Sunday, April 26, 2020


I'm OK with that.

I watched the PBS last night and their episode on Borlaug. As when they showed The Civil War, PBS didn't manage to screw this episode up. If you haven't seen it and you like just exactly how science used to be, you could do worse. If his house had a shield, "escutcheon" I'm sure it would say in vernacular, "that other's may eat".

He stepped into the clearing at the end of the path long ago. He's looking over his shoulder and saying, "I cleared it!" He was a farmer.

And a researcher. Born roughly at the same time, one American researched food and the other researched disease and it's killing vectors.
An irascible, no-holds-barred Montana farm boy born in the midst of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, Hilleman survived diphtheria and Great Depression-era poverty to earn a PhD in microbiology and chemistry at the University of Chicago. Practical and impatient, he turned down the prestige of academia and primarily worked in industry, at the pharmaceutical company E. R. Squibb & Sons and later Merck & Co, where he led vaccine research for 25 years. 
An iconoclast who slung swear words like the proverbial sailor, Hilleman helped develop an astounding 40 vaccines: to prevent measles, mumps, rubella, pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis A and B, and other infectious diseases. The measles vaccine alone has saved an estimated one million lives a year. “Maurice’s genius was in developing vaccines, reliably reproducing them, and [taking charge] of all pharmaceutical facets, from research to marketplace,” biographer Paul A. Offit, MD, told the British Medical Journal for Hilleman’s obituary in 2005. The New York Times later noted that researchers credit him with “saving more lives than any other scientist in the 20th century.”
When you think about it, guys in the garages here in America pretty much define the 20th century America. It's a sadness that it won't often be said in the future, "sure, I made that in my parent's garage." It may take electrons and photons, dammit.

Who knows, maybe right now she's industrially at work, making "it" in her garage. As I said, one of my neighbors in Emeryville was making in her garage and selling to The City and dreamed about making it in New York, .... and moved there. I hope she made it. Rent in Emeryville, $600/month. I don't even want to write what rent was in NYC south of Maine.


I loved this show. If you want something dead funny to watch during the life in the time of clhorea,

Saturday, April 25, 2020


I get a little sidetracked by that curse of modern endeavor; wikipedia. It's an evil bit of work, really. I promise. As usual, I go astray with just one mention of polar explorers or some bit of naval history I always meant to read and my library is so thin these days. There's hardly 2000 books there that need reading and rereading. Stupid books.

The polar explorer guys were always a mystery to me. I never felt the cold for real until I came back south and experienced the cutting wind in an anorak but to go north of 80 degrees or south of it just to check out the birds and seals and find a place nobody can find at all short of GPS because, let's be honest, you don't find the 90th degree of latitude with a sextant and chronometer. You might think you have but then, you've been tramping about on ice flows for weeks and you're pretty much toasted mentally anyway. As casual readers might know, my thoughts of explorations mostly started and ended with the good south pacific isles.

Yeah, I have 8 open tabs right now on wikipedia about Scott, Amundsen and so many of the others lost to that madness. Yes, I'm reading them. Again.

OTOH, I'm looking at 2 bookcases right now stuffed to bursting with the books about Grant and Lee with maps stacked over a foot high and more books on that war and the books I wrote plus the various old medals that remain and perhaps, I am what I am. I was born about a century too late. I still wouldn't have tramped to the polar regions for love or money and oddly enough, none of those guys did either.


Quarantine affects all of us differently.

Banksy at home during the Quarantine


From our friends at


I was just reading over on Assistant Village Idiot, which is a place I enjoy visiting, that my comments are all instant spam. I would have something to say about that but we did cross swords that one time and it was long ago and I've noticed that some things linger on the web long after reconciliation and peace and stuff breaks out. Probably due to the breakage. As one might imagine, I couldn't care less. The mere act of typing a comment is often all the catharsis needed and it gets out of my system and it is gone. I imagine it was much like that for the people that used to sit down and pound out letters to The Times, in high dudgeon they were. Me? Not so much.

I think I have only been banished from one place in the whole of the internet and that guy's a complete idiot anyway. See how I did that? :)

We drove 2 hours to go birding yesterday and it was all good. Filling tasty ice cream on the way home where they get to stay open mostly because they also sell milk so they're a food emporium or some such. Worked for us. We saw more bald eagles, swifts, martlets, the usual avian pirates and blew off corona virus walking barricades. Yep, we were probably captured on 'trail' cams and we'll get nasty grams in the mail for simply stepping around the barricades. Don't care. Stupid rules are meant for stupid people. If we're the only ones on the back woods trail it follows that nobody is getting socialized with the virus. Plus, why was it 'safe' for the first 100 yards but dangerous after that?

