Monday, January 31, 2011

Funny We Have Not Heard - Mexico to Follow Egypt

About Bill James
West Point grad with concentrations in math, physics, chemistry, and engineering. He was an NCAA All American Wrestler and captain of the wrestling team. He is an eight-year infantry veteran, Airborne, Ranger, Arctic Light and Mechanized Infantry in the United States Army. more
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Some of what Bill James wrote recently (read it all) at Seeking Alpha: Mexico Will Follow Egypt Into Collapse -
Mexico's government gets about 40% of its revenues from oil. As noted in BP data complied at Energy Export Database Mexico's domestic consumption (black line) will force its oil revenues (green area) to drop to zero within a few years. Egypt's oil revenues dropped to about zero in 2010. ...
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Without the ability to feed its people or fund its security forces, it seems unlikely Mexico will remain a viable government. Drug wars illustrate the strength growing in local war lords. The U.S. Joint Forces Command's JOE-2009 noted Mexico as at risk. U.S. border states will likely destabilize. Without cheap oil, the U.S. military is complete unprepared to defense these states from mass migrations.
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Why is this news? Bill James may be a little late. Here is what M.E. asked 3 years ago, when no one else even broached the topic:
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What will it mean to U.S. security arrangements when a formidable PLAN ship (carrier, missile cruiser or submarine) makes a port visit to Venezuela, Ensenada, Mexico, or Cuba? Contrast this to the panic of the 1962, Cuban Missile Crisis. Is the U.S. prepared?
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Here is what M.E. asked 2 years ago:
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What would the U.S. do if/when China attempts to park an aircraft carrier and/or missile firing submarines in the only deep water port in Baja California, Ensenada? It is already being done with dollars, EU currency and secret diplomatic arrangements that may not be shared publicly during your lifetime. China is now heavily dependent on the U.S. as a trading partner. Forget the familiar propaganda about China dumping the large share of U.S. debt that it has bought. Dumping means selling, of course. Who are the willing buyers? If the U.S. buys back debt at current rates, the size of the transaction itself would instantly lower dollar value in runaway episodes (too large to be done all at once, evenin 5 years). In effect, China would be agreeing to be paid cents onthe dollar (in addition to invalidating lucrative trade arrangements). China is enjoying its U.S. trading partnership and has no intention of upsetting its apple cart.
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Is Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared? Does President Obama care? Funny, we have still not heard.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

U.N. Lawyers Seek Relief for Enemy Combatants; Unmanned Drones Illegal?


Should an unaccountable arm of the U.N. be responsible for the formidable, legal delay described by one of our best Admirals? The U.S. pays around 25% of the total dues levied by this corrupt organization of 192 member states.
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Perhaps readers need an example of the need for UN reforms. First reported October 24, 2010, U.N. official calls for study of ethics, legality of unmanned weapons, now seems to be making headway. The U.N. official is this lawyer. His predessessor at the U.N. was this lawyer. Alston had held a range of senior UN appointments for over two decades, as one of 162 anonymous lawyers working for this organization.


A United Nations investigator called on the world body Friday to set up a panel to study the ethics and legality of unmanned military weapons - an apparent reference to U.S. drones that have targeted suspected Islamist militants [in Afghanistan].



Has the U.S. not been fighting an expensive (blood and treasure) war of sorts. Isn't it time for Sen. Lindsey Grahm to ask the UN to investigate the proper redress of un-uniformed combatants who use unmanned IEDs to blow our troops to smithereens? Where are you Sen. Graham, you lawyer? Being a JAG did not prevent your weighing in on such matters earlier.

Submarines are always silent and strange.






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Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Mother of Coincidences for Thinkers of the 'Deep'

"Sous les lois de Minerve nous devenons tous frères" (English: We all become brothers under the laws of Minerva).
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Friday January 28, 2011 Deadline Hollywood - Nikki Finke 'The Beaver' Copy Stolen From Mel Gibson

A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating. IMDB Storyline
Jodie [Foster] looks beautiful as usual and the pair is as good as it was many years ago when they starred in 'The maverick'. The whole cast put up a decent job.This coupled with nice background score and an simple yet engaging script makes 'The beaver' a movie worth watching. User Review
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Rarely, the U.S. Navy breaks may break ageold rules concerning ships movements. When it comes to stealthy subs, the rules have usually been much more stringent. Secretary of the Navy Knox (1941) 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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Friday, 21 Jan 2011 NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - USS Scranton deploys from NS Norfolk

