Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I was reading at Roll Call today that perhaps the Republican Party ruling class is opening their little eyes on the world as it really is and thinking about the irrelevance of things. While this is a new and interesting, one might even say refreshing, view of the Party of No it is not one that I believe is real. The news is full of stories by commentators about rethuglican intransigence and what a rudderless and leaderless party they are. Perhaps they are. It is difficult to reconcile that view with the one of Boehner and McCain ceaselessly working with the Administration and the Democratic controlled Senate to enact legislation that so damages the members of the Republic. Obamacare was passed over the howling objections of an entire majority of the people and now everyone who urged its passing and voted for it to become law is howling that it has wrapped them in its clammy embrace. They want to do the same with Immigration Reform.

I did like the arguments being pronounced and declaimed on NPR yesterday and in the days and months leading up to now of the Republican Party simply not acting and not working with the Senate and President to pass more laws and make more regulations and increase taxes and spend more money we don't have and to raise the debt ceiling officially so we can all pretend, as we have for the last 73 days that the Administration has not burst through the legally mandated debt ceiling imposed by Congress as the only way to cap borrowing.

The Republican Party is not worth much but sometimes,
a ship of state like that works perfectly well as a fire ship.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


                                                                   Camp near Tuscumbia Alabama
                                                                                            June 14th 1863
                                                           Dear sister
                                                                         I received a letter from you dated the 1st of this month but have had no chance to answer it until the present time and as I have told most of the knews in my letters to Ma I do not suppose this letter will be very long. I am out on a little island writing where no one can disturb me. I have a friend with me who engaged in the business and after we get threw we will have some lemonade and eat dinner, which is composed of hard crackers and pork.
  I have seen a great deal of cotton planted since I have been here and the first cotton field I come to again I will pull up a plant send it to you pressed in a letter so that may see what it looks like.
   Deserters from the rebel army are being picked up and brought into camp. There time is out and they officers are trying to keep them and they are deserting and trying to get home through our lines. By looking on the map you will see that the Charleston to Memphis R. R. and the bridge over the river has been burned down and I suppose we will stay here until we get it rebuilt and then we will go on to Decatur where we can rest for a while. I shall now have to close this. Write soon. Give my love to all and reserve the same to yourself.  Your affectionate brother
                                          Luther M Beaver
                                         Dear Father
                                              In one of your letters you said that you thought that Dr Foster had something to do with getting me into the service but it is not so and no one had anything to do with it but myself.
This letter was written on the island close by our camp at Tuscumbia Alabama

Monday, July 29, 2013


It is interesting to watch as the U.S. Navy, still struggling to transform itself and remain relevant in the 21st century appears to be repeating all of the errors made by the Great Powers at the turn of the 20th century. England, France and Germany knew that modern battlefield weapons made doctrine and tactics of the 19th century obsolete. They all had observers on both sides throughout the American Civil War and those observers were quick to note that unprotected men in the open were dead meat when engaged by massed rifle fire and cannons. This didn't keep either side from continuing the practice of open field charges but they really tapered off after awhile if not due to the leaders accepting the increasing range and lethality of the weapons than because they were running out of men.

All this was known to the belligerents of the Great War and yet they fought as if the Civil War had never happened nor the Boer War. The leadership refused to accept that tactics and doctrine had to change to encompass the changes imposed by the new tools of war.

At sea the changes in the tools had driven many changes in the doctrine and tactics as the admirals exploited every technological advantage they could find to make their ships more lethal at longer ranges using bigger guns, better powders, torpedoes, alternative fuel sources and propulsion plants. Everything they did was designed to make it easier to sink enemy ships and make their ships more survivable.

The USN today is clutching itself and wrapping its virtue in the cloth of fiscal prudence and making a strong case for saving money by reducing crew size and eliminating all those payroll padders known as sailors. There's plenty of money for staffs and higher staffs and diversity officers and technical know-how types along the waterfronts but the need for manpower at sea has found all the admirals reach consensus and declare that they don't want so much of it anymore. It's a fake of course, just as man-made global warming is a fake bit of consensus. The ships may not have racks and space for more than 70 men but that just forced the admiralty to have a whole second set of 70 men trained to rotate and swap places with the crews. Each ship has 2 or more crews and a vast shore establishment to do the work in port of the missing sailors not present in ship's company.

The new designs also seem to shed any concern over survivability. The ships are one step from disaster in every possible way. There might be only 1 sailor aboard who is trained and skilled to make repairs to the high tech widgets and that alone makes that sailor essential. There's a lot of high tech widgets on these things. None of them seem to be purposed to kill enemy ships at a distance. Nor do they seem to be required to stave off weapons attacking the ship nor for sensors designed to detect, track and classify submarines, enemy aircraft and missiles or kinetic energy weapons of any kind. There's no armor either. The high tech gizmos seem to be found in the engine rooms in the propulsion systems, the electrical systems, water making systems, the degaussing systems, the air conditioning systems. Each of these systems is also mostly a one-off. If it fails there is no backup.

