Monday, February 27, 2006

U.S. Submarines: No Open Kimonos

Open Kimono in feudal Japan signified an absence of secrets by having nothing hidden, as in under one's clothing. The term is common in many business quarters today.

There is a submarine - part sub killer, part terrorist hunter and part spy - that is so unparalleled in its capability to impact world events that the Navy has kept it a secret....the newest and most advanced member of the U.S. nuclear-powered submarine force - the USS Texas. -National Geographic Channel presents Explorer: “Super Sub” (Hat tip - Lubbers Line: Hundreds of Fathoms)

USS Texas (SSN-774) is the second Virginia class sub. Photo (shown) is the USS Virginia under construction. Note selectively closed kimono features protecting our national security from prying eyes. Why should U.S. taxpayers spend billions on our most effective weapons systems and security to keep our advantages unknown, and then allow a large mouthed congressman to release classified national security information without authorization? You are correct. We cannot allow unauthorized disclosures of national secrets and continue to foot the bill for developing and keeping such secrets.

Soon, current events will ask us to remember the connections, not only to the enormous dollar expense of keeping secrets, which allows us to sleep at night, but to the lives of those for whom the secrets must be kept (not the least of which is us). How dare any American disclose classified information that is intended to protect our national security. But I digress.

In the DOD approved photo, note that the kimono is not entirely open, but discretely covers critical areas. This is good and many of you can guess why. Also, note that the construction item in the bottom left foreground has not been covered. That is no accident, and obviously it is no secret. Are we starting to see a high attention to national security yet? Absolutely, the item near the ? is no UUV.

Submariners will all know what it is. Skimmers and others are invited to guess. Do not expect us to answer, however, due to Beadwindow considerations. (Hat tip -Pig Boat Sailor: The Discomfort of Thought).


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Submarine Insights from a Devoted Daughter

If you are a submariner and have not yet found The Volunteers of Spritz's Navy a single web page compiled by Jeanine (McKenzie) Allen, you are missing something. McKenzie was a WWII Submariner, one of 74 lost when USS TRITON SS-201 began her ETERNAL PATROL - at a depth of 18,000 feet on March 15, 1943.

I do not know this lady, but she dedicates a wonderfully telling web page to her Dad, Lloyd C. McKenzie, TM1(SS), to all who fought in United States Navy submarines during World War II, and to all who have ever risked their lives in the "Silent Service" of the United States of America.

Go to The Volunteers of Spritz's Navy and read informative items like these for yourself:

The last and one of the most rigorously stressful of the physical tests was a 100' ascent from the bottom of the submarine escape tower, (where two volunteers had died) involving the disciplined and proper use of the "Momsen Lung". The "water works tests" caused many not to be selected when they exhibited signs of panic or lack of discipline.


So rigorous was the selection and training process for Submarine School, during the course of World War II, only 2,000 officers and 22,000 enlisted volunteers, highly qualified men, graduated from "Spritz's Navy", out of over 250,000 men who had applied for entry into the Navy's Silent Service.

Bravo Zulu to Jeanine (McKenzie) Allen, her Dad would be proud of his war orphaned daughter.

Another tribute to her Dad and (then Lieutenant) Captain George Whiting, U.S. Navy (ret.) can be found in Volume Three. World War II Stories from Online Readers here.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

News You May Have Missed -BA609 UPDATES 2/26

Game Pen
In hypothetical response to Bubblehead's (The Stupid Shall Be Punished here) introduction of a laser pointer/flash drive/pen, Stylus counters at one-third of the price with a writing game pen, complete with sound and visual effects. Obviously intended for busy executives (small enough to conceal in a pocket), travelers, and surgeons (H/T to my favorite anesthesiologist at the Book of Joe) , it may be loaned to noisy children in a pinch. The Game? Remember "Operation" when you were a kid? Here is the Operation Game Pen for $5.99. Be the first in your enterprise to own one.

Astounding Modernization
India's airlines ordered $6 billion of dollars worth of planes and engines illustrating a strong (25-30 percent growth rate) in passengers thanks to rising incomes of its rising middle class (300 million-strong). It is now one of the hottest aviation markets. The demand for qualified pilots nearly outstrips the supply.

The BA609 Tiltrotor (helicopters cannot do this) BELL/AGUSTA AEROSPACE
Offers the vertical takeoff and landing capability of a helicopter, with the cruising speed, altitude, and range of a fixed wing aircraft. These unique advantages of the BA609 Tiltrotor may revolutionize medium distance civilian air travel. Designed for low maintenance, the civil tiltrotor offers cost-effective, point-to-point transportation at cruise speeds up to 275 knots and at ranges up to 750 nautical miles.

[February 21, 2006] Where is it now? gaining altitude: First flown in 2003, the BA609 made its first transition to aeroplane mode in July last year, subsequently reaching a speed of 255kt. AgustaWestland has assembled the second BA609 prototype and is scheduled to begin flight-testing in Italy later this year. Certification is expected by the end of the decade.