Submarine leaves on 6-month deployment Nicknamed the 'Iron Horse,' the 360-foot submarine has a crew compliment of 16 officers and 122 enlisted sailors.
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There has always been a sound reason for departing from submarine publicity rules.
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We will wait and see what the purpose might have been this time. Something fairly unusual is again underway. Even if done to boost morale, one wonders why it would be considered necessary. Another of several ongoing submarine mysteries we have been compelled to monitor.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Extraordinary Stamps Continued

Coverage of extraordinary Icelandic stamps began in 2008 with Submarine Illumination of Yesteryear and Today, featuring a very unusual, vintage submarine postcard from the UK (link).
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Featured the time was a very extraordinary modern postage stamp released by the Iceland Post Office October 9, 2008 (diagram above).
Icelandic stamps have made it to StampNews.com’s top ten list before; last time they placed second for stamps printed with heat-activated ink and the year before that Iceland Post’s luminous stamp of the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy island placed third. source
The 3 volcanic stamps (diagram above) are extraordinary in a suitably exotic manner. Dedicated to the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull they were printed conventionally then silk-screened with trachyandesitic ash collected below Eyjafjöll mountain range April 17, 2010.
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Volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull was carried all over Europe delaying air traffic for several days. The most significant eruption since the end of World War II, in its latter stages some 250 million cubic meters of ash were spewed.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Deeply Penetrating Alarms Most Have Not Yet Heard


Just Today - Jan 26, 2011 [To a great extent, the U.N. can be thanked for the formidable, legal delay described by the Admiral. What? You know very little about that organization?]
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Admiral calls for counterterror approach to piracy
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U.S. officials to date have said they see no evidence of direct ties between Somali-based pirates and al-Shabab terrorists, but Fox laid out the strongest description yet of possible links. (see chart above). ... So far, he said there has not been a broad agreement to commit the counterterrorism resources needed to do that.

The pirates' links to al-Shabab insurgents are also a worry. ...We have not used the same level of rigor and discipline in terms of following the money on the counter-piracy piece as we have the counterterror. We should be applying the same techniques. ... If we could reroll tape, we would say no ransoms paid, but that cow is out of the barn. - Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander U.S. Navy Central Command Fleet.
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Last Year - Oct 09, 2010 [Projections are the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) - You have not heard everything yet. Indonesia's GDP will increase by a factor of almost 5. Mexico's will more than triple, like Russia's. Germany and Japan pull up the rear (of leading 10) with a relatively paltry 3.3% rate of GDP growth. Since the U.S. share of world GDP will be half of today's (25%) --- Will our U.N. dues be cut at least in half, as well? ]
The 10 Largest Economies in 2030


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Yesteryear - Oct 08, 2008 [Keep in mind, the U.S. already pays around 25% of total dues to this corrupt organization of 192 member states.]
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United Nations Faces Billions in Retiree Health Care Obligations

According to internal documents examined by FOX News, the U.N. has roughly $2.4 billion in unpaid retirement health insurance obligations for its staff alone, as of the end of 2007. When the sprawling U.N. system of programs and organizations around the world is thrown in, the total could be more than $4.9 billion, as tallied in a March 2007 report. - FOX News

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Latest Pirate Attack Is in Progress - Against Us!

Consider the $246 billion tobacco settlement, reached by 46 state attorneys general and the tobacco industry. Was it simply a way to line lawyers' pockets and create a slush fund for lawmakers? While trial lawyers took in $8.2 billion in legal fees, suing states have spent their shares of the funds on items unconnected to tobacco-related illnesses or anti-smoking education.

Could this be just another unsavory connection between trial lawyers and wanton pursuit of $$$$?

John Edwards, a former U.S. senator and one-time vice presidential candidate, made a fortune out of suing doctors in medical malpractice cases, claiming that physicians' errors were causing cerebral palsy in infants during childbirth.The real science, though, pointed to genetics, not botched deliveries, a fact revealed during, not after, the roughly 10-year period that Edwards was trying cerebral palsy cases.

Corporations that lose major lawsuits can rarely pay exorbitant judgements from war chests. They must raise consumer prices, declare bankruptcy, lay off employees, raid pension funds, drop dividend payments, or all of the above. While this may be good for a few lawyers and clients, it can be devastating to future customers, employees, retirees and their next of kin.
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And now, the latest target of the wealthy parasitic trial lawyers :
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PARIS — (AFP) Climate change: Dogs of law are off the leash
From being a marginal and even mocked issue, climate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new frontier of law where some believe hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake.