In the olden days of the last century if a warship lost power in one engine room it had a second engine room that could keep the ship moving through the water. If one generator failed there was another. If it lost water making aft it still could make water forward. If it lost a weapon system it had redundant weapons. Ditto sensors and all the rest of that because it was designed and built with the acceptance that it would steam into harm's way and both give and take combat damage. Only the redundant survived. You wouldn't know it today since the bean counters have eliminated redundancy as much as possible in order to save cost, weight and manpower.

It seems a stupid and dangerous assumption to keep repeating but one the admiralty keeps repeating of the little warships that, "nobody would waste a missile or torpedo attacking one."

CO of USS INDEPENDENCE (Gold Crew) talking recently in port
 It speaks volumes when the Commanding Officer of America's newest warship feels that he must carry a radio on his belt at all times.


A rare sighting of the obscure Fukawii bears.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I admit to a certain measure of contempt for the people so steeped in evil that they cannot attribute ought but evil to anyone with whom they disagree. This is the case today with an idiot who is also a Justice of the Supreme Court. Just think of the bottomless contempt this Justice has for minorities and most especially for blacks. She appears to hold the opinion that blacks and latinos are too stupid and ignorant to be able to get some kind of lawful identification document that the government gives away.*

That's it. Nobody can cash a check without identification in this country. Nobody can enter a federal office building or courthouse without producing identification. Nobody can fly in this country on a commercial flight under the aegis of the TSA without producing photo identification.**

This Justice thinks it's a foul and vicious attack on minorities that states purge their voting rolls every year and only include those eligible to vote. She finds it criminal that states actually want to restrict registering to vote to people legally entitled to vote. She thinks that states must bend over backwards to count the votes of people too stupid to vote at their polling place.

What this Justice thinks is what the writers and readers of the New York Times think. How pathetic and sad is that? It's also what our Attorney General thinks.

You know, I heard that we are shortly to put JLENS in place over Washington DC and probably New York City since they are this nation's Center of Gravity and have been attacked repeatedly by terrorists and others who just plain don't like our political class. I think if I was a JLENS watch stander, I might put it on cruise control and spend a lot time in the back making a sandwich or reading a book.
Realist or Cynic?
*It won't eliminate vote fraud but at least it's a step in the right direction.

**I heard of one man that flew without ID as a test case of the law and it seems that the law doesn't actually require ID. I'm sure he missed his flight. I also fly with a little person who so far has never been asked to produce ID.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I saw an interesting item in the news the other day about Egypt getting upset with Ethiopia because Ethiopia is building a dam on the Blue Nile. The Egyptians are concerned that this might somehow interfere with the flow of the waters through the Nile River Valley in Egypt. As you might suspect, such an effort is bound to come to the notice of even our Department of State and get leaked in one of the massive leaks of State Department documents.

I'd say they're rattling the sabers except those are F-16s and there is all of Sudan between Egypt and Ethiopia and then I remembered this item

 This was written on a plaque we had hanging in the wardroom of the Middle East Force Flagship when I lived there in 1984. I have no idea how it got there but it implies that we had some sort of meeting with Ethiopian forces under the command of Haile Selassie. An interesting item from a landlocked country to be found on a warship in the Indian Ocean.

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest countries in the world. According to some: Genesis 2:10-14, "Ethiopia is the land of Cush surrounded by the river of Gihon which flows out of the garden of Eden"

I believe the Italians were the last "civilized" nation to use poison gas as a weapon of war. Against men and boys armed with spears, the Italians with tanks, machine guns and airplanes were compelled to use gas.

Back when I was at Naval Forces Central Command we had some pretty high hopes for both Ethiopia and Eritrea in the aftermath after Mengistu was overthrown and the Russians dislodged but the history of the region quickly began to resemble that of Poland between the Wars.


by David Zinn
found at Tribal Vision

Friday, July 26, 2013


An incredible series of photos of Orcas chasing dinner.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Getting the most out of life and having fun.


          SHE was a Phantom of delight
          When first she gleamed upon my sight;
          A lovely Apparition, sent
          To be a moment's ornament;
          Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
          Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
          But all things else about her drawn
          From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
          A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
          To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.                          10

          I saw her upon nearer view,
          A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
          Her household motions light and free,
          And steps of virgin-liberty;
          A countenance in which did meet
          Sweet records, promises as sweet;
          A Creature not too bright or good
          For human nature's daily food;
          For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
          Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.             20

          And now I see with eye serene
          The very pulse of the machine;
          A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
          A Traveller between life and death;
          The reason firm, the temperate will,
          Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
          A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
          To warn, to comfort, and command;
          And yet a Spirit still, and bright
          With something of angelic light.
                       - William Wordsworth 


Things that cannot go on forever, don't. Forever is an easy illusion since it does but constitute the political lifespan of your average politician. But, as with all things seen in the light of day, illusion shatters when the common acceptance of fundamental agreements on what constitutes the term, 'going on forever', is called into review. I wrote the other day about the default of the city of Detroit. The collapse of Detroit is so epic it beggars the imagination. To put context around the black hole that Detroit has become let us look at some of the other recent cities that circled the drain.

