened up with their civilian counterparts and felt like 6 months out of every 18 deployed away from home was worth their efforts. This is a horrendously bad move, especially since it is a pittance compared to the maintenance budgets. I see my nukes will be protected, but this is still the worst thing the Navy could do, in my humble opinion.)

 

Some of the steps are designed to help close a projected $417 million shortage in ship maintenance funds this year. Military and congressional sources said the shortfall occurred because maintenance money for Navy surface ships hasn't kept pace with a 19 percent increase in those ships' operations since 2002.  (And you did it so you wouldn't have to short the Army and Marine Corps. Good on you! But there comes a time to admit you need the funds to keep the ships afloat, Gents. What were you thinking??? That you could always catch up under the next President? Well, wlecome to your worst nightmare!)

Repairs stemming from recent accidents involving the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship New Orleans, attack submarine Hartford and cruiser Port Royal could push the deficit higher. The bill for the Port Royal, which ran aground Feb. 5 near Honolulu, is estimated at $163 million.   (And these accidents happened, folks because we keep pushing the troops to do more with less instead of funding everything that turly needs to be done, when we know it needs to be done. Ask yourself how you'd like it if maintenance on some nuclear ships got shortchanged and there was an accident which could have been prevented? You wouldn't like it! So why do you accept it on Surface Craft which could run aground at sea, or collide with other ships, or, God forbid, be attacked with a USS Cole sized attack? Our fleets of ships, and planes (both in the Navy and the Air Force) have to do with the minimums of funding for maintenance. We redline most every budget to get the most out of our people at the expense of their quality of Life...... How would YOU like living that way?)

Defense analysts said the budget problem isn't unique to the Navy; it has become a perennial one for the Pentagon. Last year, legislators had to pump nearly $1 billion into the operations and maintenance accounts of the four military services – including $180 million for Navy ships and aircraft – in a midyear supplement to the Pentagon budget.

 

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., has crusaded this spring against the Navy's strategy of using supplemental money to pay for its most basic needs, and President Barack Obama has said he wants to stop the practice throughout the military by next year.  (But what they really mean is we ain't gonna fund you beyond what you already get and so you have to put it in one line item and live with a 3% increase every year for inflation for the forseeable future. They are both liars of the first order of magnitude.)

 

“The Navy's reliance on emergency defense supplemental appropriations to fund routine ship maintenance in recent years begs for re-examination,” Webb wrote on his Web site. “Such funding should be included in the core budget, and it should be protected.” (Gee Senator Dumbass, where were you for the last 6 yrs? Did you think someone else was doing your job for you, and you a former SECNAV to boot? Why didn't you and SEN Warner insist on it being protected? Because you were all about bashing George W Bush for war, and neglecting your duty to keep the Navy you formerly led well equipped and maintained. I guess preparing to fight and win wars is more boring than trying to win political office since you and SEN McCain spent so much time on election campaigns and so little defending the missions of the Soldiers and Sailors who needed to be encouraged and supported, and not bashed for doing a poor job of winning the country's wars!)

 

Midyear supplements were once reserved for emergencies but have become routine since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. “Supplemental bills have always been around. But as a major source of funding, it really started picking up in 2002,” said Todd Harrison, a military budget analyst with the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C.

Congress is considering an $83 billion bill to get the Pentagon through the rest of the fiscal year and possibly ease some of the Navy's cuts. Defense Department officials have ordered cutbacks because they fear that legislators, perhaps suffering from spending fatigue after passing gigantic economic-stimulus and bank-bailout bills in recent months, will trim or delay the supplemental bill.  (This means they are too cowardly to make a big deal out of it, since his Nibs has already given them their marching orders to get at the back of the line, and socialism is more important than Defense of the Country.)

 

The Navy's cutbacks are being felt in a variety of ways.

 

Surface ships will remain tethered to their piers for more days. Their sailors and aircraft crews will undergo more training with simulators instead of taking to the sea or sky(You fight like you train. Always have. Always will. Ever since Jesus Christ was a private in Alexander's Army. With less training, you get worse. Proficiency WILL suffer. And the next firefight that breaks out on the ocean, or the next complex transit through shoal waters, the chances that something bad will happen will always be higher.)

 

Ships that do hit the waves will use fewer generators and only one propeller on twin-screw vessels, Navy officials said. (Now that is stupid as a bag of hammers. How will you train for high speed ops? How will you track submarines which can go as fast as they need to get away from you if you can't make top speed? How will you do your steaming exercises and transits on one screw? You'll save fuel, but you sure as Hell won't be training to win.) Aircraft carriers and submarines, which run on nuclear power, won't be affected.

