Sunday, October 31, 2010

UPDATED with Answer - Mystery Question for Halloween


Comments will be turned off until 13:00 (EST) October 31st. At about 17:00 the correct answer will be posted. If you think you know the answer and wish credit, post your answer as soon as possible between 13:00 and 17:00 Sunday afternoon.


Halloween Mystery quotation:

If one is returning from the underworld, one should travel first class only.


Question: Who of the persons listed below actually said it?

a) Giuseppe Verdi
b) Nouriel Rubini
c) Nancy Pelosi
d) Jim Malashewski
e) Jan Grudzinski (ANSWER) Lt.Cdr. Jan Grudziński VM DSO
f) all of the above
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Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Admiral's freudian slip, or just a poor choice of words?

The more our leaders attempt to accomplish, the more mistakes (like every mortal) they are bound to make.

M.E. intends no disrespect toward Adm. Donnelly in bringing his recent, unmemorable quotation to your attention. There are 21 women in the first crop of submarine officers.

“From what I’ve seen of these women they’re very above average.” - Adm. John Donnelly, Submarine Force commander, Navy picks first 4 subs to get female officers, NavyTimes, Oct 24, 2010.

Consider the problems with such a description. Of all the possible interpretations, we would assume logically that the admiral would be comparing the 21 women only to the pool of all naval junior officers from which the females have been recently selected. How undiplomatic, you say?


Perhaps the admiral intended only a comparison to recently commissioned female officers, then.

Not very diplomatic, either, is it.


What pools remain to possibly comprise the average to which the admiral referred?
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a) recent submarine volunteers of either gender: - This hardly works; if the women are very above average, everyone knows from Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon (where the children are above average) that unless some are also below average, the admiral refers only to a comedic myth. Again, still a fairly tactless remark.
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b) recent male officer submarine volunteers: - Well, this would certainly not be a great omen for male officers, would it?
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c) all submarine volunteers to date: - Undoubedly this would be the safest explanation for an admiral, or would it really? This one would be very poor, for it carries NEGATIVE implications for future recruiting success.
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The admiral can amplify his throw-away description no further without slighting one or more of the named groups. All are left to assume that his description was merely a gratuitous effort toward heading off criticisms of the 21 later.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

HMS Astute Incident Just Got Worse for the Royal Navy


We can probably throw out the obsolete chart theory as cause for HMS Astute's recent grounding off Skye. Here is why...
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In November 2002, the submarine HMS Trafalgar ran aground close to Skye, causing £5 million worth of damage to her hull and injuring three sailors. She was travelling 50 metres below the surface at more than 14 knots when Lieutenant-Commander Tim Green, a student in the "Perisher" course for new submarine commanders, ordered a course change that took her onto the rocks at Fladda-chuain, a small but well-charted islet.
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By inference, if a small islet like Fladda-chuain was well-charted in 2002, a nearby location selected for HMS Astute's exercise 8 years after HMS Trafalgar's £5-million smashup would certainly have updated charts.
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The Trafalgar board of inquiry report, released by the Ministry of Defence in 2008, said the tracing paper had hidden details about the strength of the current and some of the contours of the seabed, and warned: "The use of tracing paper overlays in inshore should be strongly discouraged." concluded: "HMS Trafalgar grounded because of human error. The submarine altered course far too early, principally because the effects of tidal stream had been underestimated and the standard of chart work was poor.


The use of tracing paper overlays in inshore should be strongly discouraged - 2002, Royal Navy inquiry report Guardian UK
However, the student conducting the navigation had, for good reason, been deprived of significant information available only to the Command safety team.
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Two senior commanders, who had been in charge of the exercise, were later reprimanded at a Court Martial after admitting that their negligence caused HMS Trafalgar to run aground.
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If history repeats, the commanding officer of HMS Astute will certainly face a court martial with an outcome that is likely to be worse than a reprimand, this time.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Interview with grounded sub's CIVILIAN fathometer operator

The following excerpt comes from an interview [dead URL] by one Rick Eberhardt (R.E.) with a fathometer operator after a recent grounding incident. The operator (disguised in photo) consented to be interviewed only as Lady X.
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R.E.: Were you the fathometer operator when the sub grounded?
Lady X: I was.
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R.E.: Can you share your opinion of why the sub grounded?
Lady X: Sea depths can vary unpredictably; coastal depths are even more notorious. We were supposed to be motionless at the time, however.
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R.E: Stopped, you say. Were you at anchor then?
Lady X: We were not anchored. There may have been a situation with the anchor. You will have to ask someone else that question.
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R.E.: Did you ever warn your superiors about depth?
Lady X: Not very likely; I was on break when we felt a halting, or gradual skidding and rather loud metallics.
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R.E.: If you were supposedly not in motion, couldn't you sense any unintended motion?
Lady X: No, no acceleration, rumble or propulsion sounds of any kind.
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R.E.: What was ship's depth just before the jolt?
Lady X: There was never any jolt; it was rather a noisey skid to a halting stop. Afraid I am not allowed to discuss with you exact depths connected with operation of this submarine.
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R.E.: Alright. Let me ask if the fathometer has an automatic setting to alarm for shallow depth to keel.
Lady X: Of course it does, that sub is more complex than a Space Shuttle, but we were operating surfaced near the coast with hatches popped wide, and the navy did not want locals to hear any alarms. All unnecessary alarms had been turned off for that portion of our trials.
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R.E: Your disguise is very good. Honestly, your precise gender is puzzling even with that husky voice. We are under the impression that the Royal Navy has no women in its submarine crews. Will you confirm that?
Lady X: I can neither confirm nor deny that, but I will tell you that I am a civilian working for a shipyard, not a sailor in Her Majesty's.
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(the spoof interview proceeded for approximately 2 more pages)
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