Everybody remembers New York, New York. It was short a measly billion dollars and nobody was prepared to lend the city that kind of money without guarantees. After some contentious and mean spirited hi-jinks, Congress allowed that it would loan New York City $2.3 billion for 3 years. This was followed by the great MetroParkCentralis default in 1978. This was notable because Cleveland became the first city to go into default since the Great Depression.  From  Case Western Reserve University
DEFAULT (15 Dec. 1978-16 Nov. 1980) occurred when Cleveland was unable to repay $14 million in loans owed to 6 local banks, and was subsequently unable to market its bonds for almost 2 years. The default meant that investors in the national bond markets would not risk buying the municipal bonds Cleveland needed to finance improvements, and that Cleveland must submit to financial supervision by the State of Ohio.
The city's fiscal problems had became acute during the administration of Mayor Ralph Perk, 1972-77, when general expenditures increased about 45% and revenues were unable to cover the shortfall. Using an approved procedure, $17.8 million was borrowed from Water Dept. bond funds for operational expenses. Dennis Kucinich, elected mayor in 1977, continued the practice, and when $50 million in bonds were unaccounted for in July 1978, the bond-rating agencies downgraded the city's credit rating. On 15 Dec. 1978, Cleveland was unable to pay off $15.5 million in short-term notes, of which $14 million were held by 6 local banks (the remaining $1.5 million was held by the city). The mayor's plan to guarantee payment of the notes was rejected by the Cleveland Trust Bank, who regarded it as a stop-gap solution to the city's long-term financial problems, and Cleveland was forced into default. The situation remained unresolved until 27 Feb. 1979 when voters approved an increase in the city income tax from 1% to 1-1/2%. Geo. Voinovich replaced Kucinich as mayor in Nov. 1979, and the following year he put together an acceptable 3-year $36.2 million refinancing plan to pay off the $14 million in notes. Cleveland was the first major city since the Depression to default on its loan obligations.
Orange County, California achieved notoriety when it went bankrupt after rather stupidly investing in derivatives and lost $1.5 billion. As the 6th most populous county in America, it didn't take long to recoup its market losses.

The estimates I see for what Detroit owes boggle the mind. The estimates range from $15-20 billion. They want you and me to step up to the plate and honor their promises to themselves. Laugh. That is the same situation the next generation faces when they will be told they must pay for our promises to ourselves.

How is it that Cleveland went into forced default over inability to pay $15 million due to creditors but an insolvent criminal enterprise like Detroit was able to continue to rack up debt to the tune of billions of outstanding dollars with no regulator or fiscal authority stepping in? How does that happen? Who audited their books every year? Who lends money to such a criminal enterprise? Are their loans guaranteed somehow? Who guarantees such loans? Why is nobody going to jail? ENRON and Global Crossing were not such criminal enterprises but their executives are dead or in jail now. ENRONs auditor, one of the top 3 in the United States, collapsed in the scandal.

Is the $ amount we see here a reflection of just how worthless the $ has become in 2013 that in a mere 40 years $15 billion became the equivalent of $15 million?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The governments of the United States collectively owe trillions of dollars that they do not and never will have. They have mortgaged the next 5 future generations to pay the debts racked up by the baby boomers and what will those future generations see for that money? They won't see glistening new highways and bridges and tunnels and infrastructure. They won't see magnificent public buildings that will last 200 years. They won't see institutions of higher learning that they can afford to send their children to. They won't see a safe and prosperous country in which to live and work and raise a family.

No. They are going to see Detroit on a national scale. Once great transcontinental railroads fallen into disrepair and abandoned. Interstate highway systems that end at the river because the bridges all collapsed.

I was looking at some things today for a peer who is a little challenged. He is probably the most credulous man I've ever met and he believes everything he reads at Dailykos and the New York Times and espouses everything he sees on MSNBC. He also believes in man-made global warming because it is the nature of government and government's lackeys in the media to create fear out of nonexistent dangers in order to keep the people from noticing the truly important things. For instance, when Congress asks the Chairman of the Fed if he is printing money that he uses to inflate the stock market he replies, "not literally." Of course he isn't literally printing the money. He is using electronic fund transfers and chicanery to hide the fact that the Fed, using its own nonexistent authority is pumping $85 billion per month into the markets. That's $85 billion per month more than Congress authorized, appropriated or budgeted. It's fake money with a Seal of Approval that says Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. It's just the money supply and it belongs to Ken.