In the past three years, the number of climate-related lawsuits has ballooned, filling the void of political efforts in tackling greenhouse-gas emissions.

"There's a large number of entrepreneurial lawyers and NGOs who are hunting around for a way to gain leverage on the climate problem," said David Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California at San Diego.

Lawsuits in the United States related directly or indirectly almost tripled in 2010 over 2009, reaching 132 filings after 48 a year earlier, according to a Deutsche Bank report


In this area, the floodgates have opened. - Michael Gerrard, Director Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, New York, Deutsche Bank report contributor.
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A growing number of U.S. Supreme Court justices admit to considering decisions by international courts in weighing their own opinions. International courts of course are predominantly socialist. While socialist countries may still have some religious practitioners, the notion of God is often considered suitable for lame brains. You will find a good many European church buildings are actually museums today.

If climate change is the fault of mankind rather than a contractually exempt act of God (or Force majeur), someone gets sued, which is certainly very convenient for politicians, trial lawyers and justices to treat God as dead. Remember, our judiciary is comprised of trial lawyers, the U.S. Senate is average over 60% trial lawyers, and almost half of House representatives are trial attorneys.

Has the U.S. Lawyer-Political Complex corrupted our government and economy? We may not have to wait long to learn the answer. Connecticut has demanded an injunction against major power companies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. In this case a ruling is expected in June 2011.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Undercurrent Could Prove More Exciting than the 3-D Submarine Movie

Will this be another submarine movie involving a scam? If you live in Connecticut, you had better hope not.

Back in November we theorized about the success of a new submarine thriller in Latest Nuclear Sub Thriller or Flopper. Although production is not due to begin before the Spring of this year (as of this writing), we thought we would check around to see how things might be going.

What we just found was written by someone more familiar with Connecticut politics than we are, cryptonaut-in exile's Did they do a background check on this guy? , is short and to the point. Read it for yourself.

Once read my next stop was here. While we are certainly not casting aspersions on Joe Buff and Richard Meyer, we wondered if anyone other than all of Connecticut taxpayers were potential marks, and if Buff and Meyer are unwitting shills in a possible scheme (or a legitimate risk venture) identifying this ex-politician as its most visible rainmaker in what could turn out to be a classic confidence game.
On April 23, 2008 Amann announced that he would not seek another term as House Speaker and would be retiring from the General Assembly at the end of his current term. In January 2009 Amann's successor as Speaker, Christopher Donovan, hired Amann for a $120,000/year staff post at the State House. Shortly thereafter, Amann decided not to accept the job offer, as there was a massive outcry from voters who opposed the move during the state's financial crisis. [7]
It is worth noting that in 2006, Speaker of the House Amann crafted new legislation creating film and media tax incentives to bring production work from these industries to his Connecticut. Sure enough, in November 2010, 3-D Submarine Movie To Be Filmed In State : $65 Million Expected To Be Spent In Connecticut During Project.
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This would not be the first submarine-related movie involving a confidence scheme, although the 1997 film The Spanish Prisoner, was actually based on a rare hustle known by that very name.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Laser Antidote for North Korean, etc. Missile Launches Coming to Sub Near You


Free-electron lasers (FEL) were invented by John Madey in 1976 at Stanford University.
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FEL lasers share high-power [100 kw++], coherent electromagnetic radiation with gas, liquid, and solid-state lasers but operate in different fashion from the latter. Unlike conventional lasers in which electrons are excited in bound atomic or molecular states, FELs use a relativistic electron beam as their lasing medium. Free-electron lasers exhibit the widest frequency range of any laser type, and can be widely tunable from infrared through the visible spectrum, to ultraviolet, to X-rays. [ 3]
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The shipboard FEL will focus a lethal 100-kilowatt beam at surface and air threats, future anti-ship cruise missiles or a swarm of small boats. FELs are electrically generated so can draw on the power of the ship to provide a virtually unlimited magazine with speed-of light delivery for a wide range of missions. In this way, it will provide U.S. ships with a more powerful means of self-defense. - source Laser warfare takes to the high seas, Chris Jablonski March 27, 2010
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Here is a YouTube link to the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) 6 minute 46 second info feature. The U.S. Navy’s FELs can maintain power continuously for a month, shoot targets at the speed of light, and destroy multiple targets without reloading.
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China's Dong Feng 21D (aircraft carrier killer missile) would have little defense against a forward positioned (submarine borne) FEL.
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Why install the defensive weapon on SSN, SSGN or SSBN(X) submarines? Obviously for stealth, available (nuclear) power and strategic deterrence. Why install FELs on naval surface craft? The FEL's tunable wavelength makes ideal for non-leathal pirate control as well as more deadly tactical uses.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Conflicting, but interesting Submarine Information


From 2006:

Open source [pdf] documents now reveal that an AIP submarine, HMS Gotland, utilizes onboard degaussing technology that is 95% effective. Moreover, the technology is being used routinely not only for submarines but for surface combatants at least since the Gotland's installation, perhaps earlier.