fallout begins for 'Mother of All Sea Trials'


Concerning sea trials since 2008, has there ever been a longer sea trial for a non-Russian submarine? So far, YES*, but even that record may soon be broken. Astute commenced her sea trials almost one year ago.
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A spokesman at Faslane had said back in August: "The point of sea trials is to find these faults. It's all going to schedule." (By now, the spokesman from Faslane has hopefully changed his mind)
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UPDATE 24 October 2010 - Stricken UK sub charts possibly obsolete
A nuclear-powered submarine may have run aground on a shingle bank because the charts it was using were out of date, sources say. ... [However,] The vessel is understood to have strayed several hundred yards outside the safe sea lane marked on Admiralty charts.... A Royal Navy source told the Mail on Sunday: "One of the things that is being looked at is if the charts were up to date with the recent seabed changes in the area."
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October 23, 2010 - HMS Astute commander may face court martial
A defence source said it was likely Cdr Coles, as the officer in ultimate charge of the advanced nuclear-powered submarine, would face a court martial. ... A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "It is inappropriate to comment on possible disciplinary action until a full and thorough investigation has taken place and reported." Either way, things are unlikely to end poorly for Cdr Coles by current British standards, however.
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22 October 2010 - The rescue tug used to free the grounded nuclear submarine HMS Astute is to be scrapped as part of the Government’s spending cuts plan. The Anglian Prince, based in the northern isles, is one of four emergency towing vessels (ETVs) that are to be taken out of service from September 2011, saving the Government £32.5m a year.
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3 September 2010 - Investigation after crane drops heavy load on nuclear sub
the Royal Navy’s latest reactor-driven submarine, was hit by a ramp slipping from a crane during loading. An MoD spokesman said: “During the loading of HMS Astute, a small ramp slipped from a crane onto the submarine and into the water. An investigation has been launched and it is too early to comment on the cause of the incident or whether there has been any damage to the submarine casing.”
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11 Aug 2010 - JINXED Royal Navy submarine had to return to port during sea trials - after its anchor broke down Last night, a Navy source said: "For a sub that is so hi-tech, it's the basic things that seem to go wrong. This is very embarrassing for the Navy and for the sub's contractors, BAE defence systems." A spokesman at Faslane said: "The point of sea trials is to find these faults. It's all going to schedule."
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18 February 2010 - Astute completed her first dive.

16 February 2010 - Astute left Faslane for continued sea trials
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15 Nov 2009 - Astute departed Barrow for sea trial commencement.
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Relative luxury side notes...

Astute's sanitary accomodations include 5 showers, 5 toilets, 2 urinals and 8 hand basins for a crew of 98 (the CO has his own hand basin).
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Astute's berthing provides individual bunks for entire crew, as well as 11 overflow bunks for passengers/sea riders.
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Astute can compact and store all food waste and garbage arising from an extended patrol.
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Note* - KD Tunku Abdul Rahman underwent two years of trials in France prior to delivery to the Royal Malayasian Navy in February 2010; it completed tropical water trials in June, but remained at the naval base in need of maintenance.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Friday, October 22, 2010

HMS Astute's Third Fishy, Publicity-Attracting, Incident in 3 months

The first two incidents (below) were too fishy to believe as reported... and M.E. believes the third (HMS Astute's grounding off Skye) even less.
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"The Royal Navy has a nuclear submarine aground within view of the shore, and more specifically a major bridge, where thousands of people are going to see this in person - and likely care." -Galrahn
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"The MoD spokesman said: “...While conducting a personnel transfer as part of sea trials..."
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Remember just last month when a crane dropped the heavy load on the Astute?
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Or, the month just before that when the Astute had to return to port because its anchor broke down?
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Either a picture of utter incompetence is being purposefully cultivated, or the Royal Navy's submarine service needs a more secluded practice area. The Royal Navy is definitely NOT incompetent.
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That could mean the escalating global publicity being generated on a monthly basis is serving an altogether different purpose. Hmmm, what message is possibly being sent, and to whom? How about to whom it may concern.
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UK forces are currently conducting drills at the South Atlantic Malvinas Islands. Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay expressed their concerns about the military missile tests that the UK forces are currently conducting at the South Atlantic Malvinas Islands
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HMS Astute has been pulled free now, but Bubblehead has an interesting thread going, as usual,
and will keep us updated.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Flexing Her Enormous Econonmic Muscle, China Quietly Withholds 17 Exotic Materials

By turning down the flow of certain strategic materials, China suddenly reminds the world that she currently holds many of the cards (rare earth elements) necessary for manufacture of high tech products. Higher import costs lead to higher prices, inflating the U.S. economy, almost at will; lowered rare earth mining and processing quotas also mean larger retention within China - a decisive manufacturing advantage whenever desired.
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While some one-third of known, rare earth deposits are located there, China produces 97 percent of the world's production.