OTGH, we did turn around when we got to the signs advertising deer hunters have been known to shoot pedestrians beyond this point on the trail during the season. I'd seen enough birds. We had also stopped at Camp Perry on our way west to beyond Sandusky and it was rich in birds and silly signs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


It looks like the Iranian showmanship in the Persian Gulf has attracted the eye of the President. He put this out today. It couldn't be clearer and reminds me of the first set of Middle East Force Standing Orders I used to read on my first ship in the Gulf. They were required monthly reading by officers of the deck, junior officers of the deck and the combat information center watch officers. You read them and initialed the book and the Navigator and XO followed up to make sure everybody was current. In my first 12 months in MIDEASTFOR they never changed an iota and read pretty much just like this by President Trump:

As I remember the old orders, the Admiral's Standing Orders read, "I do not intend or require you to suck up the first attack. If they demonstrate hostile intent, open fire." That was one of the reasons what happened to USS Stark was so galling to me. If they'd read the orders and understood them, that never would have happened....but they obviously didn't or totally failed to understand them. They thought they were off the coast of Texas instead of patrolling  in an active war zone in a place called Radar Picket Station North. You'd think the mere name of their patrol area would have conveyed something about the dangers from armed fighter/bombers on the loose and the reason for RPS North.

The rules never changed that I recall under Joint Task Force Middle East and to be honest I never had occasion to read them when I was at NAVCENT/COMFIFTHFLT.


I see the Navy is going to make a pronouncement soon about what it will do with Captain Crozier. He is famous for gutting the readiness of an entire strike group by going public in unclassified forums over the virus and his fears about his crew safety.

I'd like the record to reflect that as far as we can tell right now, over 700 sailors on his ship had the antibodies suggesting they had the infection. One sailor, a Chief Petty Officer, reportedly died of the Corona virus and the rest seem to have survived on Guam which means they would have survived on the ship just as well. I suspect this little fact is going to be lost in the release of news on the future of Crozier.

Who was it who advised us all to not take counsel of our fears? Yeah, it were somebodies famous.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


I can't attach the video to run here, but it works very well here.

Congressman Crenshaw eats Maher's lunch, and breakfast and goes back for his snacks.


There are times when it is fair to laugh, so it is with the recent Supreme Court decision below from NOLA.COM.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that juries across the nation must be unanimous to convict or acquit a criminal defendant, outlawing the split verdicts that had persisted in Louisiana since openly racist lawmakers enshrined them in the state Constitution during the Jim Crow era. 
In a 6-3 decision that crossed ideological lines, the high court ruled that the Sixth Amendment’s right to a jury trial implicitly requires a unanimous verdict, and that the previously acknowledged need for jury consensus in federal courtrooms applies equally to state courts through the 14th Amendment.
Yes yes, I know. In an open and shut legal argument based on nothing less and nothing more than our Constitution and legal precedent, 9 jurists reached different conclusions about 'split decisions' by people swept off the street and out of business offices and forced to ADJUDICATE the law. If the whole bunch don't buy the legal arguments of the State, the Government or the type of people who bring civil lawsuits, the case MUST BE THROWN OUT and this was decided by a SPLIT decision at the Supreme Court. Ever notice how nobody ever refers to them as supremacists?

Well, there we have it, the permanent 'stay out of jail' card for BLM types and bleeding hearts and stupid dumb assholes who cannot decide if they want a red candy or a green candy and dither about it for a couple of weeks before tossing their hands up and swearing that they're sticking to brown candy  now and forever! If you thought reaching consensus on a truly open and shut case, smoking gun case was hard before?  Just wait. You aint seen nothing yet. All that lawyer has to do is get one truly American stupid moron on the jury who will swear black is white and die before he or she can be disabused of the idiocy and that's it. NOT GUILTY.

I imagine all the oxygen thieves reading the NYT are shocked that President Trump will so escape the justice they believe his actions have so merited when he steps down after 8 years as our president. My heart bleeds for them, not.


I like it. Always have.

Monday, April 20, 2020


Got to listen to NPR as I took Pokie the VW Jetta out for its first drive of the year today and heard some lamebrain Ph.D explaining that now was an excellent time for the governors of the states to close down the sale of tobacco because that would reduce the number of people going out and so reduce CHINA FLU cases even further below the number of Influenza cases. He didn't seem to understand that nicotine withdrawal can be a real pain and people engaged in it are terrible to be around and this would make domestic violence/rage go through the roof if people couldn't get a fix.

Why don't people who profess to be sociologists ever understand things like addiction and withdrawal?

By the way, it's the same for alcohol. Now is not really the time to quit unless you live alone and like it like that.


We have been going for daily walks for some time now since we feel much better and it is warming up, less snow and ice on the ground, fewer rain drops to dodge, less traffic on the roads and it is actually kind of nice to walk down the streets and through the local nature trails and greet people who are also out walking, strolling and ambling. What is most unusual is the sheer number of families with small children who out walking or biking together. They're everywhere here in Shaker Heights and probably in most other areas that don't have democratic misrule and abuse.

I myself don't know what happens to the chinese virus once it gets six feet away from it's mouth/nose of issue but that seems to be the commonly accepted distance at which point the virus all either slam to the ground at warp 10 or explode in tiny little puffs of harmless dissolution which brings peace, satisfaction and a sense of great tranquility to all who also believe in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

It's nice to get out and watch the bald eagles soar overhead alongside the blue herons, red tailed hawks, red-wing blackbirds and a host of ducks and geese and other adventurers we seldom see as we drive between one place and another. They're a lot more visible when we both take it slow.

