Friday, October 30, 2009

Biggest Baseball Bat in the Navy

UPDATE: Nov 1, 2009 -

Friday Oct 30, 2009- MCLEAN, Va. — Top nuke officer details training backlog

In an anecdote about baseball great Ted Williams refreshing his skills during slumps by reviewing fundamentals and using a light bat, Adm. Kirkland Donald, head of the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program, joked that in the naval reactor realm,


“we always found heavier bats worked better.” - NavyTimes
Thursday Oct 29, 2009- McLEAN, Va. - U.S. Navy Facing Submarine Challenges -Adm. Kirk Donald, director of U.S. Naval Reactors, cast a self-critical eye on the submarine force he leads during a presentation at a submarine symposium here Oct. 28, addressing challenges the force is facing.
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The submarine force’s acquisition strategy also is getting a closer look. “Our plans will experience intense scrutiny,” Adm. Donald said.
“We have an obligation to deliver capability at the best price, without compromising safety.” - Aviation Week

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Underwater Entrapment - Today's Imminent Warning!


Besides collision and sinking, what are two very ominous incidents for submarine crews?
Entrapment, of course, and getting swept overboard.
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But what is actually the Major Cause of most Underwater Entrapment?


Over the last fifty years, around fifteen thousand people have perished due to vehicle entrapment drowning according to numerous sources. ... These people followed the ever shrinking air bubble until it was gone. They died, minutes later. .. It is probable that some of the people that died at the I-35W bridge collapse were trapped inside their car with no other, or minor injuries. They tried their doors and they would not open. They tried their windows, and they would not open. Their vehicles filled with water. As they tried their windows again, the water rose. - Lonny MacDougall, Egression Technologies LLC


How many navy veterans and civilains stationed at Treasure Island, Mare Island or the Navy Airfield in Oakland traversed the Bay Bridge hundreds of times to get home, work, study or for great liberty?
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Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 - Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, a civil engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley who has spent 20 years studying the Bay Bridge, called the initial crack a "warning sign" of potentially bigger safety issues with the bridge.


"The repair they were doing was really a Band-Aid," said Astaneh-Asl, who criticized Caltrans at the time for rushing to reopen the bridge. "The Band-Aid broke, in essence." Astaneh-Asl said the failure of the repair job demonstrates the need for a longer-term solution. The bridge's age and design make it susceptible to collapse, especially if commercial tractor-trailers are allowed to continue using it, he said."I think Caltrans is putting public relations ahead of public safety," he said.
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Corpsman Chief Wins Bronze Star - His Specialty Suffers no Lack of Valor


M.E. has always held navy hospital corpsman, including this one, in high regard. Accordingly, we were pleased to see this award:
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A sailor at Naval Hospital Beaufort became the latest recipient Friday of one of the military's highest decorations. Chief Hospital Corpsman Troy Murphy, a 36-year-old Tucson, Ariz., native was "humbled almost to the point of embarrassment" to receive the military's fourth-highest decoration for meritorious service.
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From May 2008 until July, while stationed at Combined Security Transition Command in Kabul, Murphy worked as the senior noncommissioned officer to a team teaching combat medics from the Afghan National Security Forces the most up-to-date life-saving techniques. The award citation said Murphy's leadership "enhanced the Afghan National Security Force's Combat Medic Program, significantly improving the life-saving skills of medics deployed in a combat environment."
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In attempts to explore Murphy's citation (not found), we did find some interesting commentary concerning awards of the medal to SSN skippers, and tough questions by CDR Salamander that readers may find also interesting.
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Readers interested in the Valor device (“V”) authorized by all services to distinguish those awards from meritorious achievement awards should read this. Basically, awards resulting from combat heroism (Army and Air Force) or earned in combat (Navy), are distinctive from meritorious achievement Bronze Stars awards.
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Consider the posthumous awards to rank-and-file, WWII submariners sunk in combat. What is the Purple Heart equivalent for drowning deaths in combat? Hmmm.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Answers to Question of the Week ( October 25, 2009 )


Questions of the week:


1) - What purpose does this non-U.S. facility serve?