20 October 2010 - Washington (CNN) - US inquiry into China rare earth shipments

17 rare earth elements are required in manufacture of magnets, hybrid cars, computer monitors, HDTV and wireless circuits and most solar cells used for power generation. China produces 97% of these materials, but has stopped/limited shipments to Japan and countries friendly with it.

Experts forecast that annual demand could exceed 200,000 tons by 2014, far exceeding current production level of 124,000 tons a year.


It is necessary to exercise management and control over the rare earth industry, but there won't be any embargo. -Premier Wen Jiabao Oct 8, 2010.


China has denied it was halting exports, but Japanese trading firms said shipments stopped around Sept. 21, held up at Chinese ports by increased paperwork and inspections. That came after Japan arrested a Chinese fishing boat captain whose trawler collided with two Japanese patrol boats off disputed islands in the East China Sea.
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China's export cuts have naturally prompted mining companies in the United States and Canada to resume production. Japan, whose demand for these minerals next year is estimated at 32,000 tons, may face a 10,000-ton rare earths shortage.
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Japan suspects the world’s biggest energy consumer, China, may be drilling in an offshore gas field near a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Afghanistan Omen for U.S. - What CIA FactBook Does Not Tell, but firing Juan Williams does


Afghanistan suggests a harsh land of Muslim sharia law that forbids adultery and homosexuality. Few westerners are aware of Afghanistan's 5,000 year-old tradition of enslaving boys for sexual exploitation. In the U.S. this practice would be indictable as child sexual abuse or pedophilia.

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In Afghanistan, the custom is known as Bacha Bazi (literally 'boy play'). Once banned by the Taliban, Bacha Bazi re-emerged after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

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A documentary film by award winning Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi about the practice aired on PBS's Frontline in the United States, and True Stories in the UK.


Since it was first reported on CNN last Nov. nothing has changed as far as deterring such tradition of sexually exploiting young boys. Reports for the past few days say that it is still very much in practice and young boys are exploited by older Afghan men in the country.
The CIA Factbook never mentions arcane, local customs much less practices such as Bacha Bazi.

...in the Afghan context, no they are not gay. They have sexual relationships with men, but then if you ask them if they are gays, they say no. Most of the time even when they keep a dancing boy or a bacha bazi or they have sexual relationship with another man, they have a wife, they have a family, they have children, and then they keep this other relationship.

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The bacchá tradition, historically more common than in present day, waned in the big cities after World War I, forced out for reasons that historian Anthony Shay describes as "Victorian era prudery and severe disapproval of colonial powers such as the Russians, British, and French, and the post colonial elites who had absorbed those Western colonial values."[6]

....................----------------------------------


From a U.S. perspective, citizens must ask themselves in which direction our country has been headed. The slippery, liberal-progressive agenda (e.g. current push to end DADT) makes Bacha Bazi sound farfetched today, but consider that the chief enabler of such exploitative customs in Afghanistan (political correctness) has also become a norm for U.S. journalists. Average citizens can easily be next.
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Afghanistan is a democratic country. However, our country has not yet reached the depth of democracy and freedom of speech.


There is self-censorship among the journalists. There is fear, and life is precious for everybody. Everybody wants to stay alive and progress in their lives. When our journalists graduate, they promise to comply with the journalism code of conduct and they commit to [reporting] the pains and sorrows of our people. [But] despite all the promises, they tend to be doing a lot of self-censorship. They get threatened and do not tell anybody who threatens them, so they would rather be careful.


If a journalist were to investigate who is involved in such crimes, and if he was to name any names to reveal the person, even if he has proof, who is going to protect him? Would [President] Hamid Karzai or the home minister protect him? I do not think people in power would be able to protect him. - Najibullah Quraishi, Interview: Nazer Alimi, March 25, 2009

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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Courageous Restraint Magnified X2 or Rules of Engagement on Display

10/19/2010 (RTTNews) - US Orders Deployment Of Second Aircraft Carrier Off Pakistan

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) has been ordered to be deployed in the northern Arabian sea, in what is being reported to be a move to provide surge support for coalition forces in Afghanistan. It will also provide support to existing maritime security operations in the region and for the draw-down of forces in Iraq.

The CVN 72 joins USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), which carries four squadrons of Hornet and Super Hornet fighter-bombers, Squadron 116 EW, surveillance and command units, Squadron 131 EW craft, 2 helicopter squadrons , and one transport unit.