I've never tried to keep a birding book but I could be tempted this year. I now walk with someone who doesn't automatically label everything with wings as either a robin or a duck and knows every bird by name except the more exotic woodpeckers we have around here. They're a flighty bunch and tend to hide on the far side of the tree when they do land in the forest.

It's about time, just need a little bit of warmer weather, to make the trailer hitch lights in my car work again and then perhaps finally trailer the boat down to the river or lake and launch the Indefatigable here in its new home port and perhaps sail up the river and try to argue with an 880 foot long Lake Freighter about right of way in the narrow winding waters of the lower Cuyahoga River. Sailors tend to think from a young age that they always have the right of way in any collision with machine powered vessel. They are so often wrong but seldom live to learn from their mistakes. I'm a somewhat older sailor and have had that nonsense beaten out of my system. On the gripping hand, I also have a pirate flag around here somewhere....


Talked to my older sister today. She professed outrage that people would now actually enter stores and shop without wearing a mask. I stopped twitting her long ago but I will ask; the CDC said the masks were no good - now they are Gods among mortals and can do no wrong and say, wear the mask.

The mask keeps you from infecting others but doesn't affect transmission of the disease for those who simply inhale the virus through a low quality no good not really a mask after all, is it, kind of masks that people shop with now so my wonderment revolves around the issue that makes me wonder every time I see a lonely walker strolling down a forest path, all alone save for the birds and invisible fish and wearing a mask, just to be on the safe side, why?

If you are terrified of a disease that appears no worse than the standard influenza, so beit, cower at home and be afraid. I don't get it.

People are sheep and the media really is the virus and the CDC, FDA and WHO really have screwed the pooch on this one over and over and over again.

What happens to those dangerous virus when they get more than 6 feet away from you? Interested breathers want to know.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


I found his talks fascinating.


We've seen their show twice here in metroparkcentralis. They were each unique but I really enjoyed this act.

It's just dancers and shadows but it is also amazing. If they come to your town and you enjoy this sort of thing, they're worth the price of admission. I also enjoyed the mad bicyclist. She was amazing.

Saturday, April 18, 2020


Satellites servicing satellites, in orbit.

In a triumph for the nascent industry of "satellite servicing," an aging communications satellite has returned to service in geostationary orbit. Northrop Grumman announced Friday that its Mission Extension Vehicle-1, or MEV-1, has restored the Intelsat 901 satellite and relocated it into a position to resume operations. 
"We see increased demand for our connectivity services around the world, and preserving our customers’ experience using innovative technology such as MEV-1 is helping us meet that need,” Intelsat Chief Services Officer Mike DeMarco said in a news release. 
In a historic first, one private satellite docks to another in orbit
After launching on a Proton rocket last October, Northrop Grumman's servicing vehicle used its mechanical docking system to latch onto Intelsat 901 on February 25, at an altitude of 36,000km above Earth.  
Since then, the MEV-1 servicer has assumed navigation of the combined spacecraft stack, reducing the satellite's inclination by 1.6 degrees and relocating it to a new orbital location, at 332.5° east. Intelsat then transitioned about 30 of its commercial and government customers to the satellite two weeks ago. The transition of service took approximately six hours and was successful. 
Based on the agreement between Northrop and Intelsat, MEV-1 will provide five years of life extension services to the satellite before moving it into a graveyard orbit. MEV-1 will then be available to provide additional mission extension services, Northrop said, including orbit raising, inclination corrections, and inspections. Northrop is already building a second MEV to service another Intelsat satellite, 1002, later this year.
It's Northrop Grumman so I suppose it costs the earth but it's progress.

Friday, April 17, 2020


This news is very bad news indeed.

By Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – Sweeping testing of the entire crew of the coronavirus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt may have revealed a clue about the pandemic: The majority of the positive cases so far are among sailors who are asymptomatic, officials say. 
The possibility that the coronavirus spreads in a mostly stealthy mode among a population of largely young, healthy people showing no symptoms could have major implications for U.S. policy-makers, who are considering how and when to reopen the economy. 
It also renews questions about the extent to which U.S. testing of just the people suspected of being infected is actually capturing the spread of the virus in the United States and around the world. 
The Navy’s testing of the entire 4,800-member crew of the aircraft carrier – which is about 94% complete – was an extraordinary move in a headline-grabbing case that has already led to the firing of the carrier’s captain and the resignation of the Navy’s top civilian official. 
Roughly 60 percent of the over 600 sailors who tested positive so far have not shown symptoms of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, the Navy says. The service did not speculate about how many might later develop symptoms or remain asymptomatic. 
“With regard to COVID-19, we’re learning that stealth in the form of asymptomatic transmission is this adversary’s secret power,” said Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy. 
The figure is higher than the 25% to 50% range offered on April 5 by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force.
We have a case where the real danger is hidden from view and carriers can walk among us strewing death in their wake without showing any signs or symptoms from the virus. I feel reassured all to death.

And more really bad news about the hidden virus.