 

“Across the fleet, we do have to find that reduction,” said Cmdr. Dora Lockwood, a spokeswoman for the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet. “We're looking at opportunities to get our ships ready through other types of training.”

 

Navy officials refused to say how much the cuts are designed to save. They also denied a request for data comparing fuel usage and at-sea time for 3rd Fleet ships and aircraft. But they did say the cuts are focused on units at home on training cycles while largely sparing those deployed to combat zones. Four San Diego-based Navy ships and a helicopter squadron are in the Middle East as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group.

“The bottom line is that we're going to continue to support the war fighter,” said Lt. Cmdr. Phil Rosi, a spokesman for the Navy's Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. “We're adjusting now so we can minimize impact on the rest of the year.”

The cuts will hurt in personnel areas, too. Most military transfers take place in the summer to accommodate families with schoolchildren. It's not clear how many of the 14,000 sailors whose moves have been postponed are married, but Navy officials admit that a good number of children will have to change schools midyear.

 

“There just isn't any money to move them,” said Katie Suich, a spokeswoman for the Naval Personnel Command. Even more sailors will feel the pinch as the Navy halts once-hefty re-enlistment bonuses, except those for a few high-demand specialties such as medical corpsman, explosive-ordnance-disposal specialist, nuclear submariner and special-operations SEAL.

 

Bonuses are market-driven, Suich said. ( If this was true, how come we didn't get rid of bonuses during previous recessions? Because the guys will just find better jobs with more time at home with their families as a civilian anyway! This excuse is pure unadultered bullshit.) The recession-dampened civilian job sector has driven more sailors to stay in the Navy. So many of them re-enlisted that nearly three-fourths of the $170 million bonus pool budgeted for 2009 was used up in the first five months of the fiscal year, prompting Navy leaders to scale back the payments.

 

“We no longer need to spend” the money, Suich said. The public will see less of Navy ships outside bases. Lockwood said the 3rd Fleet will send only one ship each to festivals in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco

this summer instead of the usual two or three. The Navy also won't join the usual “Parade of Ships” event during the autumn Fleet Week in San Diego.

Webb, In a letter posted on his Web site, predicted “significant adverse impacts on near-term fleet readiness and employment levels at private ship-repair companies” this summer if the Navy doesn't change its budgeting practices. (No shit Sherlock. Now we see why Webb even cares. Because the commercial shipyards are losing business and suffering. Perhaps, if we had funded fixing Navy ships, buying Navy and Air Force planes, and doing the maintenance which all ships need, we wouldn't need to pay folks to dig rocks next years as part of a jobs program under the Porkulus bill. Imagine how many people would have jobs if the country would just pay to keep things going instead of constantly making military folks scrimp and save to do their duty?) The military newspaper Navy Times,  citing shipbuilders in Virginia, said in February that the Navy would defer maintenance on some of its ships until the next fiscal year. Ship-repair yards in  San Diego, which rely on the Navy for about 90 percent of their business, are waiting to see what will happen.

“The Navy hasn't officially said they're cutting the (maintenance) budget,” said Carlos Aguayo, president of the Port of  San Diego Ship Repair Association. He said the industry has weathered previous budget tempests. Its members know that whatever happens, the ships will gradually head back to sea.

“It's like changing the oil in your car,” Aguayo said. “You can put it off for a while, but you've got to do it eventually.” (They said this in 1979, folks. It was in all the headlines. Only we got the O now and not Ronald Reagan to fix our problems. Welcome to Orwell's 1984)

Subsunk out.

 

(I apologize if the formatting sucks, but the computer won't let me preview, so I'm posting this on a wing and a prayer. Out.)

May 11, 2009 • PermalinkComments (19)TrackBack (0)
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Submarine Collisions

Posted By Subsunk

The news started out like this, and the hype went downhill thereafter:

Nuclear-armed submarines from Britain and France collided in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, authorities acknowledged Monday — touching off new concerns about the safety of the world's deep sea missile fleets.

The HMS Vanguard, the oldest of Britain's current nuclear-armed submarine fleet, and the French Le Triomphant submarine, which was also carrying nuclear missiles, both suffered minor damage in the collision. No crew members were reported injured.