All of them are kicking the can down the road because they think they can get it far enough down the road that it won't damage them after they retire and it explodes. That's what the Eurocrats running the EU thought too. Their system is collapsing as dramatically as Detroit did. I wonder what new and innovative technique the mob will come up with to exterminate the bankers. In Greece last year they were pretty pedestrian and decided to burn a few tellers alive. Perhaps they'll be more original when they get their hands on the bank's janitorial staffs.

But there is always a bright side.

There could be another Ice Age.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Oh sure! Let your stupid river catch fire one time and they never let you forget it. It looks like fun so we plan to attend.

I'll probably leave the matches at home.


There are a zillion images at Traditional Vibe. This is one of them.
Nice space.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I found this today and it is good. As I looked through the never released pictures of the families of the Apollo 11 astronauts, two things struck me. Those guys could be my dad and the kids in the pictures were my age and my sisters and brother's age. That swing was our swing when we lived in Virginia and my father worked at the Pentagon on the Hellfire missile program after he came back from Vietnam.

These are great candid photos.  I like the second photo where they're hanging out in one of their basements. It has got to be a giant's basement ....

I told my dad this would end up on the intertubes and so it does

Last year's Christmas Tree lights in the front yard
BS Electrical Engineer - West Point
MS Electrical Engineer - Purdue
Missiles and Rockets Program Manager

Monday, July 22, 2013


We'll have to try the Atlantic and see if it is as much fun as the Pacific at Del Mar.

I figure there's bound to be a good beach somewhere east of DC.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I made the mistake of reading the news today and the Wall Street Journal. There were many stories about some of the changes that are shaping society. There is the increased militarization of the law in all its aspects ranging from Food and Drug Agents to the Militant Order of Armed Librarians. There was the endless diverting by the President to try to keep the lidless eye of the press on Zimmerman vice the Obama Scandals that would have destroyed careers and possibly aspirations of other parties but leave this wreck untouched. I don't think I have the modern day equivalent of BDS but this is getting ridiculous.

All that said, the news was filled with several viewpoints of the fiscal collapse of Detroit. It took 60 years of pure unadulterated hard work by progressives to destroy the city to the point it finally collapsed and sued for bankruptcy. We could argue that it first collapsed when it turned to Progressives back in 1962 to run the city and then sat and watched as they progressively destroyed the schools, industry, jobs, family, civil society, hospitals, emergency services, power and light of the city without making even the feeblest attempt to rein in the corruption, graft and thievery that destroyed a great city. It didn't happen overnight and not everybody failed to see it happening and the people that saw that the majority were hellbent and hellbound finally had no choice but to leave even if that meant abandoning unsellable property. And that's what they did. The industries left. The skilled workers left. The carrion eaters stayed and made more carrion while squatting on the ruins of a magnificent city.

Well, you can't win them all. But it's hard to believe that the destruction and ruin of Detroit wasn't just a one-off. It wasn't some kind of accident that nobody could have foreseen. It was foredoomed when the people of the city chose to dispose of two party government and to remove all checks and balances on power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. As with Detroit, but long before America's 5th largest city, were the other industrial cities in America that chose poorly when it came to electing democratic rulers to govern the commonweal. The ones I remember from my youth were the old mill towns of New England. They went bad three generations ago.

All the great industrial cities were gutted in less than 2 generations by the infinitely dangerous Progressives who never saw a gleam of a dollar 25 years in the future that didn't belong to them in the here and now. Look at Chicago which elected to sell its parking meters (all 36,000) of them to a company for 75 years! They sold them for a billion dollars and spent that money in under 2 years and now will not enjoy a dime of revenue from parking for another 73 years. What kind of stupid idiotic moron does that and is allowed to get away with it? It's as bad as the cities in California that are willing to borrow one hundred million dollars now and not repay interest or principle for 20 years which leaves the next generation to pay ALL of the cost for something they had no say in at all.

The profound thinkers of the aristocracy ponder the rebirth of the great cities like Detroit and think it can be done if we just find a way to get the city to focus on the things that a city should focus on and stop doing the things that a city should not do. That leaves one little problem that I see. What are we going to do with the 700,000 people living in the current blight known as Detroit? They're what's left of the reason for the blight and nothing about their situation strikes them as anything they did wrong and they won't stop voting the straight Progressive ticket as long as they live. Bread and circuses and wonderments forever.