Many of the things in my life over the course of almost 30 years had their genesis in the movements of information and the ebb and flow of intelligence gathering as practiced by the various organizations within the US Government that practiced the art of finding things out whether that be covertly or simply by keeping up with the daily news all over the world. By keeping an eye on the news of that era I was able to get some forewarning a lot of the time about whether my location was going to suddenly change from home somewhere in California to overseas with about 24 hours notice. As I developed in one particular realm of naval endeavor I was the one that fielded the calls asking for instant deployments of people to the 5th Fleet area of operations, mostly.

I had access though a number of places to the siprnet and I read the Sunday NYT cover to cover at the local no-name outdoor patio-equipped coffee shops in Del Mar or San Francisco. I knew that the New York Times was filled with opinion and scarce on fact and the few facts they did include were questionable and the more I knew about any given topic they addressed, the more I doubted what they were selling. I still read the news just as I still watched 2 national news broadcasts nightly and the McNeil Lehrer News Hour every night. I was casting the net far and as wide as I could to stay on top of crappy little places like Iran, Iraq, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Korea, etc...

I no longer care to watch the news and when I do catch a few minutes of a broadcast news it offends my sense of duty and ethics. They no longer even try to pretend that they are in the news business. They are the very worst kind of yellow journalists. The former Intelligence services we used to have in America, the FBI, CIA, NSA, State Department have all shown that they are dismal incompetents raised far above the worst nightmares encapsulated by the Peter Principle. We have had genuine morons running those services since Jamie Gorelick was Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration and created the "wall" that isolated the FBI and CIA intelligence efforts at preventing terrorism and kept the two agencies from sharing intelligence.

I caught some of the news over the last couple of days. PBS has apparently gone to an all woman format and I have found the resulting mess to be worse than useless. It is actively stupid and rather than cover the news they chat about how the feel about that useless orange-man-bad in the White House. They make no pretense of covering the daily press briefings on the virus, they go to their correspondent who actively despises Trump and makes no effort to hide it and then ask her for her opinion or feelings about what was said at the briefing rather than, you know, actually using some video of the actual briefing by the participants. It's pathetic and they all come off looking far stupider than they should.

That all said, the real horror was after the news at this late hour when PBS quality people went to their favorite foreign correspondent  and she interviewed a former member of the National Security Council who allowed as how as far back as January the Intelligence Community (IC) was warning each other of the potential of an epidemic based on information they were sneaking out of China and how Trump blew it off and took no action. As anybody who is actually familiar with the timeline knows, that's a complete lie but more to the point, if it was so, who in their right mind could blame Trump for blowing off the IC? They have shown themselves to be nothing but a bunch of dishonest, lying bastards and scumbags since even before he took his first meeting in the Oval Office. Why in Hell should he pay any attention to them? It's like us believing Pakistan's ISI, who knew damned well that Osama bin Ladin was hiding right outside Pakistan's military academy and probably was paying him to behave as a 'guest' in Pakistan while they hid him from the United States of America.

The media really is the virus.

I remember when I first started on the path of knowledge and truth in news. I was a freshman in college and two professors took me and the others in their classes to the library and showed us all of the sources of fact and where to gather them based on the specifics each was teaching. The one told us that we owed it to ourselves to get a subscription to a 'good' newspaper and recommended The Christian Science Monitor. Back in 1979, that was a good reliable source of news and opinion based on facts placed in evidence before the readership. That's the one I read up until I deployed to the middle east in 1984. When I returned from the middle east I found it was no longer the same paper.

There is a cycle to news organizations. There has never been any effort by most newspapers to change their bias and that has been so for as long as their have been broadsheets and newspapers and you can learn to live and accommodate their bias if you practice a balanced approach to the news and read widely and not just from a single source. Nowadays, US newspapers are essentially all single source using the same source and the same bias. The smaller ones have collapsed their news bureaus to nothing but worthless shavings from AP, Reuters and UPI who, in America, neglect the basic and fundamental underpinnings of a news service. They almost always omit the who, why, what, where, and when from any story and all one gets is a bland disservice announcement that 22 people were shot in Chicago last night. That's it. Nothing else. No reason why all those shootings happen night after night in the city that makes it almost completely illegal to own a gun.

I used to hit the news aggregator Drudge Report everyday after I hit the good one at instapundit but there was a dramatic change in the Drudge Report which has reduced it to nothing but a jumping off point to read the UK Daily Mail and a few other sites I've never bothered to bookmark, mostly because I have a thousand bookmarks already and don't need more. Drudge has turned itself inside out and no longer has anything in common with the place it was a year ago except the links to other sites.

I'm afraid we are rapidly becoming a nation of ignorance. I expect ignorance out of the young and those that don't read but it is a real pain to accept that people who I know are smart and move in the highest academic circles have as their starting and end point on the news and background, CBS or PBS, NPR or the New York Times. They don't make any effort to find out what is really happening and all of them consider themselves well informed.