Which elicited new information in a comment:

At 26 July, 2006 00:30, Bubblehead said...
The Seawolf and Virginia class boats have a similar on-board system; as a result, you can't use standard CRT TV screens.
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Which makes today's related news article from the Honolulu Star Advertiser significantly lacking: Facility to demagnetize subs completed...

The Navy said it has completed construction of an $84.8 million drive-in submarine magnetic silencing facility at Pearl Harbor. ... Removing the magnetism requires wrapping a submarine with electrical cables and using high current to reset its magnetic signature. The Navy said submarines are depermed about once a year. Three new Virginia-class submarines are based at Pearl Harbor, and more will be assigned to Hawaii in the future.

If expensive degaussing gear is still being installed on newer Virginia class boats, why build this deperming facility? We can certainly guess why--cost containment. Divide the $85 million for a shore installation by $35 million /copy (estimated, for on-boat installations). Heavy copper cabling costs have skyrocketed. Procurement contracts have built-in escalation clauses.
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If Seawolf and Virginia class boats all have "a similar on-board system", what submarines is the new facility designed to service?
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Veterans now a Convenient Theft Victims for Lawyers and non-Lawyers

Lawyer Kickers pro bono sees a pattern of inappropriate conduct. Consider whether a neighbor, relative or non-lawyer of the veteran (client) had committed the same misappropriation of funds from the veteran as the lawyer and claimed the same extraordinary intention: to deplete the veteran's bank account to maintain Medicaid eligibility.
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a) If the extraordinary circumstances rule is unobtainable by non-lawyers, separate law applied to lawyers only seems to hold their misappropriations above the law applicable to ordinary citizens. In effect, this would place lawyers above the law in such cases of theft (although defrauding Medicaid seems to have been ignored). And, if it was really not theft, why did not the lawyer explain what he intended to do with the funds before the fact of misappropriating them?
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Or, on the contrary...
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b) If courts allow the lawyer's extraordinary precedent to apply to similar misappropriations by ordinary citizens, the decision creates a potential theft defense because fraud, self-dealing, misrepresentation, and conflict of interest are difficult to prove.
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Either way, the lawyer's conduct seems to involve an inappropriate pattern for the community by an officer of the court (role model of respect for the law).
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Submarines are silent and strange.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Organ Donation First-of-a-Kind (at least voluntarily)

An Iceland museum, named the World’s Second Most Horrid, currently displays 209 penises in part or in whole from 46 different animal species in the native section, including 55 whale specimens and 23 specimens from 19 different animal species in the international section.
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As tourist attractions go, the Icelandic Phallological [Penis] Museum outranks a mummy museum in Mexico and a museum dedicated to women’s menstruation but does not top the horror of a museum in Pennsylvania which exhibits skulls, skeletons and pictures of deformed people, according to mbl.is. At least not until now...
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The museum’s director Sigurdur Hjartarson said, “I have the testicles from one person and the foreskin from another but I’ve been waiting for a perfect specimen for a long time. This is the only thing missing.”
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Páll Arason, 95, who 14 years earlier in the interest of advancing advancing phallological knowledge had bequeathed his penis to the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Húsavík, passed away on January 5th.
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The museum does not yet have a human specimen, but Araosn's will be the first of four (4) legally-certified gifts of specimens belonging to Homo Sapiens.
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Doubt this is a serious museum? Here is a tourist review for you. Visitors can view a 5-1/2-foot tall penis from a sperm whale or a hamster penis of 8/100ths of an inch.
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Questions: Is this display the ultimate in exhibitionism? If so, are its patrons really tourists, or are they voyeurs?
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

RENEWED INTEREST - Forgotten Submariner Collector's Item - DBF Era

From Submarine Badges and Insignia of the World, An Illustrated Reference for Collectors, 1997, Pete Prichard, page, 122; ISBN: 0-7643-0255-8, Library of Congress Catalog Number: 96-72253

The plate above is described by Prichard as ...