Wait. Is all the talk from the profound thinkers about urban farming in Detroit after re-clearing the land just another shady way of moving some folks back to the latifundia and currying them out of the body politic?
I'm shocked.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


                                                Camp Owen, Randolph Co Va
                                                                        August 30  1861
              Dear Sister
I received your letter a day or two ago. I would have written sooner but I had no opportunity to do so for I was out with the Company on advanced picket guard so that I had no chance to write until I came in yesterday on account of a cold that I caught while out. When I got here and got my dinner an order was given for every one that could carry a gun should march back to the Company for they were advancing on the enemies pickets. Well I started with the rest of them (gun on shoulder) but had gone but two miles when we met them (our men )coming back with the news that one of our men was killed and two wounded but not fatally. I suppose that we will attack the enemy in a day or two. I do not think that the enemy have not got so many men in their camp as the papers say for we have four spies, one of them was in their camp and the others have seen into it and they say that there is not over 5 or 7 Regiments there and we have 8 Regiments to march in with. Now I will tell you some news that no one but Ma and Pa must hear for it is best not to tell it on my account. Harry Crist has been writing to the Captain with regard to getting into this Company in the place of a surgeon that has been discharged, Owen is his name, Pa knows. Jo Macy was at the Captain’s office last night when he told him that Harry could have the place if he would bring enough men along so that he could discharge some men that he mentioned and my name was among them. Now I expect that Harry will soon be getting some men for the Captain. Wrote to him this morning. Now tell Pa to do all he can to help Harry tell the people that there is not a man in this Company but what likes their Company officers (this is true). The Adjutant of our Regiment has resigned and gone home with two Lieutenants, and the Lieutenant Colonel they say is going to resign (I don’t know whether this is true or not) Frank Miller has been discharged. He will be home in a few days. I have not got the things you sent me, for the Captain has not got the box yet. I suppose that it will soon be here. The socks and yarn and thread, handkerchiefs and everything will come handy with me. You told me that if I should get hurt or taken prisoner that I should make arrangements to let you know it by telegraph (I have done so). The weather has been so bad that about one third of the men are on the sick list. I do not know how soon we will leave her but perhaps soon. The men were all glad to hear that the peace makers meeting was stopped.
We have 17 cannons here and are to have that many more. We have besides the cannons, 4 howitzers that are as good in a battle as a large cannon. I have got but half a paper yet from home. The others say that it is the same with them.
It is very dangerous to be out here from camp for several of our men have been shot while out. I have been out often after berries (of which there is an abundance) but I intend to stay in after this for it is positively dangerous for even our own men might shoot us each other thew mistake. Tell all them tories that they had better be careful for they might get shot. I know that such men will not be allowed to live in little Union (at least I hope so). I am well with the exception of a slight cold, which I will soon get over. There is not a Dr in the Regiment that is worth anything. If you send anything more send a box of Spaldings pills for they are good and every soldier should supply himself with them. The three month talk is still increasing here. All believe it but the Colonel and Captain Bennett and they pretend to not believe it. Some say the officers have no commission for longer than 3 months. This seems to be so for some officers are resigning without any reason. I have lost my testament but the Chaplain says he will have some here soon then I shall have one. I will put this letter in one of the envelopes that are already directed for I have no ink and pen handy and have no time to hunt for any. Write soon. Bless all for me. I get my picture taken as soon as I get an opportunity, which may happen soon if we should move from here we might get where there is an operator. Give my love to all. Excuse bad writing and spelling. Your affectionate brother
                                                 Luther Beaver

Friday, July 19, 2013


Oh yes, the media was all over this. Daily. For months.

Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick

Non enim verum. Mentimur!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


This was happily found at The Lexicans. Late in the last millennium I lingered a long time in the bookstore in Coronado reading a book I found there. That was because I opened the book to a random page and read this, “The Cutlass could be made into a pretty good flying machine with a few modifications,” wrote F7U-3 pilot John Moore in The Wrong Stuff, about his Navy flying days. “Like a conventional tail, tripling the thrust, cutting the nosewheel strut in half, completely redoing the flight control system, and getting someone else to fly it.”

In July 1955 an F7U-3 hit the deck, broke apart, and slammed over the side of the Hancock. (National Naval Aviation Museum)
  It was a better navy back then. After a horrific crash on USS HANCOCK, the Captain of the ship dumped all the Cutlasses on a pier and left them behind while cruising the west Pacific. The CO of USS Ticonderoga did the same thing two months later in the Mediterranean with his bunch of Cutlass aircraft and personnel. If you read the article which is well worth the 5 minutes, one of the things you learn is that this plane was the deadliest plane ever flown by fixed wing naval aviators. Fully a quarter of them crashed.

The ship pictured in the masthead here was launched in 1952 and commissioned in 1955.

Food for thought. At the same time the Navy was fielding these things it was sending the first nuclear propelled ships to sea. Gives you a warm fuzzy doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I found this where, I shall reveal after but it found life in the web at Sippican Cottage. It very much reminds me of my two favorite girls. I was feeling pretty darned positive!

I found it at American Digest which also had another video that is worth watching as the organs of civil society wind up to deliver us more race riots. I'd post it but the man's pain at finding that his friends and neighbors burned down his business is too hard to watch twice.

If you go, watch the LA 1992 video and most definitely look at the Niagara Falls video. The imagery and stabilization are out of this world.


I see the damnedest things when I get out. This was spotted at the watering hole closest to Case Western. Probably belonged to the two baristas working the pumps.

They had the right look.