I read a long article today about the Army and its dreams of replacing the Reagan era Bradley Fighting Vehicle although the article kept referring to the Bradley as a personnel carrier. We know that it is far more than that but reality confuses even journalists that cover the Defense Department. I know what the Bradley story was because I lived it vicariously and was present when the first one rolled off the production line and watched it weather every calumny thrown at it by ignorant boobs in the Pentagon, ignorant boobs in the press and ignorant boobs who've never actually even seen a Bradley.

The author was making some analyst point of view points about the Army and it's unique system for developing Requests for Proposals (RFP) and how for decades the Army Acquisitions staff in the Pentagon have been demanding bleeding edge revolutionary systems and the analysts quite rightly point out that this is why they have failed so dismally and wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on flights of fancy that never make it to prototype much less limited rate production and testing and OPEVAL.

I read the comments others offered and many of them were worth reading. The part I enjoyed most though was the rare voice that insisted that we back away from revolutionary and simply build something we can build with existing technology and resources and then upgrade the system gradually over time as newer and better technology comes down the pike. Astute readers know where I'm going with this. The Bradley has been a frontline combat vehicles since 1985 or so which makes it at least a 40 year old design. The B52 design is far older and yet it still flies as a frontline bomber for the USAF. There's a reason for that and there is a reason the follow on bombers shuffled off this mortal coil long ago. Like the FFG7 class frigates, there was limited or no room for growth and so they went the way of the dinosaur and that is what has happened to what once was the best news outfits in the world as they collapse into hatred, bias and irrelevance. They all forgot the one basic tenant any news or intelligence organization must have; TRUST. We don't trust them anymore.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Saw this at Real Clear Investigations.
Ever since a “senior official in the Trump administration” penned an anonymous 2018 New York Times column attacking President Trump as unfit for office, Washington has been engrossed in a high-stakes whodunit. After an exhaustive investigation, the White House believes it’s cracked the case, identifying Trump's turncoat as his former deputy national security adviser, Victoria Coates, according to people familiar with the internal probe.
Rather than fire Coates, the White House has quietly transferred her to the Department of Energy, where she awaits special assignment in Saudi Arabia -- far from the president.
Good. I hope they catch and release the 4 other suspected backstabbers and send them to the Kingdom, maybe Yanbu instead of Riyadh or Jeddah.


Tom Wolfe, “The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.”

From the comments at the article linked at Instapundit,  “To paraphrase and update Tom Wolfe, ‘The dark night of fascism is always descending on Americans due to the actions of Republicans and yet lands only in areas under Democratic Party control’.”

Those democrat control freaks are really lining the bottom of their little birdcages with just what they think of Americans. They prefer to give free health care and schooling to illegal immigrants over American born citizens and they prefer to release violent criminals from jail to kill and rape innocent Americans and they leap to their feet and rush to tear up the Constitutional rights of any and all Americans over their fears of just what such people will do to them when they finally go too far.

I can't believe people actually vote for these people. Ever.

UPDATED to include link to the original source of the paraphrase of Wolfe's wonderful quote.


President Trump is unlikely to let the media forget that they behaved like China throughout this pandemic and now, like China they are lying their fool heads off hoping that by barking loudly enough they can drown out what they said 2 months ago and last month and last week. Too bad, socialist running dogs of the apocalypse, we aren't going to forget and we aren't keen on letting you forget either.

Suck it lying media socialist pigs!


From Traditional Vibe:

Yep. Our media is genuinely awful and get nothing about anything right. They really do appear to live in their very own little world surrounded by beautiful people all thinking good thoughts and dreaming about the good old days when they ran the world the way Xi runs China. ie, without tolerating even so much as a peep of dissent.


Obama endorsed Joe Biden for president today. He was fulsome in his praise of the doddering wreck of a man now poised on the cusp of finally winning the Democratic party's nomination for President after beating out a field of mostly nonentities all by himself. Where was Obama then back when his endorsement would have put paid to the financial disaster that was the 24+ idiots who thought they were good presidential timber? Billions of dollars were flushed away trying to unseat the obvious frontrunner by insane wackjobs from the left who dragged the white liberal party so far to the left they'd vote for Stalin before they'd vote for Trump or just sit out the election.

I'm really looking forward to the presidential debates. President Trump will want 4 or 6 and the Democrats will want zero.....for all the good that will do them. Can you imagine the kind of things Biden is going to rave about when he has to speak extemporaneously? Yep, I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday, April 13, 2020


There's a nice science post over at Power Line that puts some numbers and science behind what I have long believed about liberals and keep in mind this is them answering the question in the way they think best. I suspect a bit of it is due to their continuous desire to always portray themselves as victims but there is a lot more to the study as you can see below from the artwork associated with the post.

It's just a short little article and well worth the minute or two it takes to read it.


I think it will be awhile before I get on an elevator again. I avoid them if at all possible and take the stairs, especially in hospitals where one is unlikely to ever run into anybody else using them. I can't imagine a more benign environment for germs, viruses and unfriendly bacteria. I can't imagine stepping into an elevator at a hospital. By God if you weren't sick when you got there, you'll be sick enough when you leave.

My advice: stay off the happy vertical people movers and die like a man, climbing the stairs.