The ultimate in unauthorized badges, this "bush" submariner or "siren" badge,(USN-28), is the Submarine Service's answer to the Air Force "bush" pilot badge. It is a standard submarine badge with a very accomodating lady applied at center.

On the eve of the first few female assignments to limited U.S. submarines (late 2011-2012), the somewhat scarce bush / siren pin shown above in its gold, officer version, is about to undergo an unprecedented demand by worldwide submarine collectors. In the past it had been sought mainly by more serious U.S. collectors and perhaps a few submariners with actual DBF (Diesel Boat Forever) sentiments.

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Our thanks to Bubblehead for his serendipitous reminder. Interest in this item should soar after women crew come aboard. Now may be the time to collect these unauthorized items, as prices will surely increase.

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Down the road, who can tell how they might even be used in the fleet? Without doubt, some submariners have actually worn these pins ashore. Wearing of even (non bush) standard DBF pins, however, was a uniform violation punishable in the manner customary at the time - that's right, my friends, it was not punished!

The Diesel Boats Forever Insignia was an unofficial uniform breast pin worn in violation of uniform regulations by some officers and men of the United States Navy's Submarine Service in the 1970s. - Wikipedia

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Submarine Laser and San Nicholas Island

While we hear about LASER weapons deployment in Air Force and Navy aircraft and surface ships, we are not surprised we do not hear about the same in submarines. To effectively accomplish stealth missions, submarines must remain largely unpublicized and strange.
From May 28, 2010 Navy’s Drone Death Ray Takes Out Targets at Sea
For years, the U.S. Navy has been pursuing a workable ray gun that could provide a leap ahead in ship self-defenses. Now, with a series of tests of a system called the Laser Weapon System, or LaWS), it may be one step closer to that goal. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the service’s technology development arm, announced today that LaWS had “successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed” a drone in flight, during an over-the-water engagement at San Nicholas Island, Calif. Hmmm!
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From August 10, 2010 While the latest USN laser turkey shoot of aerial drones proved surface to air feasibility, lasers are more limited than say cruise missiles for targets over the horizon (not due to effective laser ranges). Remember, lasers follow a straight line that does not bend with the earth's curvature. Consequently, surface-to-surface laser weapons would be limited to well below a 40 mile range. There are better alternatives. For submarine to air/space, however, a submarine laser might be a particularly effective as well as deniable weapon.
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From March 16, 2009 The company will design and test high-electron laser, free-electron laser, and other high-energy systems that could be used to destroy weapons of mass destruction and vehicles carrying them.
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Observation... no platforms are mentioned. Can we infer naval vessels, submarine lasers, perhaps? As Steve Jobs said, "We are just as proud of things we leave out."
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From February 20, 2008 SSG/(L secret)N Submarine US or Them ...Finally, consider the incredible advantages of submarines here (stealth) and here (nuclear power plant).
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From November 19, 2007 With much less weight consideration and a huge increase in power availability, the guts of the high-power laser fits nicely into an SSN. ...Preposterous, you say?
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From August 20, 2007 Did HMS Gotland stick strictly to anti-submarine exercises with navy ships, or could it have tested something else, too, like a submarine laser? The fire control (system) power requirement for HMS Gotland (without abundant nuclear power) was 75 kW in 1997; related power requirements for the 688I class subs was over 7x more at 550 kW. Minimum power for weapons laser had generally been considered to be 100kw.
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From February 22, 2006 The goal of the J-HPSSL program is to demonstrate integration of scaleable subsystem technologies at the laboratory level into a 100 kW-Class solid-state laser system for use on a variety of military platforms.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Top 10 Scams for Submariners to Watch For Nowadays

M.E. has credentialled fraud investigation training and many years of experience. One might expect he would be the last person to fall prey to a scam --- my expectation exactly.
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Recently, however, guess who was almost a victim? Statements are read immediately and any mysterious charge followed up without delay. Someone had my charge card information, but how? The charge was less than $5, and many people may never have noticed it. In that case, one could expect to be hit either with recurring minor charges monthly, or one COUP DE GRÂCE in the not too distant future.
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There were only two possibilities: a legitimate online hardware supply house (with a larcenous employee, no doubt), and a gas station used for decades. Guess my hardware is going to be more difficult to come by next time.
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What do you need to know? Many will need to know what Smishing (#5), Social media scams (#6) and SPLOGS (#7) are. They rank in the Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau's TOP TEN LIST for 2010. They are also particularly applicable to submariners homeported in the West Puget Sound-Bremerton-Bangor-Kitsap area. Why? Because many fraudsters living on the West coast have been trying to do these things to you and yours.
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Oh, and we must still be alert to the old-style frauds that we had been alert to for many years, such as Door-to-door sales (#1), Auto rental scams (#2), and Overcharges (#3), of course.
Please be careful.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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BZZZZZZT --- B.S. WARNING!!! Mine Neutralization