Sounds like Secretary Gates is helping Secretary Clinton send another neutered message to Ahmadinejad. We are allowing our military to lose face. When we finally smite our enemies, more lives will be lost all around, not less.

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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Washington Acts Swiftly - Chinese Mini-subs Recalled

The Little Chinese Mini-sub That Could
("lacerations to boys' genital area") Does it ever end?

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 18, 2010 Release #11-012


Chinese mini-subs have been recalled due to risk of injury to America's youngest men. One of the incidents required medical attention. The battery-operated bathtub submarine toy is intended for use by children during bath time.
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Munchkin, Inc. contact information:
Phone: 877-242-3134
Recall Web site: Munchkin.com
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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The Stepmother of All Submarine Updates


For legitimate naval historians...
Submarine Medicine on U.S.S. Nautilus and U.S.S. Seawolf
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Chile Miners Keep the Shades On
The glasses are typically used for high-performance sports such as biking and skiing because they also minimize UV light. An exterior coating should help prevent water, mud, oil and dust from building up on the surface as the miners are hoisted to freedom, the company said.
Oakley donates sports sunglasses to help bridge Chilean miners' path to sunlight
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Will there be a cheap solar cell that can compete with grid electricity?
Today an installed solar panel system costs anywhere from between $3/Watt to around $6/Watt (approximately) around the world. The US Department of Energy has an ambitious cost target of less than $1/Watt, which means that the panels themselves should be around $0.50/Watt. If we come within striking distance of these numbers, and these solar panels were available in plenty, the energy production landscape of the world would change.

IBM researchers were able to increase the efficiency to around 9.7% by adding a bit of selenium and changing the deposition process. There is now worldwide research interest in this material.
MIT Introduces Paper-Thin Solar Cells
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Argentina Wants a Third TR-1700 Submarine: The Santa Cruz and San Juan
The Santa Fe submarine was 70% finished; it has since been cannibalized to provide spare-parts for the Santa Cruz and San Juan. The 2,300-ton submarine is 68.6 meters long and 8 meters in diameter.
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National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is a [1] Although administered as a private organization, its funding comes almost entirely from a governmental appropriation by Congress and it was created by an act of Congress. Carl Gershman is President of NED. He received The Order of the Knight’s Cross, from the Government of Poland.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The 'Thoroughbred Of The Fleet' did not have to be put down (at least not very long)

Due to the critical missions of our submarines, the importance of their crews and the fact that these entire vessels are essentially atmosperically confined spaces, it would not do for terrorists or other enemies to include certain powders in mail addressed to sub crews. Hence, all letter mail and packages must be opened elsewhere before arriving on board, or it must not arrive belowdeck. Apparently, the offsite letter opening/package inspection process is called screening. For more insights, Bubblehead has a post with interesting as well as entertaining commentary (Language warning).
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On 19 March 1998, south of Long Island, New York, the submerged USS San Juan (SSN-751) collided with the fleet ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN-737). No injuries occurred on either ship. Although Kentucky suffered damage to her rudder the Thoroughbred of the Fleet did not have to be put down (at least not very long). San Juan's forward ballast tank was breached, but she was able to surface and return to port.



Exactly 9 years less 6 days later, on 13 March 2007, San Juan was the subject of an intense search and rescue mission by elements of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group when she virtually disappeared to the strike group. Communications were established by the early hours of the next day when San Juan surfaced, and no problems were indicated.[1]



Wikipedia reports that the submarine San Juan has been a primary testing platform for new, advanced systems being developed by the Navy. Obviously, submarine e-mail must be censored.

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The more things change, the more they stay the same ("plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" ) - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, Les Guêpes, January 1849.
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In 1941 (during WW2), Secretary of the Navy Knox clarified that the Navy would not mind if the press published certain ship news provided nothing be said:
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1) until the Navy released the information (not within seven days of the ship's arrival),


2) about a ship's length of stay, date of departure or destination,


3) about any damage it had received,


4) about its route to the U.S.,


5) about how the ship took part in any battle,


6) that might be of value to the enemy.
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During WW2, military members' mail worked in much the same way as self-censorship of the press through a process called letter censorship.





Letters opened after being sealed were often resealed with a tape that stated opened by censor, or just opened by.
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In some cases, the name of the officer who signed the censors stamp was the same as the person who wrote the letter. Obviously and understandably, some officers had authority for self-censorship of their own letters.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Officers Implicated - "California National Guard bonus program riddled with corruption"- $$$Millions


Like other states' National Guards California's is heavily financed by federal taxpayers. According to a Guard auditor turned federal whistleblower, as much as $100 million has gone to soldiers who didn't qualify for the incentives.

Early in the audit, he said, he became concerned that officers implicated as recipients or enablers of improper payments might attempt to interfere with his work. So for the first time in his career, Clark became a whistle-blower. He secretly contacted the Internal Revenue Service and FBI.

