Saturday, April 30, 2005

What You Never Heard About Hannibal

No, not the cannibal, the Admiral who crossed the Alps. So what did he do? Hannibal had his sailors toss earthenware jars containing deadly vipers onto the decks of enemy ships. The enemy was more crossed than the Alps by this and Hannibal won the day against the greater forces of Pergamum. Hannibal, it turns out, eventually committed suicide with poison carried in his ring rather than face Roman surrender around 182 BC. If you're a Vin Diesel fan, he's directing and acting in the latest Hannibal movie due next year.

May's issue of National Geographic focuses on poison and the cover story is Poison: 12 Toxic Tales. The magazine devotes about 30 pages for the article and the usual, stunning photography. For another review of the feature try Peter Carlson's article in the Washington Post from April 26th, Deadly Poisons and Their Known Anecdotes National Geographic Explores a Quieter Way to Kill.

Carlson notes: People who poison their victims are different from folks who shoot, stab or strangle their victims. "Often you are dealing with a family situation," says Poklis, a Medical Examiner. "It happens over a period of months or a year. The perpetrator is taking care of the victim, watching him die. Poison is the weapon of controlling, sneaky people with no conscience, no sorrow, no remorse." This is almost exactly what the civilized world said about submarines in the WW1 era, and (for Chapomatic, who informs) their crews also smelled pretty bad.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sgt. Hasan Akbar - Muslim Military Murderer UPDATE

The Associated Press has issued this report on the murderer of two U.S. officers in an attack that injured 14 other of his fellow servicemen. His LAWYERS, of course, seeing his best, PLAUSIBLE defense have not denied his obvious guilt. Instead they invoke an insanity defense. This man, Hasan Karim Akbar (born Mark Fidel Kools), a college graduate, has been paid from U.S. coffers rather hansomely since his first enlistment in April 1998. He has certainly been aware of conscientious objector opportunities, and could even have left the military in 2002 instead of re-enlisting. Instead, he chose to betray his comrades. However, and this is vitally important, he apologized (so, if you are a memember of the LAWYER-nose-ring-lead party, you must obviously set aside common sense, invite more perfidy in the ranks of our heroic defenders and forgive him):

"I want to apologize for the attack that occurred. I felt that my life was in jeopardy, and I had no other options. I also want to ask you for forgiveness," Akbar told the 15-person military jury before deliberations began. ...He spoke in such a low voice that even prosecutors sitting nearby had trouble hearing, with one lawyer even cupping his ear."

"He is a hate-filled, ideologically driven murderer," the prosecutor said, adding that Akbar wrote in his diary in 1997, "My life will not be complete unless America is destroyed."

A defense psychiatrist testified that although Akbar was legally sane and understood the consequences of his attack, he suffered from forms of paranoia and schizophrenia. Really. how did he get in the service in the first place?

What do you think he deserves? Any death sentence would be the subject of an automatic appeal. Execution would be by lethal injection. Prosecutors have said Akbar launched the attack at his camp - days before the soldiers were to move into Iraq - because he was concerned about U.S. troops killing fellow Muslims in the Iraq war.

Akbar is the first "American" since the Vietnam era to be prosecuted on charges of murdering a fellow soldier during wartime. Allah willing, his ass would be fried at 1200 degrees for three minutes. However, sanctioned methods allow execution only by leathal injection.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Listen to This iPod While You Snorkel ?

Your crew can enjoy their music library submerged to snorklelscope depth (up to 10 ft.) —Shockproof, impact-resistant and submersible new product — perfect for crews of model submarines or actual submarines of the Nigerian Navy. Includes waterproof headphones that sound great and keep the water out of your ears, Sonarmen! At 200 grams, it won’t weigh down your model sub.

From Steve Jones, Crd. USN (ret) award-winningSsubmarine Insignia website (Archive Number Two): "First off, here is some strange insignia news. Nigeria has placed orders for a number of new insignia with a US firm, including command at sea, divers and submarine insignia. There is no known Nigerian orders for submarines or even midget submarines. People associated with the United States Naval Institute Proceedings and Janes Fighting Ships have been queried and they are just as incredulous as I am. Nigeria's Navy is small and their country has economic problems, so the likelihood of them doing a major buildup is small. " I put this one in my Disney category.