Obsolete...
Navy Has No Silver Bullets to Defeat Mini-Submarines, Underwater Mines - Shame, shame!
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Why, are mines something new? No, not even to Iran.
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Then why would the Navy have no silver bullets for a critical chokepoint of global trade and oil tankers, the Strait of Hormuz, shut down by the suspected, or real, presence of sea mines?
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Pick the best answer:
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a) DARPA has been asleep at its development wheel.
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b) Navy considers mines obsolete, so countermeasures (silver bullets) would never be needed.
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c) Brains at the Naval War College have not gamed such a scenario in modern times.
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d) The public assertion is false because the Navy wishes Iran to remain foolishly overconfident in its military strategy.
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e) None of the above. The question is entirely inapplicable. A much, much better question would be, "What readers are intended to believe such crap?
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ANSWER: e) Proof: When, and if Iran ever tries to blockade the Strait of Hormuz.
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For further study (public examples only):
1- Autonomous mine neutralization system (May 18, 2004)
2- Expendable Mine Neutralization System (2007)
3- Raytheon AN/ASQ-235 Airborne Mine Neutralization Systems (October 11, 2010)
4- NAVAL ROVS (May 01, 1997)
5- Raytheon Awarded $14 Million for Airborne Mine Neutralization System (Oct. 7, 2010)
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"USS Cold Blooded Killers" (LPD 26)

USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26), will be the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy. It will be named in honor of Congressman John Murtha (1932–2010) of Pennsylvania.
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Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who by tradition actually gets to pick naval ship names, picked John P. Murtha last spring. But Mabus' decision has met steady opposition from many former sailors and Marines. They believe naming a vessel for Murtha rewards a lawmaker who both called for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq in late 2005, and who has been implicated in bribery and pork-barrel politics. ...A spokesman for LAWYER Mabus says the Navy secretary has no plans to reverse course.
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Sailors and Marines are coming up with their own names for the Murtha. Right now, USS Cold Blooded Killers seems to be their top choice.
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On Friday, a former Murtha aide-turned-lobbyist was sentenced to 27 months in prison for evading limits on campaign donations; Murtha also was an "unindicted co-conspirator" in 1980's FBI-run Abscam sting.
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And that isn't the worst of it, according to sailors and Marines: putting Murtha's name on an amphibious warship designed to carry 700 Marines is outrageous, they maintain, given Murtha's 2006 charge that Marines in the Iraqi city of Haditha "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." (One of the eight Marines charged in the case still faces trial; six have had their charges dismissed and one was acquitted.) "Name a ship after a congressman who disgraced himself by rushing to judge that fellow Marines had committed murder in Iraq?" Thomas Wilkerson, a retired Marine major general who now heads the non-profit U.S. Naval Institute, which advocates for the military's maritime services, said Sunday. "Can you be serious?"
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The Congressional Research Service, which advises lawmakers on the darker corners of U.S. government operations, recently took note of the confusion. "Some observers in recent years have perceived a breakdown in, or corruption of, the rules for naming Navy ships," it said. "For example, the three-ship Seawolf (SSN-21) class of attack submarines—Seawolf (SSN-21), Connecticut (SSN-22), and Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) —were named for a fish, a state, and a president, respectively, reflecting no apparent rule."
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

ANSWER to The Pentagon's Cost Cuts - Question of the Week


For background see original post here.
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ANSWER:
What are the relative sizes of service budget reductions self-identified for the next 5 years by each of the military services? (rank from highest to lowest counting Navy-Marines as one). source: Defense News (Gannett Government Media Corporation)
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1) $35 billion - Navy Department
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2) $34 billion - Air Force
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3) $29 billion - Army
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4) $2 billion - Special Operations Command
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On January 6, 2011, the DoD reported that the Navy disestablished its Norfolk-based Second Fleet shifting essential functions to its Fleet Forces Command and "will use those savings and more to fund additional ships."
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Venezuela's Presidente (for life?), Hugo Chavez, accused the United States of attempting to frighten the people of South America by reactivating the fleet [9] and vowed that his country's new Sukhoi Su-30 jets could sink any American ships invading Venezuelan waters.[10]
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, January 07, 2011