Before we get all breathless about these things, let's remember a couple of things here. The article says it was a low speed collision, which although never a good thing, is better than a high speed collision. Lots less of a chance at slow speeds to do real damage. The article says no injuries. That's good. If there been real damage to anything (remember we are talking about steel hulls and steel pipes, which have some flexibility in them), there would have been significant injuries.

Without video or photos of the return of the ships, it is a little hard to determine real damage based on words alone. So it looks pretty harmless so far.

The British press, like the American press, is blowing the anti-nuke horn pretty hard with the quotes they use. Please. Stop making fools of yourselves. The Russians have lost several (more than 3 and less than 20) nuclear submarines in the ocean over many years, and, in fact, buried their old reactors at sea sometimes in the past. And there aren't any 4 headed Godzilla fish roaming the White Sea or Barents Sea, so the effects of radiation on the environment, while a concern, is not so much a concern that you need worry about getting killed by radiation released during a collision of two submarines at sea, under several hundred feet of water, moving at 4 knots each (4mph each), especially when no one got hurt.

So what is really serious about this collision story? The fact that one ship had to be towed home (really bad form, that. Embarrassing in the extreme when your ride throws a shoe and you can't get home at all.), and the fact that 32 nuclear missiles were involved. How can this happen you ask? The French really don't share their routing information with the rest of the Free World. Something about a desire to be master of their own destinies, and an "I fart in your general direction" mentality when they are told of the benefits of cooperation with the US/UK system of submarine routing, I've heard. So it is possible to find oneself in the same general vicinity as a neutral, or at least not presently hostile, submarine utilizing the same waters and same depth stratum as one might find oneself in.

Additionally, Ballistic Missile submarines tend to be quiet and avoid (run away from) any contacts they hear. So when you are making only 4 knots, it becomes difficult to run away in an expeditious manner. Additionally, that speed is when you are your quietest, so both ships are making almost no noise to hear the other one. Detection of other MODERN submarines at those speeds is hugely problematic. In fact, many years ago, the greatest danger to US submarines was running into other US submarines who may have permission to be in those waters. Kind of like the blind running into the blind on the sidewalk.

So, given the short detection ranges (say 2 miles max), the time needed to figure out which way the other guy is going (a couple of minutes at least, more likely 4mins), and the need to move in a direction away from someone who may be walking straight at you and you don't know which way he is going to turn, and the slow speeds, you can't maneuver well enough to avoid what you only detect a mile away when you are making five miles per hr and it takes you up to a quarter of a mile (turning radius at slow speeds) to turn 90 degrees away from danger. These collisions are more frequent than you may suppose. After all, when leaving or entering port the "Big Ocean" theory of avoidance becomes much smaller and the probability of collision becomes much greater in smaller areas of operation.

Bottom line: Some damage, maybe serious to fix, but no one died and no radioactivity was released. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Subsunk

February 16, 2009 • PermalinkComments (29)TrackBack (1)
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Old Friends

Posted By Subsunk

The finest Boss I ever had sent me this in an email. These are all true and have the benefit of being funny as well. He and his wife are having some tough personal times right now, and I hope you will all leave some prayers and thoughts for his lovely wife in the comments. She is suffering from that worst of diseases, cancer, and needs kind thoughts and prayers.

Boss, I am with you in spirit, and I pray every day for Susan. The laughter these brought me are just the right medicine for what ails me. I hope the comments will bring you and Susan some joy. Message follows:

When a Veteran leaves the 'job' and retires to a better life, many are
jealous, some are pleased, and others, who may have already retired,
wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know.
                                  
1. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few
experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times.
                           
2. We know in the Military life there is a fellowship which lasts long
after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet.
                           
3. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every
step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very
bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.
                      
4. These are the burdens of the job. You will still look at people
suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore and
always will look at the rest of the Military world with a respect for
what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing.
                
5. Never think for one moment you are escaping from that life. You are
only escaping the 'job' and merely being allowed to leave 'active' duty.
                           
6. So what I wish for you is that whenever you ease into retirement, in
your heart you never forget for one moment that you are still a member
of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known.
                           