Another good man has stepped into the clearing at the end of the path. Vice Admiral Eugene P. Wilkinson died 11 July, aged 94, in Del Mar, California. In August 1953 he was assigned to USS NAUTILUS (SSN-571) to be the Prospective Commanding Officer of the first nuclear powered ship in the world. Following the commissioning of the ship on 30 September 1954, Commander Wilkinson put the ship through the first nuclear acceptance trails in the navy and achieved a historic first on the morning of January 17, 1955, at 1100 hours EST, when he ordered all lines cast off and signaled the memorable and historic message "UNDERWAY ON NUCLEAR POWER", to the Submarine Force Commander. His biography is here.
 He spoke at the 50th anniversary of getting underway on nuclear power. Well worth reading. It gives the reader an idea of just how lightning fast the changes were in the navy following World War II. Guided missiles fired from submarines, nuclear propulsion, submarine launched intercontinental ballistic missiles... Admiral Wilkinson also served as the first Commanding Officer of the first nuclear powered surface warship, USS LONG BEACH (CGN-9).

I think in an era of remarkable naval officers he probably stood at the zenith.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Have you ever noticed that we seem to have skipped over a few of the more interesting foibles of our European and Asian cousins who gripped the revolutionary bit between their teeth and proceeded to whack without mercy the ruling class? From the English Civil War and beheading of King Charles to Pol Pot and the massacre of the educated citizenry, successful revolutions usually result in death and beheading  and gulags all around. Our revolution was a relatively tame affair from the distant end of this temporal scope. I'm sure those that fought and died in the Tory Loyalist ranks and the Revolutionary ranks would beg to argue. Banastre Tarleton was a dirtbag but he was probably the last angry man to try to express his feelings towards the objects of his hatred at the head of a small regiment of men in America. He intended to rip from the signers of the Declaration of Independence he could catch: their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
Note the minefields at The Breakers in Newport, RI
We may accept the arguments put forward by the 99% about the 1%, or not. It's fascinating that so many of the Illuminati agree with the 99% they sponsor and idolize. That 10% of the 1% encourage the little tricksters and pixies to go rubbish and trash the 1% they hate and revile. The Illuminati shriek for strong and direct action and encourage the Mob. They never think it will come for them.
Observe the moat and palisade at Tom Friedman's Estate in Bethesda
You know the rest of the world, when they revolt against the existing power structure? They don't mess around. It's firing squads, dungeons, and exile for the ruling class. A lot of them didn't make it out of French revolution alive. Why do the leftist elite assume that the mob won't show up at their doors come the Revolution?

Monday, July 15, 2013


Long ago the USN, in its wisdom, decided that all of us would be given American Express cards which we were directed to use for all our travel needs. This is a fine idea and we thought it might work out better than the Diner's Club cards that the Navy tried to force us to use earlier for all our travel needs. (Airlines and such don't accept Diner's Club)

I was a traveling man back then and I would always reply with a 'yes of course' when the Commodore asked me if I'd be willing to drop everything and go do some sight surveys and attend some conferences in Thailand or help out Naval Forces Korea or even lead an Air Detachment to Bahrain for further transit by land and sea to an island off the coast of Kuwait for a couple of months. A lot of this travel was back-to-back and most missions lasted 1 to 2 months. As a consequence, I seldom saw my mail.  One day while taking the sun at my place in Faylaka Island, Kuwait, I was called to the mess tent where I was told our Chief of Staff was on the INMARSAT phone and demanded to speak with me. I wandered over to the phone.
Faylaka Field Force
 "Curtis," he said, "the Commodore and I are both very angry at you because you are in arrears paying your AMEX bill." All delinquent bills were reported to the member's gaining command. I observed as how I had just got back from two months in Egypt and was asked the next day to lead the Initial Response Air Detachment to Bahrain and hadn't gotten my mail from the post office yet. The Commander assured me that this was no never-mind and my bills must be paid.  I told him that not only hadn't I gotten my mail but I hadn't been to the office and so hadn't filed any travel claims yet either and I hadn't been paid for 4 months. He muttered something about bills needed to be paid and hung up.
We kept on with the American Express card for all sailors and had the same sort of thing happen thousands of times. It was deeply stupid. I read later that the officer in charge of the program misused her card to the tune of buying new houses, cars, appliances, etc and never paid the bill. Nothing ever happened to her though. I used mine for official travel but when I was in command I told my people I literally didn't care what they bought with the cards as long as they paid the bill promptly. That worked for my 2 years in command but after that the admiralty changed the rules and started clamping down on card use for non-official purposes.
I stopped using the government issued card after I got back from Kuwait. Turns out it's use wasn't required; just strongly desired.
Screw that.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


There is only one thing more viscerally exciting than screaming across calm water in a sailboat in a high wind. This sort of catches the flavor.

That other thing that is even more exciting?  It's pitch poling a sailboat that long at those speeds. If you buried the bow in the standing wave under the Golden Gate Bridge, any crewman standing near the helm would probably get launched over the bridge like they were tossed from a giant catapult.
Thank's Theo.