Question of the Week 07JAN2011 - The Pentagon's Cost Cuts

Background
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WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates stated Thursday that the nation’s “extreme fiscal duress” now required cuts in the size of the Army and Marine Corps, reversing growth in military spending that followed Sept. 11, 2001.
“This plan represents, in my view, the minimum level of defense spending that is necessary, given the complex and unpredictable array of security challenges the United States faces around the globe: global terrorist networks, rising military powers, nuclear-armed rogue states and much, much more,” Mr. Gates said.
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The Pentagon’s proposed budget for 2012 is expected to be about $553 billion (excluding separate financing for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars). This will trim $13 billion from all of the services. The Pentagon budget is scheduled to shrink in real terms in both 2013 and 2014. For fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the plan is for the Pentagon's budget only to match inflation.
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Question of the Week
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What are the relative sizes of service budget reductions self-identified for the next 5 years by each of the military services? (rank from highest to lowest counting Navy-Marines as one). service)?
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Answers Sunday.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Doozy - "Extraordinary; One of its Kind"

The described doozy was found recently. Few have yet heard of these expensive leaks, which some believe were as foreseeable as they were criminal.
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So why were rational efforts not availed to avoid the resultant grief?
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You will find the answer here. Unless you are a lwayer, however, you are unlikely to be comforted by the answer. Unfortunately, allowing catastrophes to occur provides job security for members of a certain profession.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Reefed

On 23 April 1984, the attack submarine USS Bergall (SSN-667) was moored to a pier at Norfolk, Virginia. A surface support ship for submarine rescue and deep-sea salvage operations, USS Kittiwake (ASR-13), was getting underway after a maintenance period.
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Unknown to Kittiwake's crew, her main drive motor had been wired backwards. Kittiwake started to move opposite to the engine order. Noting backward motion, the bridge ordered increased turns to move forward. Kittiwake moved aft at even higher speed. The bridge ordered more increases in forward speed until Kittiwake struck Bergall's sonar dome.
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Before her 1994 decommissioning Kittiwake had supported many SSBNs and she had even provided divers and equipment during salvage operations to free the grounded USS Missouri (BB-63) in 1946.
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Whereas various surface ships and even old subs have been sunk by submarines for final disposal, ex-Kittiwake's hull is slated for another fate: Beleaguered vessels sets sail for final destination.

Following the many trials and tribulations associated with the plan to create an artificial reef by sinking the ex-USS Kittiwake in Cayman waters, off Seven Mile Beach the ship has finally begun its journey to the Cayman Islands. The most recently set date for the sinking was 5 December but that had to be cancelled due to a combination of bad weather and the need for repairs to the tugboat. A new date has not yet been fixed but it is anticipated that the sinking will take place in the New Year shortly after the old vessel arrives in Grand Cayman.

USS Kittiwake performed her assigned duties for 48 years. Along the way, she had an unfortunate incident and became obsolete. She will be disposed out of sight of all but recreational divers.
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Capt Owen Honors had a career of stellar naval accomplishments. Along the way, he provided entertaining safety, etc. reminders to USS Enterprises's crew. As XO he provided morale boosting entertainment conveying safety messages and pleasing 98% of his crew. A few were irritated by the video format. Ostensibly, all 6,000 got the intended safety messages, however.
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A former Top Gun instructor and recent CO of USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is being disposed out of sight just like ex-Kittiwake. There is no comparison; the waste to taxpayers is tremendous.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

US/Navy Quote of the Month (2011) and Winners for 2009 an 2010

The quotations... [2011]
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I have come to the conclusion, that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a lawfirm, and that three, or more become? a Congress! And by God, I have had this Congress! - John Adams (30 October 1735 – 4 July 1826) as portrayed in the musical "1776" (1969); this has sometimes been cited as an actual quote of Adams. HEAR him say it in this YouTube [at 1:50-2:05]
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[2009] WINNER (on the Daily Show (video) with Jon Stewart)
Speaking of lawyers, Secretary of the Navy Mabus, a lawyer, said ....