Friday, April 10, 2020


We will no doubt be bombarded by differing opinions about the incident on the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the relief of the ship's commanding officer by the acting Secretary of the Navy. That's one of the things we get with the internet. Used to be usenet was full of old curmudgeons arguing about which submarine single handedly won World War II and who was the best admiral of them all and the threads would run to the hundreds as people wrangled about it good-naturedly. With what happened in Guam there is less attention paid to good nature. On the face of it, it was ugly.

There is a fascinating article at Real Clear Defense which brings to light a number of hitherto unknown facts about what led up to Captain Crozier getting shoved overboard. As I read it, I tend to think Crozier was one of those truly shitty subordinates you sometimes find yourself burdened with and from which there is no respite until one of you is gone.
A review of the facts here offers some valuable lessons about leadership – or its lack thereof – via an affair that, sadly, is all too typical in modern Washington. (Full disclosure: I have known Mr. Modly for more than 25 years, and as a former work colleague with deep knowledge of his personal integrity, professional competence, and most importantly, reverential love for the United States Navy and its extended family, I am a strong defender of his decision to relieve the commander of the Roosevelt; I say this having considered detailed facts of the case that most critics have blatantly ignored. I also am very hopeful Captain Crozier sees a repassage to his career in the Navy, something former Acting SECNAV Modly very much wanted as well.). Here are the relevant facts of the case, including details the screaming Beltway critics ignored in their rush to judgment:
The Roosevelt docked at Da Nang, Vietnam, in a historic show-the-flag visit from March 4th-9th, just the second carrier to visit Vietnam since relations were restored in 1995. While Navy operations planners are scanning the world in following the coronavirus outbreak and proceeding with caution, Vietnam had only around 20 reported cases then. The visit proceeded, as it was considered important as a signal to China, North Korea, and Russia of growing American-Vietnamese rapprochement and friendship.
Several of the Roosevelt’s crew stayed on shore in various Da Nang hotels, including one where two British tourists were found to have become infected with the virus; there were also visits to the Roosevelt from other nations’ naval air crews in early March. In any case, regardless of contact point, by mid-March, while cruising in the Philippine Sea, Roosevelt crew members began to test positive for COVID-19; a decision was made to put into Guam a week early, with the ship arriving there on Friday, March 27th, with 30 coronavirus infectees already identified.
Secretary Modly briefed the media that morning and announced there were 800 testing kits aboard the carrier, and more were being flown to Guam that day. By then, two sailors aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, docked at Yokosuka, Japan, had also tested positive, leading to a lockdown of the entire base there, and the Navy’s concern about the combat readiness of naval airpower in the western Pacific had become heightened – especially with North Korea again test-firing missiles, and China trading insults with the United States over the virus and trade disputes, while menacing Taiwan as well.
By Sunday, March 29th, Roosevelt CO Brett Crozier had become increasingly alarmed about the threat of a rampant outbreak aboard the ship, with the entirety of the crew all on board in close quarters while docked at the Apra Harbor naval base. In an email interchange with Secretary Modly’s chief of staff Bob Love that day, though, Mr. Love asked Crozier what he needed: Love detected “no alarm bells, no hair on fire,” Secretary Modly relayed to David Ignatius of the Washington Post. Captain Crozier merely answered “just speed,” when pressed for specific critical needs, and to “get people off the ship as fast as we could.” Following orders from Mr. Modly, Love gave Crozier the acting secretary’s personal cellphone number and told him to call 24/7 if he needed anything more. 
Yet the next day, Monday, March 30, an exasperated and deeply-worried Crozier sent his 4-page letter to approximately 20 recipients via unsecured email, bypassing the carrier strike group commander, Rear Admiral Stuart Baker, berthed just 15 feet down his passageway on the Roosevelt. Additionally, the Roosevelt CO chose to ignore the carrier's hyper-secure communications facilities with instantaneous access to Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and Washington, and also disregarded the personal cellphone number of Acting SECNAV Modly, given him the day before, for immediate direct access to the top of his chain of command. That same day, Modly’s chief of staff, Mr. Love, called Captain Crozier a second time, as follow-up, but heard no new requests or concerns, nor any notice of the frantic letter which appeared the next day, Tuesday, March 31, in the San Francisco Chronicle (which happens to be Crozier’s hometown newspaper).
The publication of Crozier’s plea for help was, as Secretary Modly pointed out, predictable in this digital communications age, but it caught the Navy brass by surprise, both in form and substance (e.g., the letter was not addressed to anyone, and contained no detailed specific action plan or insights into what about the Navy's surge of resources wasn't going well). Most pointedly, Crozier's missive did not at all "square" with the CO not talking to Admiral Baker, berthed within feet of him on the Roosevelt, at all about this, nor with the previous days' communications with Secretary Modly's staff that included availability of a direct line to Modly. Predictably though, the story made national news immediately, and among other things caused concern and consternation for the families of the Roosevelt’s crew, as well as deflating morale among the crew themselves. Infections by then had hit around 100 and were sure to grow (there are now 230 infected including Captain Crozier himself, though none hospitalized, and more than 2000 Roosevelt sailors are isolated in hotels on Guam).
Modly talked to Captain Crozier directly on Wednesday, April 1, and Crozier admitted he had avoided Admiral Baker or his other communication options [again, including the highly unusual opportunity to call Secretary Modly directly, 24/7, for anything needed, and again, having shown no outsized concern to Mr. Love on the phone within hours of emailing out his letter to a broad audience in an unsecured manner]. Crozier reiterated to Modly only that he felt the situation was urgent and did not want to be told to not send out his “distress flare.”
Here's the moment when leaders must make tough decisions: Modly, considering [a] the sequence of events and the distress caused, [b] the lack of forthrightness from Crozier, either with Admiral Baker, or Messrs. Love or Modly themselves and [c] the consequences of Crozier's strange choice for his communication of a warning, given other considerable options, relieved Crozier of command the next day, on Thursday, April 2nd.  That afternoon Modly gave a detailed press conference explaining his actions, showing unusual candor but also praising the stellar career of Captain Crozier, a decorated naval aviator and combat veteran. The Acting SECNAV also emphasized that in no way was Captain Crozier's career over and that he believed in redemption; he just felt that in this extreme situation of COVID-19, a steadier hand was needed aboard the Roosevelt. 
I don't agree with Modly. I find Crozier's actions despicable. He had direct communication with the Secretary of the Navy and went out of his way to stab him in the back. He did the same thing to Admiral Baker, his Immediate Superior in Command and so also to Commander 7th Fleet, CINCPACFLT and the CNO. If there was ever a commanding officer who deserved to be sacked it is Crozier.