This aircraft has the potential to end some time-consuming frustrations of modern air travel.

UPDATE #1: approximately 60 aircraft orders to date - Key successes in initial BA609 certification phase included: over 38,000 equivalent flight hours on full scale wing, over 54,000 equivalent flight hours on flaperon, pressurization tests passed for aircraft number 001 to 25,000 feet, and bird strike tests passed for fuselage, wing and tail. Handling qualities are excellent at all conditions tested and all nacelle angles. Gross weights to date range from 13,500lbs to 15,700lbs. Airspeed achieved to date is 277 kcas (319 miles per hour). Altitude achieved so far is 14,500 ft Hp. The BA609 exceeded the planned flight test points for 2005. Measured noise levels are better than expected both internal and external with no added suppression installed. Out side noise is like that of a passing high-end luxury car, internal is the same as a Citation VII.

The aircraft in standard configuration is fully pressurized and de-iced. The BA609 will fly twice as fast, twice as far as previous typical commercial VTOL aircraft, and at competitive lifecycle costs compared to alternative mixed fleets.

UPDATE #2: Agusta Westland’s boss, Giuseppe Orsi, agreed to the program stretch out to the end of the decade, but hinted an Italian certification could theoretically be obtained independent of the U.S. FAA.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Little Dog Served on Submarine Crew of Two Navies in Wartime - How many of us can say that?

This true story was found by Lone Ranger of Stop The Republicans (recommended reading) in answer to my recent query concerning the WWII submarine dog legend.

First, let me remind any unfamiliar readers of some key differences in the submarine service. Apart from space travel, nothing else comes as close to actual '24 - 7' duty for many weeks or months at a time. With questionable air, lack of sunshine and limited storage space for nonessentials, personal sacrifices are a fact of life. Top that off with an environment requiring continuous surveillance and very rapid response to the smallest upsets (leaks, fires, equipment failures or human incapacity). High performance and expertise are required of everyone on demand. Rest can be dicey.

One more thing, during sea battle, hazards and stress are easily magnified 100-fold and higher stress must still be endured. Placid appearing outwardly, submariners are a formidable lot, many consider insane. Why do I bring this up?

Because the dog had to be stressed as well. Any mascot is a rarity on a submarine (and if space permitted, most sailors would prefer a nice round woman to a dog). Unlike modern K-9 police dogs, allowed on duty for just 8 hours a day, a submarine mascot would be subject to the privations, loud noises (especially in WWII) and foul air full time (24-7).

Bacchus (a mongrel dog) - recipient of the Valiant Dog Medal (shown held by his adopted master and the last surviving member [last disputed by Linda Larkin in her comment below] of Rubis's crew, Gaston Sanz, then 82) had been buried with his original medal in France when he died in 1946. "Bacchus would take up the whole bed but I couldn't move him off because he would growl and wake up all the other boys. Then there would be fists and boots flying at me," Sanz recalled. (Interesting tidbit of French submarining).

How loyal was Bacchus? Consider that he won the respect of two navies:
The submarine Rubis joined the French Navy in 1933 as a transporter/minelayer. Displacing only 762 tons, she could transport 32 mines. In June 1940, while the Rubis was mine-laying, France and Germany signed an armistice. Winston Churchill ordered the seizeure of French vessels in English ports giving crew a choice of repatriation or joining the Free French naval forces. Only one officer and a few seamen chose repatriation. Hull modifications enabled Rubis to carry English mines and sail 26 missions to sink 23 ships for the allies. At WWII's conclusion, Rubis's crew received France's Liberation Cross. Months before he received Bacchus's National Canine Defense League medal, Sanz received the Legion d'Honneur, France's highest bravery honour.

Sanz said, The award for my dog means more to me than any of the medals I received during my time in the service. Bacchus was a loyal and loving companion who was by my side through thick and thin. I still miss her today. I will treasure this medal forever and cannot thank the NCDL enough for what they have done today." Bacchus was the first dog to be awarded the Valiant Dog Medal in 1943. "He gave us courage."



NPR Breaking News of Euthanized Fetuses (i.e. DNR patients) in New Orleans

Suspicions had been reported last year. Hospital administrators saw a doctor filling syringes with painkillers and heard plans to give longterm care patients lethal doses.

Now, from National Public Radio's All Things Considered, February 16, 2006 · New Orleans Hospital Staff Discussed Mercy Killings A physician has been named and the Atty. General is actively investigating. (H/T Drudge)

Soon after Hurricane Katrina struck, the first unconfirmed reports surfaced of "mercy killings" -- euthanasia of patients -- at New Orleans hospitals. For months, the Louisiana attorney general has been investigating these charges. That investigation has centered on the actions of doctors and nurses at the city's Memorial Medical Center.