[W]e never left port without leaving a couple of guys behind in jail.
Mabus insulted the caliber of every Navy veteran who served with him! He has yet to discharge Capt. Holly Graf from the Navy, as recommended by the Board of Inquiry early last month, but swiftly relieved Capt. Honors. See PREDICTION below.
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[2010] WINNER (In a statement provided for the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on personnel)
“As a measure of extra caution, the Navy will not reduce the number of male officers training and qualified for submarine duty until we have experience with successfully placing female officers in those roles.” - Juan Garcia, Navy assistant secretary for manpower, Mar 14, 2010 NavyTimes - As women join subs, male force holds steady

PREDICTION: We suspect SECNAV Mabus has in mind a female replacement for CAPT Honors (not immediately, after Capt. Mewbourne). It would fit neatly into a solution for Mabus's dilemma and it answers the curious timing for relieving CAPT Honors 3-4 years after the 'offensive' conduct.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, January 03, 2011

The STAR SHIP Seawolf (SSN-575)


It's often said that, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same.'
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The SSN 575 boat's EY circuit was the only circuit of its kind (AN/ASH-19) installed on a nuclear submarine. The system survived 30 years.
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Scientifically, certain female voices inject just the right element of urgency into their calm, controlled, clearly annunciated announcements to wake up any male in an instant.
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Today, female voice alarms are in more widespread use on trains, planes and even in automobiles.
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You can hear the actual submarine EY circuit voice warning alarms here.
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You can hear find Majel Barret's computer voice on STAR TREK in prequels to Enterprise.
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Plus, you can see and hear examples of Patricia Hoyt's cockpit warnings in this 1-minute video. She confesses being "Bitchin' Betty".
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

GUNNING for TOP GUN: The Question Either No One Is Asking, or to which No One Has Gotten a PC Answer Yet is Submarine-Related!!

THE QUESTION: It's not immediately known why the videos are surfacing now. The Virginian-Pilot quoted anonymous crew members who said they raised concerns aboard the ship about the videos when they aired [2006 and 2007] , but they were brushed off.

As M.E. was preparing this posting, the 41-second YouTube Super Marine had gone viral. In fact, it appears at least twice in submariner blogs we follow, so there was no need to embed it again. Coincidence? We do not think it is!
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Have you heard about Capt. Honors's (real name and rank) kerfluffle on USS Enterprise, however? Honors is a native of Syracuse, N.Y, and is 1983 alumnus of the U.S. Naval Academy. He was a naval aviator (F-14 Tomcat) who attended the U.S. Naval Top Gun school, and served as XO on the Enterprise from July 2005 to September 2007, before assuming command. It's not immediately known why the videos surfaced now.
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The Virginian-Pilot quoted anonymous crew members who said they raised concerns aboard the ship about the videos when they aired, but they were brushed off.It is certainly another spoof, but a potentially bigger scandal! The Navy said it plans to investigate the videos, which it called "clearly inappropriate."
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The Associated Press
Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 7:47 a.m. US Navy to probe lewd videos shown to carrier crew

Capt. Owen Honors appeared in the videos in 2006 and 2007 while he was the USS Enterprise's second-ranking officer, and showed them across the ship on closed-circuit television. He took over as the ship's commander in May.

There is more.

The newspaper says Honors appeared in the videos in 2006 and 2007 while he was the Enterprise's second-ranking officer, and he showed them across the ship on closed-circuit television. He took over as the ship's commander in May.The navy says the videos are "clearly inappropriate" and it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the production of the videos.

The videos were part of what Honors, 49, called XO Movie Night. The Navy released a statement late Friday in response to the Virginia Pilot's inquiries.
The videos created onboard USS Enterprise in 2006-2007 were not created with the intent to offend anyone," the statement said. The videos were intended to be humorous skits focusing the crew's attention on specific issues such as port visits, traffic safety, water conservation, ship cleanliness, etc.
In each video, Honors indicates that he's trying to entertain the crew. The clips were shown roughly once a week on ship closed-circuit shipwide television, according to a few sailors who were assigned to USS Enterprise at the time.
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A female sailor who was assigned to the Enterprise at the time said she and a number of other women on board were offended by the videos. She said some crew members complained about them, and in fact, Honors acknowledged it on camera. In one movie, he says, "Over the years I've gotten several complaints about inappropriate materials in these videos, never to me personally but, gutlessly, through other channels." [color and bold emphasis mine]

In one scene [from the videos], two female Navy sailors stand in a shower stall aboard an aircraft carrier, pretending to wash each other. They joke about how they should get six minutes under the water instead of the mandated three.

What else that involves females under the water just happens to be in process as we write?
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HINT: 2011 is the year females are slated to be assigned to submarines for the first time. Apparently, no Fleet Marines (including women Marines) assigned to CVN-65 registered any complaints at the time. Just saying!
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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