I really didn't expect it to be decided so quickly and I didn't expect it to be unanimous. I guess what that says about me is that I have such low expectations from them that I am constantly cheered up by my fellow man.  It's a great pity that the morons running the Committee for the Promotion of Vice and the Prevention of Virtue will now hurl themselves into the fray with Civil Rights Law and tear open wounds in civil society that never need to have been inflicted in the first place if people just did their jobs.  Interesting tactic though to wait to release the verdict until 10:30PM don't you think?

See how I do that? I look forward to being cheerful later on by once again expecting the lowest sort of venal serf-serving behavior from the Royal Court of Injustice.

Friday, July 12, 2013


I saw the Manchurian Candidate tonight for the first time. I'm surprised it took me so long to get around to watching such a classic flic.  Anyway, when Janet Leigh introduced herself on the train to Frank Sinatra and said her name was Eugenie all I could see was:


I've perused the news today and it is dark. Too dark. So, on that note I thought I'd throw readers in the direction of one of my favorite blogs Letters of Note. There is a column on the right side of the page that has a list of most read letters. That's a good place to start.

Here are two of my favorites:

Worth pondering.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


                                                       Murfreesboro, Tennessee
                                                                                            May 30th 1863
                                          Dear Sister
                                                             I received yours of the 22nd ins, yesterday and I am now trying to do what I can to handle my writing traps for your gratification and my benefit. I have been working all day and am a little nervous so that I do not think I can write much but I will give you a little account of what we are doing now and what  we are likely to  do soon.At this time we are laying in camp doing the regular  routine of camp and field duty. Our guards are sometimes shot at and some times our cavalry bring in some of the greasy butternuts who generally seem very glad that they have been so fortunately as to fall into our hands for they say that their officers are becoming very strict on them and they have not had (a) full ration of meat for three or four months and the rations are still getting less and some of them go so far as to say that the war will be ended in three months in our favor for the Southern soldiers are getting very much dissatisfied and the men it is thought will throw down their arms and go home feeling very glad to come once more under the laws based on the good old constitution of  of the U.S.
     Many think that if General Grant succeeds in taking Vicksbourgh that we will march on to Chatinooga, Tennessee but that General Woods  (we) will stay here at this place to guard the forts and stores which will be left here. I hope when this reaches you that Father will be perfectly well. General Grant has been very successful so far and I hope he may able to take the whole army for if he does I think that thing is about done with. It is now 8 o’clock and I will have to quit this time and go to bed. Write often while Father is sick and tell me of all the changes in his health. I hope he may be  spared by the all powerful God until I get home to receive his blessing and pardon for disobeying him in coming into the army against his will. I think we will soon be paid and then I will send you some money to use.
Dear Sister take good care of yourself and our dear Parents who have been so good to us in by gone days and now in their old days we should do all in our power to make them happy. You need not be particular about sending me anything  by express or by a private person for it costs too much.
No changes have taken place in the Medical Department yet but I think it will soon take place and then I will tell you if I  get the place I have been expecting for some.  It has been raining  two or three days but it was very acceptable for the ground was very dry and the streets were very dusty.
I suppose you remember  Weldgoklean the sadler Nelsons son. I seen him a few days ago he is a Sergeant in the 37th Indiana Regiment. Give my respects to all and remember  that it is your loving and affectionate  brother
                                    Luther M Beaver
Luther M Beaver was 21 years old on the 25th of May 1863

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Even the smallest contains worlds,
                        There is no Frigate like a Book
                        To take us Lands away

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Island News Service ---
Men dressed as New York City police and Homeland Security agents released lethal gas into New York City subways tomorrow. Terrorists express gratitude to the police and HLS for showing them the best way to unobtrusively gas mass transit riders.  They say they never thought that it would be as easy as putting on some fake uniforms and just walking in and doing it. The terrorists claim they received assistance from Transit Authority personnel who 'thought they were helping the cops.'
Film at 11.

The thing about a number of chemical weapons is that you don't know that they are there until you are affected by one. We used to be told by Chemical Warfare instructors to whip out our gas masks and put them on immediately when we saw our friends flopping around for no apparent reason. All fine, all good but would not we also be flopping around at that point? True said they but then you inject yourself with a couple of wizzbang drugs to counteract the effect of the chemical agent. A lot of chemical warfare agents affect you through your skin.
So the thing about a gas attack on a subway is that there really is no defense against it. It says a good deal positive about man's humanity to man that while chemical warfare agents were used extensively by both sides in WWI and maintained as full up weapons for the next 85 years, no civilized nation has used them since their widespread battlefield use in France in 1918.
The attacks on subway systems by terrorists in Japan in 1995 should have been impetus enough to force first responders to learn how to deal with mass casualty situations in a chemical environment. I don't think that happened.