I don't like grifters, and I'm disgusted — at times, ashamed — to wear the same uniform as those who steal taxpayer funds or protect thieves. - Capt. Ronald S. Clark, a federal auditor who oversees state Guard spending and who had been a former FBI agent and U.S. Secret Service officer investigating white-collar crime for years.

Documents show that improper student loan payments were overlooked or ignored by recruiters and officers up the chain of command. Excluding $43 million in improper payments recently halted by Jaffe's replacements, Clark estimated that $100 million had been misspent.
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Most student loan repayments, documents show, were drawn from money designated for combat vets, but a large portion of funds went to Guard members who hadn't served at war. Captains and majors were among those whom auditors believe improperly benefited.
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Documents obtained by the Modesto Bee describe falsified and shredded records as well as five-figure favors that Clark called "corruption on an astonishing scale." There is a $10,000 cap for the Guard's student loan repayment program. Guard documents revealed the following officers among recipients of the highest improper payments:
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++ Capt. Eric Goldie, an attorney currently deployed in Iraq, received $40,500 in loan repayments in 2008, although his required contract wasn't on file, according to Guard documents, and he was ineligible due to his rank.
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++ Capt. Bruce Corum, a chiropractor who joined the Guard in 2002, received $83,000 over one seven-week period in 2008, including $63,000 for student loans taken out too long ago to qualify for repayment. As an officer commissioned before Oct. 28, 2004, by law Corum was entirely ineligible for the program.
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++ Capt. Teressa Vaughn, a chaplain candidate, worked as a recruiter. She received student loan repayments of $51,800, and a $30,000 bonus for which she was ineligible for lack of proper job experience. Vaughn said she was not authorized to comment.
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++ Capt. Robert Couture, who holds top-secret clearance, received more than the maximum benefit allowed, and he didn't qualify for the windfall due to his rank.
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Auditors found that of 62 individuals who received $1.2 million in loan repayments and bonuses over the last several years at least 52 appeared to have benefited improperly. More on this corruption.

These allegations are shocking and I support a swift and thorough investigation by federal officials. - Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif source

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Smelling a Party Rat in D.C. - Do Certain Politicians Protest Too Much?

UPDATE: CHICAGO (WLS) - Cris Cray, Director of Legislation at the Illinois State Board of Elections, says not all of Illinois' 110 jurisdictions were compliant with the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE). Cray said it's possible the ballots may not be counted because the state was tardy in sending them out.



The time line ...
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............Manufactured in Washington, D.C.
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July 20, 2010 - The Washington Times - Military voters soon to be disenfranchised -again


By most accounts, the 2008 presidential election was a disaster for military voters. Thousands of them were disenfranchised when their absentee ballots were sent to wrong addresses, lost in the mail or mailed too close to the election for the ballot to be returned. To make matters worse, thousands of ballots were rejected by local election officials because the ballot - through no fault of the military voter - arrived after the election deadline.

July 22, 2010 - Molten Eagle - Is Obama Administration Planning to Disenfranchise Our Overseas Military Voters?
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August 27, 2010 - BallotPedia - Under the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, introduced by the United States Senate on July 8, 2009 (one week after Al Franken was confirmed by Minnesota as a U.S. Senator) the U.S. Department of Defense granted waivers to Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington State.Waivers were denied to Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. [compare 60 days to count overseas servicemen and women's votes with the 210 days to count and recount Al Franken's votes; later, it was discovered that more than 16,000 overseas military votes had not been counted in Minnesota, a quantity larger than Franken's winning lead over incumbent Senator Norm Coleman]

All states must send out absentee ballots no later than 45 days before the general election.

October 06, 2010 - TheCypressTimes - JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS IN GUAM .
October 11, 2010 - FOX News Network - Mayor Bloomberg Slams Board of Elections for Failure to Mail Military Ballots


"The gravity of New York's failure cannot be overstated. With approximately 50,000 military and overseas voters in New York City alone, there is no doubt that the November elections could be altered by this failure,” said Eric Eversole, a former Justice Department voting section attorney who recently started a nonprofit organization, Military Voter Protection Project, to protect military voting rights.

October 12, 2010 - FOX News Network - EXCLUSIVE: Feds to Sue New York Board Over Military Voting Violations, State Official Says
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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A few submarine Line Handlers actually got to do this (photo)


In May 1921, R-14 (SS-91) ran out of fuel southeast of Hawaii. Sails were made from blankets and mattresses. The sub arrived at Hilo on 15 May after 5 days under sail.
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Fast forward 88 years to a modern navy, the finest in the world. SecNav: Cut half of oil use by 2020
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Submarines are always silent and strange

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How U.S. Submarines would double length of their normal patrols

Submarine Frequently Asked Questions

(provided by Chief of Naval Operations Submarine Warfare Division)
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17. (of 61.) How long can submarines stay underwater?