If you want to see a photo of this item or buy one for your collection, they have been available from Bill Crosby ( Collectors are serious people. Check out Cdr. Jones homepage for his collection here.


Monday, April 25, 2005

My Friend, the WTC Hero

I, Molten Eagle, used to work in the WTC (above 90th) and one of my best friends was there for both the 1993 attack (he required respiratory treatment after that) and the 9/11 debacle (I was not). Just so you know, his tower had not been hit yet, but he could feel the heat from the other tower's fire through their outer wall. When his floor got word not to evacuate, he lead his whole office, boss included, out of there due to his prior bad experience. They survived. We know other people who were not as fortunate.

A couple of years ago he, his wife and child were involved in a traffic accident with a Muslim cab driver, who seeing WTC ID in his car stated "we missed you in the world trade center, but we will get you next time." Today, he sent me an interesting, article by an Arabic speaking lady. Here it is. If you have qualms about the source, as I first did, here's a critique from a hostile source, which basically says they are biased and report opinions not news. I should think, where facts are witnessed in a mosque and heard in Arabic by someone with an embassy background that we would all be interested enough to see what she says. Not all muslims are radical Islamists, we know.

Here is what a Muslim who probably agrees with her had to say:

Open Letter to Osama bin Laden (as quoted November 16, 2001 in the New York Times):” ''We Muslims cannot keep blaming the West for all our ills. . . . The embarrassment of wretchedness among us is beyond repair. It is not just the poverty, the illiteracy and the absence of any commonly accepted social contract that define our sense of wretchedness; it is, rather, the increasing awareness among us that we have failed as a civil society by not confronting the historical, social and political demons within us. . . . Without a reformation in the practice of Islam that makes it move forward and not backward, there is no hope for us Muslims anywhere. We have reduced Islam to the organized hypocrisy of state-sponsored mullahism. For more than a thousand years Islam has stood still because the mullahs, who became de facto clergy instead of genuine scholars, closed the door on 'ijtehad' [reinterpreting Islam in light of modernity] and no one came forward with an evolving application of the message of the Holy Quran. All that the mullahs tell you today is how to go back a millennium. We have not been able to evolve a dynamic practice to bring Islam to the people in the language of their own specific era. . . . Oxford and Cambridge were the 'madrasas' of Christendom in the 13th century. Look where they are today -- among the leading institutions of education in the world. Where are our institutions of learning?'' - Izzat Majeed (Pakistani writer and businessman, in Pakistani daily The Nation)

Progress Report: MATTHEW BARAKAT filed an AP report regarding Ali al-Timimi's conviction today in Virginia.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Sunken SSN-593 - USS Thesher Connection

The Universal Ship Cancellation Society , a non-profit, tax exempt corporation founded in 1932, promotes the study and history of ships, their postal markings and documentation of events involving the U.S. Navy and other maritime organizations of the world.

The society sponsors convention exhibits and publishes a monthly "Log" that often includes informative updates on current subs and fascinating articles on naval history that might be very difficult to find elsewhere.

I just checked out the online Cover of the Month for March, which is actually a succession of three covers relating to USS Thresher SS(N)-593. Their story is revealed below the images. It is fairly short and you may want to read it for yourself. I will only add that "CAPT. Robert Rawlins, USN" has been a distinguished contributor to the USCS. Currently, Bob is a monthly LOG contributor and one of its fine officers.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lawyer Malpractice

Do you know personally anyone who has successfully sued a lawyer? Can you even find a lawyer willing to sue another one? You may be surprised how difficult that can be. Try (courtesy of ABA) your state bar association's referral service. See LAW.COM: there are many examples including this one of legal malpractice, but it is difficult for plaintiffs to prevail according to NJ malpractice lawyer Glenn Bergenfield, who actually published a few legal malpractice FAQs.

Now think of medical malpractice, and ask the same question: Do you know personally anyone who has successfully sued an MD? Remember, undisclosed out-of-court settlements count as successes for LAWYERS and plaintiffs only. Can you even find a lawyer willing to sue an MD? Unless you are a lawyer or a politician your answers are more likely to be "YES" here than in the former paragraph. When would you say "Acts of God" are more likely to come into play, with the work of MDs or the work of lawyers?