Read the whole article at the link. It's definitive and shares the facts the media decided against placing into evidence for your consideration.

We'll touch on backstabbers in the leadership page a little later.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


Shoppers are simply dropping their gloves in the parking lot once they leave the supermarket and get to their cars in metroparkcentralis. It's not a pretty sight but it appears to be only a handful of stores have these type of shoppers. We decided to shop for groceries only on the west side. We live in and are surrounded by the 4 zip codes most impacted by the corona virus in Cuyahoga County. We'll just shop on the other side of the river for what we need.

Rubber gloves dropped in parking lot after shopping

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


You too can register to read the interesting articles at the Proceedings of the Naval Institute through June for free! You can also read Naval History magazine and all their archives. You can register at the link below.


If you're at all interested in Naval activities and Naval History, this is the place for you. This month's issue had an interesting article about Teddy Roosevelt's time in the USA V Corps in Cuba in 1898 where 4700 men out of 5000 soldiers were down with yellow fever and malaria and in imminent danger of dying. He wrote a letter to his Commanding General and is presumed to have given a copy of the letter to a reporter who published it nationwide the next day. You can read all about it.

There is also an amusing tale from Arleigh Burke when he was assigned to the Base Force and was boat officer for the first amphibious exercise in 1928 in the Pacific. It's a fun read. One of the things I thought was interesting was the photo. The Department of the Navy is very traditional, believe it or not, when it comes to our dress uniforms. We don't change much. Churchill had much the same to say about the Royal Navy. After almost 100 years, we still wear identical service dress blue uniforms.

LT Arleigh Burke on the right, embarked on USS Procyon AG-11 in 1928.


I have to say that the SS goons, STASI goons, Red Brigades  police are not going to come out of this little tyranny unscathed by their stupidity, failure to reason and sheer unmitigated viciousness.

Monday, April 6, 2020


The former CO of USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT is positive for Corona virus. When it rains, it pours. I suspect he is home now happy recalling that he coughed all over the strike group commander and chief of staff before he left the ship in Guam.


We were able to catch our first stellar phenomenon since the last transit of Venus. Ever since June of 2012 whenever there was anything interesting in the heavens all we got was clouds and rain, usually at the same time. It didn't matter what it was, super moons, meteor showers, UFOs, whatever, it was overcast here in metroparkcentralis. We nailed the transit of Venus though. We had our chairs set up on the shore of Lake Erie and a welders glass and drinks and were all set when on a beautiful clear day we saw something that won't happen again for another hundred years. Lucky, that's us.

What we saw Friday night in the warm embrace of our very own backyard chairs was Venus in the Pleiades. It looked just like this from where we were sitting with our big eye binoculars.

About the only other thing we've been able to see up there from time to time is the International Space Station zipping overhead and we only ever see that from our dock in Maine.


The video of the battle isn't all that impressive but the comments after are hilarious. If I was the master of the Resolute I'd definitely paint little silhouettes of a patrol boat on both bridge wings. Something that fantastic needs to be commemorated properly in time honored fashion.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


This was standard practice back when contagious and lethal diseases swept the land here in America. I found this in our files. People now think the powers of the Public Health officer was swept away by the miracle of science. Nope. They used to and still do have enormous power over the day to day life of citizens.

We used to believe in quarantine. When you think about it that's why we built the facilities at Ellis and Angel Islands. They worked for generations and were shuttered when the flow of migrants ebbed and they instead simply walked here from Mexico and we stood by and let them. Southern California has been paying for that with an explosion of communicable diseases we had eradicated in the United States only to see them make an ugly return long before Wuhan Flu.