ANS: Maximum security prison.


2) - In what country is this facility located?

ANS: Iceland.


3) - For which existing U.S. naval facility could this facility possibly (extremely unlikely, however) substitute?

ANS: Guantanamo Bay Naval Base - Since 2002, the naval base has included a detention camp for captured enemy combatants from Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Question of the Week

Above we see a mystery facility in a peculiarly uninviting location.

Questions of the week:

1) - What purpose does this non-U.S. facility serve?

2) - In what country is this facility located?

3) - For which existing U.S. naval facility could this facility possibly (extremely unlikely, however) substitute?

4) - If you knew the correct answers to 1) and 2), readers will certainly wonder how. What is/was your connection?

Have fun with this, we think it is difficult for even our readers.

Answers Tuesday.


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Friday, October 23, 2009

"Lean manning saps morale, puts sailors at risk" - Well, certainly not on boomers


Hat tip to Chap for pointing out this curious NavyTimes article.

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Here's the rub. The title, Lean manning saps morale, puts sailors at risk, tends to encompass all sailors, including submariners. A worthwhile and short read, the article is about surface ships, but it never mentions, quotes, nor makes a reference to one female sailor.

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The NavyTimes author mentions IAs and the fact that their billets remain open. He added, “Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who tells sailors that ships are going to sea manned at 85 percent, has said he wants to begin to get IAs back to their home crews as soon as possible.”

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Besides submarines, another thing the author NEVER mentions nor quotes in his entire surface ship article is any female sailor.

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Why would submariners find the article's timing (published yesterday, although the cited thesis was dated December 2008) and omission of certain nouns and pronouns (women, females, she, her) curious? Well, this is why: Navy moves to put women on submarines.

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Also omitted are relevant factors, such as:

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Jean Zimmerman (author of Tailspin: Women at War in the Wake of Tailhook -1995) notes that there is a perception in the Navy that women sailors use pregnancy to escape deployed ship duty. “In an example cited by Zimmerman, in 1993 as the USS Cape Cod prepared to depart on a deployment cruise, 25 female sailors, out of a crew of 1,500, reported being pregnant shortly before the scheduled departure and were reassigned to shore duty. Although Zimmerman felt that the number of pregnancies was small and should not be regarded as significant, the senior enlisted person on the ship, Command Master Chief Alice Smith commented, “Just about every division has been decimated by the number of pregnancies. Now tell me that’s not going to hurt a ship.”[1]

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There was "hidden discrimination", whereby superiors failed to give women normal shipboard tasks - most of the time with good intentions, to spare them dirty or dangerous jobs. - from study of FEMALE merchant mariners by Minghua Zhao of the Seafarers' International Research Centre at the University of Wales, Cardiff.

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Is the article a clever story planted just in case a sudden uptick in submarine accident rates correlates with the eventual assignment of females to sub crews? Let’s hope not.

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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ironic News - the Answers

1) October 7, 2009 - Australia Looks to US for Future Submarine Technology -

ANSWER: Will U.S. policy soon shift to IRONY procurement of non-nuclear submarines?

2) June 4, 2009 - Pam Stephenson’s law degree questioned in ex-CEO’s lawsuit

ANSWER: Stephenson, a lawyer, is only the chief executive of a not-for-profit hospital system in Atlanta. She was challenged to document her qualification for hospital CEO (a law degree?), which she satisfied. IRONY The chief executive of the U.S. (also a lawyer) has been challenged to document his qualification for presidency.

3) October 20, 2009 - 'They Tried to Steal an Election,' N.Y. Voter Fraud Case Heats Up

ANSWER: Enough forged or fraudulent ballots have been thrown out, according to records at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections in Troy, N.Y., an election official admits, to likely have tipped the November election to the Democrats.

Bertha Lewis, ACORN's CEO, is one of the Working Families Party co-founders. The New York Times reported this month that "Patrick Gaspard, the White House political director, worked with ACORN in New York to set up the Working Families political party and sat on the party's board with Ms. Lewis."