Regardless of your opinion on the death penalty, how often have we heard politicians, usually of the trial-lawyer governed party, the Dems., say that too many men on death row (any number greater than 1) are probably innocent? I stipulate that some have later been found innocent. Well, how did the jury and judge conclude their guilt? If MDs can be sued for malpractice when the outcome goes poorly for the patient, why do lawyers seem to be exempt when the outcome goes poorly for their clients?

Even Clinton's and Nixon's lawyers could not prevent their disbarment. Why did they not sue their lawyers, then? Are relationships with lawyers warmer and friendlier than patient relationships with MDs can professionaly get? I rather doubt that, although Nixon (NY) and Clinton (AK) probably relied on trusty friends to defend them.

As long as lawyers continue to disproportionately dominate all three branches of our government meaningful regulation of lawyers, which increasingly is needed, will be unlikely.
MDs are regulated by malpractice threats and professional oversight. Lawyers now are subject to relatively nil malpractice threats and professional oversight that more and more merely excuses or condones their bad behavior. See KINGPINS Part II: Pablo Escobar or Members of the Bar, for examples. What can we do? Keep trial lawyers from elected offices other than judgeships, which the legal profession already and permanently owns (one whole branch of government). Our founders never intended 36% of the House and 55% of the Senate to be held by law school graduates. I am independent: political corruption is not limited to one party, but one profession looks increasingly like it is perfecting a lock on our government from inside all three.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What Should We Have Expected? Submarine Navigation Uncertainty Pales

People who know me laugh about my general disdain for lawyers. If there is a choice, I will not vote for a lawyer (especially those who "hide" their law degrees). There are many very good ones, even a few of my blood relatives. Generally, we have far too many in the U.S. (more than 7 million in our workforce) and that is both parasitic to our economy and paralyzing to our culture. Put lawyers in the command and control loop and we get the same degrading effects on our military. The enemy loves our lawyers and political correctness! Read about the Navy’s unfortunate role (to wit) in the early Afghan war:

As reported by The Los Angeles Times - When Air Force targeters in Afghanistan spotted a Taliban convoy near Kandahar they asked permission to strike. A Pentagon lawyer advised against it, fearing civilians might be killed. The convoy moved forward, allowing the Taliban to reinforce troops faced off against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance.
A week earlier, it was a lawyer, operating at the right hand of commanding Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who at first advised against firing a missile at a line of jeeps that intelligence officials believed was carrying Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. The lawyer feared the attack might violate a policy against assassinating a head of state.

Or, as reported by the Washington Post, Sunday, November 18, 2001 - As many as 10 times over the last six weeks, the Air Force believed it had top Taliban and al Qaeda members in its cross hairs in Afghanistan but was unable to receive clearance to fire in time to hit them, according to senior Air Force officials.

And the ArabNews - The view of Air Force officials is that Franks frequently was swayed by the excessive doubts of his subordinate intelligence officers and his legal adviser. The Central Command’s top lawyer, or JAG—repeatedly refused to permit strikes even when the targets were unambiguously military in nature, an Air Force officer said. At one point in October, a Taliban military convoy was moving north to reinforce positions facing the front lines of the Northern Alliance, the Afghan rebel army. The JAG, Navy Capt. Shelly Young, declined to approve it on the grounds that ”it might be a trick,” the officer said.

What was the Navy trying to prove? That lawyers are genderless? Capt. Young did what should have been expected by the Navy. What would Ann Coulter, also a lawyer, have done? I think we know...a better job.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

World War II Submariner-Surgeon, 1901-2005

As reported by the ASSOCIATED PRESS, Pharmacist's Mate Wheeler Lipes, who had performed an emergency appendectomy in 1942 aboard USS Seadragon (SS-194) beneath the South China Sea with makeshift instruments, has died at 84. Just two months ago Lipes had been awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.

Although his patient was returned to duty in 13 days, there was anger over Lipes' actions among Navy Medical Corps physicians and talk of a court-martial by the U.S. surgeon general, who was forced to set protocols for appendectomies on submarines. Found an interesting site, (bookofjoe the world's only blogging anesthesiologist) with interesting background on LCDR Lipes.

Lipes was never recognized honorably until Jan Herman, historian at the Navy Medical Department, began looking into his case. Submariners owe a debt of gratitude to Jan Herman and to "Johnny" Lipes! Lipes will be buried at Arlington.