Nuclear-powered submarines can stay submerged for long periods of time. They are designed and manned to stay underwater long enough to support a wide variety of missions, which can last for several months. Submarines have equipment to make oxygen and keep the air safe. Food and supplies are the only limitations on submergence time for a nuclear submarine. Normally, submarines carry a 90-day supply of food. [emphasis added]

Research into preservation of foodstuff supplied by a well-known American purveyor has recently been completed. At ambient submarine compartment temperatures and humidity levels the food can be stored almost anywhere --- no refrigeration required-- far longer than the 90 days.
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Utilizing a fast food, fast boats (SSNs) may soon be capable of making missions as long as 6-months.
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If human safety tests now being conducted by NASA and the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory prove successful, sea endurance trials will commence with a yet to be named SSN.
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Traditional sub cuisine with refrigerated stores will be utilized to break the monotony of fast food for breakest, lunch and dinner. Ordinary McDonald's Happy Meals, which have been shown to resist decomposition for six months (photos below) will need only fresh condiments and zapping in a microwave to make submarine endurance awesome.

Since assignment of women to SSNs is not currently planned, another potential impediment to doubling cruise duration will be entirely avoided.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Extremely Harsh Criticisms Directed Toward a Sitting Submarine Rear Admiral

During the panel-style forum discussion, entitled “Military Women’s Policy Update,”one of the key topics discussed was the policy change regarding women serving aboard submarines. The forum was ominously held during the 7th Annual Fall Leadership Symposium and Career Workshop at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery Sept. 25.
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Not only historic, a Lady's Symposium was groundbreaking for any branch of the United States military. What a stand-up gentleman you are!
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Let's hope your assumption is correct, Adm. Bruner, for if not, injury to the world's current premiere submarine force will be immeasurable. Unless immeasurable is what mixed-gender supporters have been hoping, how well, if at all, have you considered the worst-case harm of such a course change?


“I am absolutely convinced that putting women on submarines is the right thing to do,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind. It’s not because it’s politically correct. It’s because the mission of a submarine is to put ordnance on target — that’s what a submarine is supposed to do. In 1966, men earned 75 percent of the technical degrees. In 2006, women earned 51 percent of the technical degrees. To be a nuclear trained officer you have to have a technical background.” - Rear Adm.Barry Bruner, commander, Submarine Group 10.

If, in contradiction of longstanding submarine tradition, Adm. Bruner turns out to be WRONG, navy recruiting prospects for male submariners will diminish markedly and in the near term (6-12 years), perhaps irreversibly.


Bruner also said that even though diminishing recruiting goals have impacted the submarine community, maintaining quality officers and Sailors remains paramount for the Navy, regardless of gender.


If Admiral Bruner is correct, the submarine force will become more robust, and more of a force to be reckoned by our potential enemies than at any time since WW2. If Adm. Bruner's premise fails, which in the opinion of many is more likely, the submarine force will be weaker than at any time since the Cold War.
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The second panel of the forum was entitled "Leading Ladies: Peak Performers Shattering Boundaries". Comprising a vital defense force of "Leading Ladies" is not only undaunting to our enemies, it fairly invites ridicule, testing, and ultimately, attack. "...[P]utting women on submarines is the right thing to do,” Bruner said. “There’s no doubt in my mind. It’s not because it’s politically correct."
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Of course, Admiral, if the decision you support is not politically correct, it is clearly due to military brilliance like yours. We can only pray, therefore, that contrary to recent submarine history (RAN), human nature, and traditional belief that you are sorely mistaken, that you will emerge magically correct. Otherwise, your days of infamy will only be surpassed by the plight of your countrymen and women no matter where you choose to retire in seclusion.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.




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Navy Veteran Leaks Sub Secret to NJ Newspaper

Some ex-submariners (me included) had been unaware of a startling development for the latest U.S. nuclear subs. Undoubtetly, the editor of this New Jersey newspaper had also been unaware of it [color emphasis added].

As far as submarine duty is concerned, and being a former Navy man, I will say that service is chosen, and today’s subs are sleeker, faster and more modern and no longer require long days submerged.

- Kenneth Colon, Jail overcrowding puts inmates at risk, Herald News Opinion/Letters Sunday, October 10, 2010.


Two more gems from the knowledgable letter writer (M.E. takes strong exception t0 the first):

Submarine duty has no correlation to a prison or incarceration complex. In each case, those in charge must act and administer their duties under guidelines set by the federal code of regulations or by New Jersey state statute. [ibid]

A sub is designed and constructed to hold crew to certain levels, and if there is overcrowding it puts the crew and ship in danger. [ibid]

"The latest submarines no longer require long days submerged"! However does the Navy do that? Here are my guesses...
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a) Nuclear subs come to the surface every 6 hours during daylight to recharge their huge solar batteries and provide swim calls and tanning opportunities for off-duty sailors.
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b) Nuclear subs now utilize transporter rooms (photo above) allowing off-shift sailors to sleep at home, etc. each day.
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c) "Long hours submerged are now strictly forbidden by the federal code of regulations." Consequently, entire sub crews are relieved on each occasion submerged operations exceed 24 hours. (HINT: this requires Blue, Gold, Pewter and Brass crews).
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d) When at sea, off-duty submarine sailors are kept in a drug-induced state of suspended animation making time really seem to fly.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Submariner Oolie (Insiders Only)