IRONY ACORN was defunded by Congress, right? WRONG, only until October 31st.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ironies Below Headlines


1) October 7, 2009 - Australia Looks to US for Future Submarine Technology -


Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Material and Science: “The United States is a leader in the design and development of submarine technology, and I expect that Australia will look to learn from companies like General Dynamics Electric Boat and Lockheed Martin in designing and developing the Collins class replacement,” Mr Combet said. “The Future Submarine will be Australia’s largest ever Defense acquisition and the Rudd Government is committed to ensuring that Australia obtains a world leading submarine capability. US technology is likely to be an important facilitator of this capability.

What is so ironic about this? Answer tommorow.


2) June 4, 2009 - Pam Stephenson’s law degree questioned in ex-CEO’s lawsuit



State Rep. Pam Stephenson, chair of the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, insists she has a law degree, even though a registrar says the school transcript does not show it. ... Stephenson’s credibility has become an issue in the case. Story contends Stephenson fired him without warning in January 2008 so she could take the $600,000-a-year job for herself.

What is so ironic about this? Answer tommorow.


3) October 20, 2009 - 'They Tried to Steal an Election,' N.Y. Voter Fraud Case Heats Up



Thirty-eight forged or fraudulent ballots have been thrown out, according to records at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections in Troy, N.Y. Enough votes, an election official admits, to likely have tipped the November election to the Democrats.

What is so ironic about this? Answer tommorow.


Stuff lurking unseen below the surface can be very, very strange, indeed!


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Will Female Submariners Really Need Separate Toilet Facilities? Foreign Navy Experience May be a Useful Guide (Photo)


We cannot be certain in which foreign navy the depicted recreation is customary. Our guess is one without nuclear propelled subs, or female crews.


According to this 31-second YouTube (not recommended by M.E.), the sport is not unheard of in parts of California, however.


Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Want to Time Travel? Fast forward from 373 BC to May 12, 2008, in 47 secs

Earthquakes accompanied by strange lights seem to date back as far as 373 BC in ancient Greek records. "Immense columns of flame" allegedly foretold the earthquake that destroyed the cities of Helike and Boura.

Well into the early 20th century such lights were still considered a myth, until photographs of actual lights were taken during the 1966 earthquake swarm in Matsushiro, Japan[5]. Since then, even more sightings have been witnessed. More recently, south of Lima Peru on August 15, 2007, earthquake lights could be seen across the Lima sky before and during the earthquake, and videos captured the phenomenon.[6]

Interested? See for yourself...30 minutes prior to the Sichuan Earthquake, a cell phone captured multi-colored clouds in the sky[7] ... YouTube!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Columbus was Grouchy - No Problem, today is certainly his day, too!


According to Sesame Street Magazine (subscription required), today (October 15th) is/was National Grouch Day -- a day for Grouches to celebrate! The timing for National Grouch Day could not have been better this year. Consider some recent reports:


October 11, 2009 - A darker side of Columbus emerges in US classrooms

"I talk about the situation where he didn't even realize where he was," kindergarten teacher JeffreyKolowith said. "And we talked about how he was very, very mean, very bossy."
(In fairness to Columbus, however, things were somewhat different in his day as shown by the post card hundreds of years later (early 1900s), and the early dispositions of ships' masters
(military and civilian).


October 14, 2009 - In these grouchy times, we just want to say, when did free speech come down to a lousy T-shirt? Interesting examples given in short article.


October 15, 2009 - Celebrating a national holiday for As#h%le'$


Perhaps you have a superlative example of the grouchiest sailor you ever served with back in the day. If you tell yours, Caruso may us tell his. Most sailors who had grouchy or mean tendencies were systematically de-selected by various pre-submarine screening methods. M.E. never knew a chronic grouch or mean sailor among submariners he met (including more than a few drunks).


Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Submarine Cover Story we can all believe

Have you noticed the date? Here is an excerpt from the related 1917 interview with Nikola Tesla:

Nikola Tesla, the Famous Electric Inventor, Has Proposed Three Different Electrical Schemes for Locating Submerged Submarines. The Reflected Electric Ray Method is Illustrated Above; the High-Frequency Invisible Electric Ray, When Reflected by a Submarine Hull, Causes Phosphorescent Screens on Another or Even the Same Ship to Glow, Giving Warning That the U-boats Are Near.
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Were Dr. Tesla's concepts relevant to submarine and anti-submarine development over the next 100 years? Some would even go so far as connecting some of Tesla's concepts to HAARP (High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Project). Regardless, he was way ahead of his time in applied physics, and MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detection ) still being utilized and developed, even for UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ).
Submarines have always evoked the height of technology.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Al Qaeda is Just a Front Organization to protect ____ ?

Never have we heard such a rumor.

Who thinks of such things as 'outside of the box' (in an inventive, unconventional way)?
Do the Saudi Royals? The House of Saud is linked with Wahhabism (Saudis preferring the term Salafism) through the marriage of the son of Muhammad ibn Saud with the daughter of Muhammad Abd al Wahhab in 1744.

An Islamist group founded sometime between August 1988[5] and late 1989 and early 1990, al-Qaida operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless arm[7] and a fundamentalist Sunni movement calling for global jihad.

Research suggests al-Qaeda was formed at an August 11, 1988, meeting between "several senior leaders" of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden, where it was agreed to join bin Laden's money with the expertise of the Islamic Jihad organization and take up the jihadist cause elsewhere after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan.[46]

Consider the distraction of an Egyptian source. Azzam, a highly influential Palestinian Sunni scholar and theologian had been conveniently assassinated in November 1989 (dead mean tell no tales). Osama bin Laden is a member of a prominent Saudi family, but he is 52 years of age.

Age, you see, may be just another distraction. In 1998 Ayman al-Zawahiri merged Egyptian Islamic Jihad into al-Qaeda. Ayman al-Zawahiri is 58 years of age. Jihadist doing the dying and prison time for al Qaeda on the otherhand, are typically young people. Even Adam Gadahn (the American Al Qaeda jihadist) would be only 31 years of age by now.

Ready for the rumor? Here it is:

The House of Saud funded al Qaeda to channel rebellious Islamic youth into activities that target infidels rather than royals. While rebelliousness may be an expected and accepted stage of development for Western youth, it is dealt with rather more severely in Islam.

After generations of Islam's brightest had been educated in the West sparing no expense, many of returned resentful of their obviously oppressed and constrained lifestyles. House of Saud's advisors counselled the royal family to distract this energetic and rebellious movement into religious channels that would leave the kingdom relatively unscathed.

Western infidels became targets of opportunity. Now, we may begin to understand the dimensions of what has been hidden from the public by the 9-11 Commission - prior knowledge of the Saudi youth distraction program.

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The Latest Photo Mystery


See the odd-looking vessel in the background? Fred Fry at Maritime Monday 183 and EagleSpeak pass along requests for help with a mystery ship, AERIA.
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If M.E. readers want more information or can help solve the following questions, please refer to the links provided above:
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A) Who knows more about the history and the purpose of this odd-looking vessel?

B) Who knows the where-abouts of this odd-looking vessel?

C) Who can shine a light on the future of this odd-looking vessel?

Why the doctored photo above? M.E. checked the German film industry (E. German past and current) for possible connection to the whale shaped craft. Although my search was fruitless, it did suggest a way to attract your attention with one curiosity,
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Oct. 3, 2009 - Variety - Germans take on 'Moby Dick'
Tele Munchen TV prod toplines William Hurt, Donald Sutherland, Ethan Hawke, Gillian Anderson , and Billy Boyd. At $25.5 million, the TV two-parter is the most expensive production in Tele Munchen’s 40-year history. Unpaid harbor fees for the mystery ship obviously pale in comparison.
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Now, the final question is whether the German director will use a mechanical whale or computer-generated animation.
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The always silent and strange way submariners see the juicy mystery ship, of course, is through an imaginary periscope.