NOW! Civilian Friends vs. Veteran Friends Comparisons

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Get upset if you're too busy to talk to them for a
week.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Are glad to see you after years, and will happily carry
on the same conversation you were having the last time you met.
    ---------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Have cried with you.
    ---------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.
    -------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.
    ---------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is
doing.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Will kick the crowd's ass that left you behind.
    ---------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are for a while.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Are for life.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have shared a few experiences...
VETERAN FRIENDS: Have shared a lifetime of experiences no citizen could
ever dream of...
    ---------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had
enough.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say,
'You better drink the rest of that before you spill it!' Then carry you
home safely and put you to bed...
    ----------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will talk crap to the person who talks crap about you.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Will knock them the hell out OF THEM...for using your
name in vain.
    ---------------------------------------------------
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will ignore this.
VETERAN FRIENDS: Will forward this.
    ----------------------------------------------------
A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or reserve, is someone who,
at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The
Government of the United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and
including my life'. . . and military wives are as much veterans as their
spouses.

From one Veteran to another, it's an honor to be in your company. Thank
you Veterans

Thanks for listening.

Subsunk

January 15, 2009 • PermalinkComments (11)TrackBack (0)
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Liberal Patriotism

Posted By Subsunk

Left adjusts to a new patriotism under Obama

.............

"People finally felt like our generation had reclaimed patriotism," said Haley Fagan, 24, a Berkeley paralegal who got stuck in a car trying to cross the street as the crowd surged. "It was a moment that we felt comfortable with it."

........

"There's a left-wing tradition of being systematically opposed to the U.S. government, knee-jerk reactionary - most of our presidents have made it fairly easy to do," said Jo Freeman, author of "At Berkeley in the Sixties," a memoir of her student activism. "Those who view everything the U.S. does as automatically suspect already have a problem doing that with Obama."

.........

Well...... Welcome to the New World Order so often decried by the Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) sufferers. They say, "NOW, I love my country. NOW, I agree with what she stands for." And why do they now love her and agree with her?

Only because their candidate for President won the election. No other reason.

Not because the United States and its citizens have warmly and openly embraced all those poor black, brown, yellow, white, red, and polka dotted people who came here legally (and also most of the illegal ones too). Not because American soldiers liberated hundreds of millions of oppressed people worldwide over the last 63 years ( I include Europe, the Former Warsaw Pact, South Korea, Japan and their former empire in the Pacific, the former Soviet Union, Iraqis, Afghanis, and Caribbean and South American nations in this liberation mix). Not because America fights Injustice and Persecution all over the world through our human rights policies and our representation of oppressed people everywhere on their behalf. Not because our churches provide more relief and food and charitable humanitarian donations to oppressed and destitute people the world over than other relief organizations worldwide, including the UN. Not because we freely trade our goods and services with and dramatically improve the lives of other nations through our research and development, and our business acumen and product development which has provided vaccines, medicine, food, clean water, expertise in all things which improve human life, including art, science, and culture. Not because we seek the Truth in the world, not for ourselves only, but to raise all Mankind up along with us. Not because we bend over backwards to put our own blood, toil, tears, and sweat to use in defending the lives of oppressed people the world over who stab us in the back at the first opportunity.  No.

They are now patriotic because their politics won an election and they have Power, Absolute Power (since they will own Congress and the Executive Offices of the United States Government, and most of the Judicial Branch as well) is in their grasp and they will finally, FINALLY, have what they need to stuff their liberal ideas of what is good for the rest of us troglodytes (who make the money they intend to take from us and give to others) down our throats and make us well again. Reform us and our children in their image. They will reeducate us and torment us and steal our hard earned labor to support causes only they will dictate. The New World Order, where the UN decides what is sanctionable, where the International Criminal Court decides who is criminal, where the newspapers determine your worthiness of existence or decides your claim of wrongdojng based upon whether your politics, heritage, and birthright are apropos.

Born white to a wealthy family? You obviously oppressed slaves somewhere in your past, or profited from some imaginary illegal war profiteering, or blood for oil campaign. Went to a small Christian College in the South? You deserve to be persecuted because the Constitution says the State must prevent your religion from advancing on its own (unless you are Muslim. Then your "race" negates that clause of the Constitution in your favor.) Worked for a Republican administration? Let's examine your background and dig up as much dirt as possible on your unpaid parking tickets, sordid affairs, and alcoholic consumption, shall we? Admitted you are Conservative on national TV? Let's investigate your child support, your employment records, your health insurance records, your IRS files, and plant as many negative stories about your family as we can. Who are you to complain anyway? A nobody, that's who.

A Stinking Jew, perhaps?

Update: I'm leaving this post up because of the links listed in the comments. But you should all comment on the later post as this one is incomplete and lacks the links I wished to add. Sorry about that.

Hand... she too quick for the brain sometimes. -- Subsunk out.

January 07, 2009 • PermalinkComments (8)TrackBack (0)
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