In submarine lingo an oolie is a difficult question not pertaining to one's normal duties. source
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Oolies have been part of continuing, informal cross-training techniques to keep submariners mentally alert, even after qualification. Astronauts, by the way, use the same technique.
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USS Dogfish (SS-350) had an historical connection with the late, great Eugene Bennett Fluckey (1913 – 2007), U.S. Navy submarine commander, and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his service in WWII.
In August 1945, Fluckey was ordered to Groton, Connecticut, to fit out new construction (USS Dogfish) and become its CO. Fluckey was instead promoted to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy to work directly for James V. Forrestal, and in 1945, was selected as personal aide by incoming CNO Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
At age 85, RADM Fluckey, USN (Ret.) left a Message to Today's Submariners.
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After RADM Fluckey's death, the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Inc, of Delaware, an American treasure, commemorated him in 2009, with its Admiral Fluckey's Lager.
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While Fluckey's Lager has not been available (legal impediment on use of RADM's name?), the brewer offers craft brew products that are amazing. Their traditional Peruvian beer Chicha, for example. Bet even ex-submariner Gus Van Horn has not tried Dogfish Head Chicha, yet, either!


Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Perhaps E.T.s Can Afford to...

FOREWARD - Inexperienced readers may be perplexed by FACTS presented without M.E.'s explanations. If inexperienced reader describes you, read no further; in all likelihood you would be unable to synthesize a single, worthwhile theory from the assembled FACTS. Seasoned readers, on the contrary, are very likely to connect the FACTS with suggestions made by astrophysicists, other experts, and science fiction authors as long ago as 1891. Seasoned readers' patience will be rewarded with a startling, new hypothesis regarding a possible reason for E.T. visitations to our oceans.
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BACKGROUND -
Familiarity with the following terms is strongly suggested:
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Organic farming
Mariculture
Isolation of space
Extraterrestrials
Carbon based life
Silicon based life
Biopharmaceuticals
The Final Frontier
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FACTS -
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In 1891, the German astrophysicist Julius Scheiner hypothesized the suitability of silicon as an alternative basis for life.
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On February 23, 1998, the periodical Scientific American published Could silicon be the basis for alien life forms, just as carbon is on Earth?.
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In 2005, Leif C. E. Larsen, Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg (supervised by Dr. Paul Holloway) submitted Honours Thesis (05.4111/6) Bounty from the Deep - An investigation of the antimicrobial properties of two [Hexactinellid] species from the phylum Porifera
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On July 30, 2008, The Times (UK) published Forget space travel. The ocean is our final frontier - by Frank Pope, Times ocean correspondent - Beneath the surface of the sea lie untold mysteries and opportunities - The idea of breaking through the upper atmosphere of an alien world and descending through the clouds to greet alien life is fantasy. For the real thing I'd suggest heading down in a deep-diving research submarine.
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Silicon dioxide (silica) is a common form of silicon.
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While most forms of multicellular life have developed a calcium-based skeleton, a few specialized organisms complement their body plan with silica. However, of all recent animals, only sponges (phylum Porifera) are able to polymerize silica enzymatically mediated in order to generate massive siliceous skeletal elements (spicules) during a unique reaction, at ambient temperature and pressure. - source [emphasis mine].
As with other sponges, hexactinellids may be sources of pharmaceuticals, although their economic potential is largely unexploited. - source
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Sponge barcodes provide a set of indispensible tools for the identification of sponge species, and greatly aid taxonomists, ecologists, and will enhance the discovery of drug-producing species. - source [emphasis mine].
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

Surfaced in Idaho: "Basically, all you need to do on the day of voting is to bring in a utility bill"

UPDATE (Oct. 6, 2010) - SAN ANTONIO - KSAT abc12 - Woman, 81, Charged With Illegal Voting - Investigators said Mary Ann Comparin had about four different aliases. Comparin will be charged with illegal voting for this recent arrest.
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M.E. has tried to make this clear year after year since 2006: Worst Villainy: Vote Fraud.
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The admission (title) by a prosecuting attorney before the next election is incendiary. Yet, what important issue does the Idaho legislature and Meridian City Council address? Thanks to Bubblehead's The Stupid Shall Be Punished, we have a recent example.
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Do not be fooled into thinking Idaho alone has been remiss and overly tolerant when it comes to voter fraud. Here is an incomplete compendium of Absentee ballot vote fraud across the country. Idaho is just one of 33 states that permit No-fault absentee voting, according to BALLOTPEDIA. Neighboring Oregon is strictly a vote-by-mail state. Hmmm! Is convenience more important than compliance? Are these what people in a democratic republic really want?

We know how important this year's midterm elections are to all sides. We also know how lightly the crime of voting more than once has been treated in practically every state.
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This crime came to light when a Blaine County voting clerk discovered, only "by happenstance", that one voter's name was listed on the voting records from two different Idaho counties.
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A 56-year-old Hansen, Idaho resident pleaded guilty to attempting to vote twice, a misdemeanor. Originally charged with the felony voting (more than once), punishable in Idaho by up to 5 years in prison, the defendant was allowed to plead guilty to the misdemeanor, even though he [actually] did vote twice.