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Questions of the Week - 10-09-2009 - Answered


Background to last week's questions can be found at original posting here.


Questions of the Week:
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1) What is the intended goal of Navy and Marine Corps JAG study?
ANS: According to the conference committee, the goal is to determine how many more military lawyers are needed. The committee said it has noted "with concern, the increasing demands being placed upon judge advocates in the Navy and Marine Corps to fulfill critically important wartime legal roles with minimal or no commensurate increases in judge advocate manning or billets." The conference has also questioned the Marine Corps' decision not to create additional judge advocate billets or to increase judge advocate manning as part of its overall growth in active-duty personnel of 27,000 since 2007. source BLT article: Wanted: More Military Lawyers?
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2) Which of the traditional (excluding USCG) military services added the most JAG officers from 2008 to 2009?
ANS: As The National Law Journal reported on June 6, the Navy JAG corps, with approximately 770 judge advocates, has seen the greatest increase from 2008 to 2009-- a 100% jump. (ibid.)
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3) Which of the traditional military services added the fewest JAG officers from 2008 to 2009?
ANS: The Marine Corps, with the smallest complement of lawyers at about 440, had only a slight increase.
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4) Politics being what it is, dominated by members of the legal profession, can you think of an ulterior motive for the JAG study of the Navy and Marine Corps?
ANS: Augmentation of JAG billets justifies higher-ranked officers in the JAG chain of command. Ultimately, Congress will increase pay for all judge advocates.


The war on terrorism has been exploited by the military judge advocates general (JAGs) to increase their numbers. The proliferation of military lawyers is at an all-time high, with Army JAG strength 10 percent larger than it was at the end of the Cold War.

The three senior JAGs for the Army, Navy and Air Force, known as TJAGs, want three-star rank similar to the surgeons general of the services. But they need a larger corps of military lawyers to justify the boost in rank, we are told. Legislation to increase the three-star rank was proposed this year but failed from lack of Pentagon support. source - Inside the Ring, Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, September 15, 2006, The Washington Times.

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5) Pictured above (in the original posting) is CAPT Richard Stewart (USN, ret.) now an assistant general counsel for a major telecommunications company. As a civilian military law expert currently featured on the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps News & Announcements An interview with a JAG Corps Trailblazer!, would Capt. Stewart be eligible for the panel conducting the Navy & Marine Corps study?
ANS: Yes, certainly, as would many, many more civilian lawyers. The 5 actually placed on such a panel, however, need not even have military service to their credit. What really counts with lawyer-politicians are points with big-name law firms who can hire their lawyer kids.
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Juan Caruso detests lawyer-politcians doesn't he?

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Friday, October 09, 2009

SECNAV Mabus Contradicted by House Bill; Questions of the Week - 10-09-2009

Describing his navy experience as about four decades ago, SECNAV Mabus, a lawyer, said recently, "we never left port without leaving a couple of guys behind in jail." video here .

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Mabus's point was that today's technically competent sailors are more law abiding than those of yesteryear. Interesting, considering this...


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Background

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 was passed yesterday by the House. The bill's conference report directs the Secretary of Defense to appoint five civilian lawyers with JAG expertise to study how the Navy and Marine Corps organize and manage the duties and careers of judge advocates (lawyers).
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Questions of the Week:
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1) What is the intended goal of Navy and Marine Corps JAG study?
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2) Which of the traditional (excluding USCG) military services added the most JAG officers from 2008 to 2009?
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3) Which of the traditional military services added the fewest JAG officers from 2008 to 2009?
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4) Politics being what it is, dominated by members of the legal profession, can you think of an ulterior motive for the JAG study of the Navy and Marine Corps?
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5) Pictured above is CAPT Richard Stewart (USN, ret.) now an assistant general counsel for a major telecommunications company. As a civilian military law expert currently featured on the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps News & Announcements An interview with a JAG Corps Trailblazer!, would Capt. Stewart be eligible for the panel conducting the Navy & Marine Corps study?
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Comments have been turned off. Answers on Monday














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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Female Submarine Assignments

This must be brief.