 In peace and prosperity, states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes. Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In fine, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was wanting, was equally commended until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations had not in view the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition for their overthrow; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime. The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the stronger of the two, and not with a generous confidence. Revenge also was held of more account than self-preservation. Oaths of reconciliation, being only proffered on either side to meet an immediate difficulty, only held good so long as no other weapon was at hand; but when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one, since, considerations of safety apart, success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence.
 Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are as ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first. The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. The leaders in the cities, each provided with the fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for ascendancy engaged in the direst excesses; in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour. Thus religion was in honour with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation. Meanwhile the moderate part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to escape. Thus every form of iniquity took root in the Hellenic countries by reason of the troubles. The ancient simplicity into which honour so largely entered was laughed down and disappeared; and society became divided into camps in which no man trusted his fellow. To put an end to this, there was neither promise to be depended upon, nor oath that could command respect; but all parties dwelling rather in their calculation upon the hopelessness of a permanent state of things, were more intent upon self-defence than capable of confidence. In this contest the blunter wits were most successful. Apprehensive of their own deficiencies and of the cleverness of their antagonists, they feared to be worsted in debate and to be surprised by the combinations of their more versatile opponents, and so at once boldly had recourse to action: while their adversaries, arrogantly thinking that they should know in time, and that it was unnecessary to secure by action what policy afforded, often fell victims to their want of precaution.
Chapter X of Thucydides 'History of the Peloponnesian War'

Thucydides lived through that war that lasted 30 years and wrote about as it happened 2400 years ago. How little have we changed since then could be read from today's headlines. In fact, it was doing some reading earlier and some writing elsewhere that I recalled, as I have many times, the words above. Anyone who makes the study of history his own will often know what outcomes
result from any given action or lack of action. Reading this was depressing since it pretty much sums up the current and future state of affairs in this country. Trust has left the continent.
I read a different translation of Thucydides while taking Strategy and Policy with the Navy War College. I enjoyed it all. The language leaped off the pages.  I was serving in my first staff appointment and as a partisan back then supporting Stu Cvrk, Frank Rytell and Jim Brooks to keep Inshore Undersea Warfare alive. I used a lot of the words and phrases I learned at the War College, not in war, but in verbal and written combat with Maritime Defense Zone, Atlantic. It was a bitter struggle and neither side was interested in taking prisoners. What bugged me the most about the MARDEZLANT partisans was how dishonest and untrustworthy they were. They were spoilers and ruiners. They were as Saruman to the Sauron running government today.


I don't care what anybody says, that was a very funny movie. We laughed out loud throughout the movie and so did the rest of the people in the theater.  Definitely 2 snaps up!

Monday, July 8, 2013


Just because
 no visit to a used book store is ever like a visit to another used book store.

The Literary Banner Will Advance!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


We went to to see the Tall Ships at the waterfront in MetroParkCentralis today and on the way home we passed though Case Western Reserve University and Wade Lagoon. As we drove by we noticed that something was missing. 

                    The statue commemorating General Milan Stefanik was ripped up and removed from its home of 89 years because that's what one does if one is a filthy rich city. I don't expect it will ever again see the light of day. There are not more than 10 people in Cleveland who even know his name or why there was a statue of him there in the first place so I see it as unlikely that there will be the follow-thru to re-erect the statue in a more Slovak appropriate place within the city.  Just about the only thing left in Cleveland of the old eastern European communities that once made this city their home are the enormous beautiful churches and the cemeteries they left behind.
When those fiends in the Taliban decided to blow up the giant statues of Buddha they didn't have to do that. I don't think there was a valid reason to rip up General Stefanik either. Of course, if they are going to chop up the little round-a-bout there that leads visitors up to the Cleveland Art Museum and Severance Hall, well, of course the statue must go. It's like the non-stop arguments in San Diego where some jackass 'philanthropist' wanted to rip out the Veteran's Memorial in Balboa Park and eliminate all driving and parking in the park itself except for him and his friends. His supporters kept it alive for a decade shouting, "Progress Demands It!"


I wonder if the government will behave responsibly this time and order the verdict in the Zimmerman case sealed until a few hours after Americans have been warned, loudly and repeatedly, using every means available, to take shelter and prepare for heavy rolls.  Six women, none of them black, will determine if he beat Rodney King because King was black or because Zimmerman is just a racist.

I can already hear the Ministry of Truth gearing up to totally and completely prepare to ignore the consequences of a "not guilty" verdict. "That damned Bush!"

...and yes, I'm well aware that this case somehow involves a man who isn't named King.

I honestly don't know what to expect out of the jury in this case. If the verdict is adverse than I fully expect the dark forces of the Federal Bureau for the Promotion of Vice and Prevention of Virtue to step in and re-arrest Zimmerman and place him on trial for violating human rights that folks like me don't have; for the Justice that's in it.

photo courtesy of Theo's.  I think the stars are a nice effect; so above it all.