[T]he case illustrates a "flaw in Idaho's voting system. Basically, all you need to do on the day of voting is to bring in a utility bill. Conceivably, someone could own property in five counties and vote five times. - Jim Thomas, Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney, Man pleads guilty to trying to vote twice, The Idaho Mountain Express, December 30, 2009.
"He pleaded guilty to attempting to vote twice, even though he [actually] did vote twice," Thomas said. "I don't know if it was a mistake, but I wanted to call him out on it and make an example of it. The idea of one person, one vote kind of goes to the heart of our sense of democracy."
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Chief of the Boat (COB) Mystery

UPDATE of 9/2/2010 POST WITH APPLICABLE ANSWERS ADDED


Background to Questions of the Week
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As of today's Molten Eagle post, Wikipedia says,
Chief of the Boat (COB) is an enlisted sailor on board a U.S. Navy submarine who serves as the senior enlisted advisor to the commanding officer and executive officer, and assists with matters regarding the good order and discipline of the crew. The Chief of the Boat is the submariner equivalent of a Command Master Chief in shore and surface units. There is only one COB on a submarine and he is generally responsible for the day-to-day operations of the non-nuclear-trained portion of the boat, the morale and the training of the boat's enlisted personnel. The COB is typically the most senior enlisted man; however, the commanding officer is neither required to select the highest ranking sailor nor the most senior in grade or time aboard. Likewise, the COB is not necessarily replaced when a more senior sailor reports aboard.
Mystery Questions of the Week - UPDATED Oct. 2, with applicable answers:
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1) - Wiki's description of Chief of the Boat (COB), which equates it with Command Master Chief on surface units also provides an image of the Command Senior Chief badge. Is a standard badge, insignia or other uniform distinction worn by submarine COBs (If not, why not; If yes, what is it)? ANS: Yes, COMMAND SENIOR ENLISTED LEADER IDENTIFICATIONBADGE: EFFECTIVE 25 SEP 06, AUTHORIZED TO WEAR INSIGNIA: MCPON,FLEET MASTER CHIEF, FORCE MASTER CHIEF, CNO-DIRECTED COMMAND MASTERCHIEF, COMMAND MASTER CHIEF, CHIEF OF THE BOAT AND COLLATERAL DUTYCOMMAND MASTER CHIEF, COMMAND SENIOR CHIEF AND COMMAND CHIEF.
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2) - Is Wiki correct in stating that the COB is typically the most senior enlisted man on a submarine or, more typically, have COBs been the most experienced, non-nuclear CPOs?
ANS: The latter has been more typical.
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3) - Has there ever been a shipboard Command Master Chief who is/was a female (answer must provide ship name and hull number, approximate date, and name of the individual)?
ANS: Yes, Command Master Chief Loretta Glenn (SW/AW), for example, was the first female Command Master Chief aboard USS Gettysburg (CG 64) after 1998-2001.
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4) - How long will it be before the Navy's first female COB? (If you think NEVER, skip to Provisional question 5). ANS: Still PENDING as had been stated originally.
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Provisional question 5) from 4) ...
How long will it be before submarines no longer have COBs, but will have Command Master Chief's instead (If you think the Navy will phase out Command Master Chiefs as well as COBs, skip to Provisional question 6) ? ANS: Still PENDING as had been stated originally.
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Provisional question 6) from 5) ...
6) - What will be the new title for the person fulfilling the blended roles formerly designated as COB and CMC be? ANS: Still PENDING as had been stated originally.
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7) - Does the Royal Navy (Brittain's senior service) have Chiefs of the Boat? ANS: Yes.
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ANSWERs For questions 1), 2), 3), and 7) will appear Saturday, October 2nd. For questions 4), 5), and 6) answers are PENDING until the Navy takes related actions. Feel free to comment, if you either know or dare to guess any of the pending answers.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Intelligence agencies could not stop al-Fleamateur

Less than three weeks after the May 1st Times Square bomb attempt, President Obama's national security adviser, retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones told Pakistan's president,
"We consider the Times Square attempt a successful plot because neither the American nor the Pakistani intelligence agencies could intercept or stop it." The Washington Post, Obama: 'We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in Pakistan', September 29, 2010 .
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Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Homeland Security, had said on May 2, 2010, that the unexploded car bomb found in Times Square in New York late in the day, appeared to be an "amateurish" terrorism attempt.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.
Notice:
Henceforth, would-be, could-be, and convicted terrorists will be mentioned only by their first names (FBI preferred spelling) and the suffix al-Fleamateur. No longer will we inadvertently glorify, magnify or memorialize the names of such pitiful, wastes of inhumanity. Those never worth a Hellfire missile are surely not worth the extra ink, but those turned to ash by Predators or Reapers shall be suffixed as al-Dronebait. What about the fools who committed suicide, you ask? Al-Teched, of course.

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