Watch the 8-minute video of SECNAV Mabus; this is all I have to say, but you may refer to the accuracy of my prior predictions:

Mabus, a non-submariner lawyer, insulted almost all former Navy vets (with his allusion to the superior patriotism and abilities of today's sailors, including the gratuitous: "we never left port without leaving a couple of guys behind in jail").

If some idiot believes the surface sailors of prior eras were comparatively lacking, how would this be applicable to a unique, volunteer submarine service?

I confidently make two predictions, if Mabus overrides the wisdom of actual submarine flags:

1) Rather than bolster the volunteerism of male officers, the long-term effect will be to diminish recruitment rates of officers and enlisted alike (CF- Australia's R.A.N. experience).

2) "Normalizing" an elite service to satisfy a liberal fantasy agenda is wreckless folly that will only result in degraded readiness of a world-class U.S. military organization. You will know this by the time a female is assigned to the 3rd boat. (By the way USS Rhode Island appears destined to be the first permanent assignment - look it up). Still Atlantic based? - Hmmm!

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Psst! - 70 million US Vets are in the Same Boat as Navy Counterparts


October 05, 2009 - A Wired article claims a defective hard drive supporting the eVetRecs program (system for veterans to obtain copies of health and discharge records), was returned by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration to GMRI for repair. GMRI determined the drive irrepairable and sent it to Sims Recycling Solutions to be recycled.

The problem? The hard drive's data (millions of names and social security numbers) was never deleted nor destroyed [color added]:


"This is the single largest release of personally identifiable information by the government ever,” Hank Bellomy, a NARA IT manager, told Wired.com. “When the USDA did the same thing, they provided credit monitoring for all their employees. We leaked 70 million records, and no one has heard a word of it.

Consultant Robert Siciliano observed that the hard drive should have never left the facility. “A $2,000 hard drive with millions of social security numbers is worth millions, maybe billions of dollars if it gets into the hands of a criminal. The ‘loss' of data like this can cost a government agency or corporation millions to respond to the breach. The Pentagon requires that old or defective drives be de-magnified or destroyed.“ With this data, a thief can open a new account such as a credit card and have the card sent to a different address.

Identity theft fraud destroys victims' credit and often becomes a long, messy clean-up process.

But wait, it gets worse! We must guess where the offshore recycling outfit was.

Conveniently, “NARA does not believe that a breach of PII (personally identifiable information) occurred, and therefore does not believe that notification is necessary or appropriate at this time,” NARA told Wired.com in an e-mailed background paper (pdf).

In case you missed the CBS 60 Minutes story about exports of US electronic scrap to developing countries, here are a few troubling aspects in just 42 seconds.








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Monday, October 05, 2009

Congressional Lottery 6 - Is Your Representative Among the Four Lucky Winners?

As promised, we have drawn four names of representatives selected by random lottery to submit voluntarily to legislation of their own making (H.R. 3200). If this week's representatives feel this puts them on the spot, good! We feel they have some explaining to do to those of whom they pretend to represent.
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The winners of this week's lottery drawing shown above are. Here are their names and a few statistics:
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21 Russ Carnahan.......MO-03, Lawyer -Yes; Veteran- No ; Party-Dem
22 Sanford Bishop........GA-02, Lawyer -Yes; Veteran-Yes; Party-Dem
23 Nancy Pelosi..........CA-08, Lawyer - No ; Veteran- No; Party-Dem
24 Bob Etheridge.........NC-02, Lawyer - No ; Veteran- Yes; Party-Dem
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If one of the above is your representative, you may want to acquaint him/her with their random selection to opt out of FEHBP and ask them why he/she has not committed to actually representing their constituents by voluntarily subjecting themselves and their families to the terms of HR 3200.
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Please feel free to apprise the rest of us, if you ever receive an answer from YOUR elected representative (Most of you will not).
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Yet, we are starting to see some results.
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This concludes are 6th congressional lottery for 24 members of the U.S. House. Next week, our lottery will randomly select 2 U.S. Senators, in the first of 3 senate lotteries.

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