It looks very much like the FBI and DOJ should all go to jail for 12-20 years for making a mockery of justice using the FISA Courts. The latest Inspector General report and report of the Court shows that both FBI agents and DOJ officials made a complete mockery of justice and the rights of American citizens. Read the link and weep for justice.


I see that the Chinese doctor who first reported on the Wuhan virus has vanished into thin air as did the first doctor to try to alert the authorities of the virus' existence. I find it interesting how they keep vanishing in the largest most comprehensive surveillance state in the world. Where did she go?

I think the virus was deliberately released into the wilds of Wuhan by the Chinese government and their intent was to have a virulent violently contagious disease spread out of control in an insignificant province before letting anybody outside know about it. By the time it was finally detected in the West the contagion there would be widespread and then China would announce that it too was suffering from the disease, most noticeably in Wuhan and Hubei Province and their backup stories about how America was somehow responsible would be taken as gospel by the worthless scumbags that make up American media.

In other words, the commissars are putting bullets into the heads of those responsible for letting the cat out of the bag early. They completely lost sight of the fact that they now live in an interconnected world and even though they threw Western journalists out of China according to plan, but too late to matter, the word got out long before their plan intended.

I think the Chinese government really really wanted Italy to take the fall as the genesis point for the disease and did their best to carry it off but responsible medical people not read into the government's plan spoiled the plan. Next time they'll be more careful and simply load containers stuffed with the organisms on container ships carrying Chinese cargo and send them to any port that still permits China to offload their cargoes.

China may have shot its imperial ambitions in the foot, or head. They rarely distinguish between either when shooting the peasants that make up 99.99% of that country. I expect their aim to improve as they gain practice.

Friday, April 3, 2020


I see the Navy has taken appropriate action today and fired the Commanding Officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt.

The officer that he worked directly for was right there next to him at dinner last night because I don't believe our carriers put to sea anymore without a Strike Group Staff commanded by an admiral somewhere on board. Conditions were satisfied when he told the Strike Group Commander what he thought was necessary. The captain knew he was sinking his career by taking the action he did to tell the whole world that Big Navy was being mean and not letting him land 5000 possibly contagious people on a beach somewhere with access to 20th century medicine and plenty of isolation. I'm not sure how he thought Big Navy was going to pull that rabbit out of its arse overnight.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


I was asked to provide embarked security teams for a cruise of the USNS Mercy through Central and parts of South America back in the early oughts of this century and we managed to scrounge up some security types for the ship and even some embarked patrol boats to cover the water side of the ship when it was inport. Somehow I never contemplated that fending off attack trains controlled by madmen would be a requirement. An oversight on my part but I don't know how one could really wrap one's arms around the whole beast if one really had to counter every threat to a hospital ship. For me, the fact that it treats tropical diseases would be enough to keep me away.
LOS ANGELES, CA — A train engineer at the Port of Los Angeles apparently tried to ram the Navy hospital ship USNS Tuesday, believing the ship was part of a plot to take over the government, according to the Department of Justice. He derailed the train at full speed, but came to a crashing halt a good 250 yards away from the ship. 
The crash was witnessed by a CHP officer who took the engineer into custody after he allegedly tried to flee the scene, according to prosecutors. Forty-four-year-old Eduardo Moreno, of San Pedro, was turned over to the FBI Wednesday after confessing his plot repeatedly to investigators, a Department of Justice official said. 
Moreno was charged in a criminal complaint with one federal count of train wrecking, which carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Investigators allege Moreno ran the train off the end of the tracks and crashed through a series of barriers before coming to rest far short of his goal. No one was injured, and the Mercy was not damaged. The train leaked fuel that required a hazardous-materials cleanup. 
According to the criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, Moreno admitted in two separate interviews with law enforcement authorities that he intentionally derailed and crashed the train near the Mercy on Tuesday afternoon. 
The CHP officer who witnessed the crash reported seeing "the train smash into a concrete barrier at the end of the track, smash into a steel barrier, smash into a chain-link fence, slide through a parking lot, slide across another lot filled with gravel, and smash into a second chain-link fence," according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.
Mk I Mod 0 Attack Train in LA

USNS Mercy in LA

Nope, I never thought about keeping trains away.

I find it interesting that both Mercy and Comfort are painted white. My first ship, the Middle East Force Flagship, was painted white. At the time we were the only white ship in the Navy. Oh sure there were USNS that were painted white but they weren't warships. Our ship was mostly a beacon of glistening whiteness that alerted the Iranians and Iraqi fighter-bombers during The Tanker War to leave us alone since we were quite unique and quite harmless. Both hospital ships have excellent paint jobs. I'd venture to guess that they are the only ships on active naval service that don't have a totally out of control unsightly running rust problem. Most of our warships look like they spent the last 7 years on a reef in the Sulu Sea. We can do better.

Rust Never Sleeps on USS Fort McHenry as seen in Germany


Found this tune from long ago and it seems somewhat appropriate today.