What is the best HM story in your personal submarine experience? Bubblehead posts a good one from his early years at his site.


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Not Why CEOs Get The Big Bucks and More

FORTUNE Magazine reports “Secrets of the FORTUNE 500”. Among those “secrets” are:

(Proof That Capitalism Works: America’s Pie Gets Ever Bigger...Lawyers, Liberals and Even Some Engineers Never Seem to Believe This):
GM (No. 1 in 1955) had $9.8 billion of inflation-adjusted sales which was 7.2% of Fortune 500 revenue; Wal-Mart (No. 1 today) had 2004 sales of $288.2 billion, which is only 3.5% of the current Fortune 500 pie.

And, (Not Why CEOs Get the Big Bucks) Trivia:
Michael Dell of Dell (No. 28) works standing up at his computer terminal. According to The Register he does not wear cowboy boots, doesn't eat lunch and there's no chair in his office as he always stands up.

The boyhood home of Warren Buffett (CEO of No. 12 Berkshire Hathaway) was built by the grandfather of Katie Couric of the Today Show. (Was he a media slave?)

Remember the Alamo? Valero Energy (No. 22) does. It drew its name from the landmark’s historical name. The Alamo was originally named Misión San Antonio de Valero. (Thank goodness someone is patrolling our southern border. Otherwise, we might soon have a company called ENDRUN down in Texas.)

Herb Kelleher (co-founder and chairman of No. 318 Southwest Airlines speculated in inventory of Wild Turkey bourbon after a huge fire in 2000 at the distillery. He bought hundreds of cases of the bourbon in the event the company didn't recover.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

CFEs Take This Seriously

The BBC NEWS reports a new vehicle to infect visitor's machines with keylogging software or viruses. Be certain to read it, because the vehicle is bogus web journals, or "baited blogs, according to Websense.

"In late March, Websense found a fake e-mail message that tried to direct people to a blog that was hosting keylogging software. Now it estimates that there could be more than 200 bogus blogs in existence that are being used to attack net users." Technorati estimates that there are more than 8 million blogs in existence. Websense warned that viruses hosted on weblogs might be a danger because they get round the filtering systems many firms have created to ensure malicious programs do not reach employees.

How to protect yourself? Users are urged to keep anti-virus and services and software patches up to date, scan regularly with anti-spyware products and exercise caution when reading unsolicited messages sent via e-mail or instant messenger.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

HMCS Chicoutimi Woes

Excerpts: The Oct. 5 blaze, during Chicoutimi's transatlantic voyage crippled the submarine and left one officer dying and 10 other crew members suffering from smoke inhalation.

"In most Western navies, he would be temporarily relieved of command, at least pending the outcome of the inquiry. But Adm. MacLean left Cdr. Pelletier as Chicoutimi captain while the wrecked submarine was ignominiously hauled to Halifax aboard a giant heavy-lift vessel."

The captain's approval is required before Canadian submariners can leave both hatches in the conning tower open at the same time. The board of inquiry reopened to examine the chain-of-command decisions by Cdr. Pelletier and whether the British Upholder-class boats had fundamental design flaws. It found problems with insulation on main power conduits penetrating bulkheads. The insulation, though fireproof, was not waterproof.

Were Gen. Hillier to overrule Adm. MacLean, the latter could "walk the plank" rather than seek to punish Cdr. Pelletier. In the admiral's view, Cdr. Pelletier and Chicoutimi were victims of a catastrophic, but unforeseeable set of circumstances.

Hint: Do not think of SSN-711, the Canadian Submarine Navy is not the world's premiere force.
What will happen here? (a) Adm. MacLean has already walked the plank and his career is finished; (b) Pelletier is finished; (c) Brittain will pay some damages.


Roof-Hare Suggestions from PWEETA

What is roof-hare? The euphemism applies to cat meat. Minus skin, feet, head and tail, hares and cats appear quite similar. Roof-hare does NOT taste like chicken. When at sea during Thanksgiving (happened every time) we had run out of turkey before the last watch relieved. The substitute meat looked like nice, big portions of fried chicken. It turned out to be rabbitt legs --most liked it, but it was so gamey it seemed an acquired taste. Well, I believe cat meat an is acquired taste, too.

PWEETA (People Who Enjoy Eating Tasty Animals) folks share their philosophy with several recipes. (WARNING: detailed butchering graphics are shown, if you look for them).
My favorite recipe follows (please do not use pets or collared creatures):

1 cat cut into roast
1 can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cube of beef bouillon1 clove of garlic
1 Fine Irish Stout, like Guinness


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Overlapping in Time – How Strategic, How Age Strict?

The W76/MK4 TRIDENT deployed Reentry Body comprising the bulk of the Nation's Strategic Deterrent is now reaching its original design life, according to John Pike at . Manufactured between 1972 and 1987, continued deterrent value requires extended deployment beyond original, 20-year service life.

The W74/2-36 DETRITAL ZIRCON crystals (zirconium silicate) are nearly indestructible and preserve, in chemical form, information about the environments which created them. Dr. John Valley of the UW Geology Department is currently studying the world's oldest known terrestrial material (4.4-billion-years-old zircons) from Jack Hills, Western Australia.

You be the judge, if you dare burn the cells.


Friday, April 08, 2005

U.S. Benchmarks Africa for Most Forward Looking Project Ever -

Nowhere in the media have I seen a similar headline yet. My guess of why not has more to do with lack of media realization that 10,000 years actually sets a documented public record for forward looking projects than it has to do with surprise that a relatively backward continent is home to any benchmark worth reproducing in the United States (obviously incorrect).

After Rickover launched nuclear subs (the most technologically sophisticated, mobile platforms in existence) he testified before congress that their useful life expectancy would be about 25 years. What can mankind do intentionally that requires planning 10,000 years ahead? Even burial monuments rarely last 250 years (the great pyramids being notable exceptions).

First, what about Africa? According to the CIA World Factbook on Gabon:
“President BONGO…. low turnout and allegations of electoral fraud during the most recent local elections (ed. So far, this sounds familiar) …a small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous and stable African countries. ….. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy (ed. So, a hobbled economy is still one of the more prosperous in Africa). …petroleum, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower … have helped Gabon become one of Africa's wealthier countries...”

The U.S. benchmark (Nukes probably already know some of this from Power School): Oklo, Gabon- Natural Nuclear Reactors. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain Project:
By 1972, fifteen natural fission reactors had been found in three different ore deposits at the Oklo mine in Gabon, West Africa. Once these natural reactors shut down, their highly radioactive waste products were held safely in place by surrounding granite, sandstone, and clay formations deep under Oklo. Plutonium, for example, moved less than 10 feet from where it was formed almost two billion years ago.Rock types and other geology at Oklo differ from Yucca Mountain, but Oklo still sheds light on facts that cannot be duplicated in laboratories. By analyzing remnants of the ancient reactors and understanding how underground rock formations contained highly radioactive wastes, scientists hope to apply their findings to modern nuclear waste for 10,000 years, as some have testified before Congress.


Friday, April 01, 2005


Remember Sgt. Hasan Akbar (born Mark Fidel Kools) of the 101st Airborne Division's 326th Engineer Battalion who allegedly fragged Capt. Christopher Seifert, 27, and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone, 40, killing them and injuring 14 other soldiers? Sgt. Akbar, 33, is accused of stealing grenades from a Humvee and using them and a firearm in a March 2003 attack against the United States that had been paying his ass under his oath of loyalty. Akbar's pretrial hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, but two hours before it was to begin, Akbar fought with one of his military guards and both received injuries requiring medical attention, according to the Army. His hearing was postponed to Friday. Read more in WKYT 27 NEWS. Akbar demonstrated that he is exactly a thug with no more than the bankrupt convictions of his extremist brethren. Despite every opportunity to leave the military, disavow his oath of loyalty to his country or declare conscientious objector status, Akbar collected his pay as an imbedded, malcontent, radical. He murdered 2 honorable officers of the United States and deserves to be fried for 4 minutes in his own fat at 1200 degrees.
DISCLAIMER: Everyone in our great country is considered innocent until PROVEN guilty, which is almost impossible given the most empowered defense LAWYERS in the entire world. Akbar's lawyers plan to use an insanity-diminished capacity defense in his trial. Allah willing, Akbar will, will remain awake and sane for his court martial and prevail against any erroneous allegations that he was actually sane or awake when he committed his attack, Las Vegas odds notwithstanding.