This demonstrates the reason constitutional law requires states to develop disaster planning:

+Were local sentiments, culture and mores reflected in this decision to euthanize Do Not Resuscitate patients after Katrina struck?

+ Had that been the plan all along?

+ Who authorized the plan to administer fatal doses to patients?

At least one relative has retained a lawyer to investigate. We remember how other senators criticized Sen. Frist (also a physician) for breaking ranks with practicing MDs in the Terri Schiavo case. Doctors supported removal of her feeding tube. She died. Her husband is writing the book as Molten Eagle predicted (before others) he would once she died.

There is no question that the decision of courts to uphold Mr. Svhiavo's request to end his wife's suffering would have emboldened doctors to euthanize patients for convenience. Poor planning?

Doctors have been expected to practice triage. Now, we may be seeing an unusual twist to emergency triage: when critically ill patients might not survive arduous evacuation (battlefield semblance noted), treat them like death penalty cases (whoops, it is illegal to execute unhealthy death row prisoners) -no treat them like unwanted fetuses.

May God have mercy.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

UPDATE: Who Has a High Power, Submarine-Borne Laser Weapon?

Able Danger Silenced forever on February 15th (media attention to Muhammad cartoon violence and Cheney's hunting accident muted the final testimony):

Under Secretary of Defense Stephen Cambone testified before Congress a week ago that 90 people searched through documents and interviewed people involved in the Able Danger program for about 6500 hours finding no evidence that U.S. intelligence had identified Mohammad Atta prior to 9/11. Nor was there any information about hijacker Atta resident in U.S. databases before 9/11. Cambone added that his investigators found no deliberate restrictions on the transfer of any military intelligence information to the FBI.

According to William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security in Early Warning Cambone is being truthful.

Jack Kelly of the Toledo Blade’s national bureau has a different take: The suppression of Able Danger: "It's unclear why the Bush Administration is covering up, since the suppression of Able Danger occurred on President Clinton's watch. But it is clear there is a cover-up." <<<<

The thoroughness of his "investigation" was called into question when neither Mr. Cambone nor the three underlings he had with him could name the man who ran Able Danger during its Garland phase. That embarrassing admission was elicited by U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, a Philadelphia-area Republican.

Congressman Weldon told the Canada Free Press, "Neither my own party nor the Democrats want to hear the truth about Able Danger." <<<<

Molten Eagle (speculation beyond fun):
Since all of the officers tesifying are probably truthful, but still have only a partial, so-called compartmentalized, knowledge of highly classified intelligence, more is probably going on here than meets the eye. This is also evident from the bipartisan support for silence.

Let us suppose, then, the mysterious downing of airliners off the east coast (before 9-11, but after the 1993 WTC attack) are tied together. Let's say a presumed friendly country with global reach and powerful, submarine-borne laser weaponry burned the aircrafts' central fuel tanks, to blackmail the U.S. to provide some form of special assistance. Let's presume the U.S. did not buckle, but customarily covered up the resulting hostilities. Obvious question: Who would do such a thing? The real question: Who has had a high-power, submarine-borne laser weapon?

"The Navy is also evaluating laser systems for use by surfaced submarines. Since nuclear submarines have abundant onboard electrical power... The advantage of using lasers on board submarines is that they are a munition that would be stealthy, Navy officials reported." - source: Journal of the Air Force Association, Air Force Magazine Online, December 2002, Vol. 85, No. 12 [highlight added]

UPDATE #1: - Joint High Powered Solid State Laser (J-HPSSL) February 16, 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.

more LASER weapon news (FY 2003) JHPSSL expected to pave the way for the U.S. military to incorporate high-energy laser systems across all services, including ships
The power scaling will be 25kW in two years leading to 100kW in an additional two years. ...the High Energy Laser project will leverage existing laser weapon programs such as the US/Israeli Tactical High Energy Laser Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration, the USAF Airborne Laser Program, and the Department of Energy National Ignition Facility. Work for this project is performed by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC), in Huntsville, AL and the Army Test and Engineering Center, White Sands Missile Range, NM.

UPDATE #2: FBI warns pilots to look away from unexpected light - Dec 09. 2004
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning airline pilots to look immediately away from unexpected sources of light in a new alert that suggests terrorists may use military-grade laser blinding systems to down planes.

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 are always silent and strange. - Molten Eagle


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mother of All Cartoon Posters


Monday, February 20, 2006

Dog Kept on Submarine?

Does anyone recall a story about a pet dog kept aboard a U.S. submarine in WWII? Maybe it was fictional, because I cannot seem to find any related facts.

Did find a different canine story of sorts in my search. It seems there is now a pricey beer for canines (and certain college fraternities where alcohol consumption is frowned upon).

"By nature, the dog is a pack animal. You are a six-pack animal. No wonder you and Fido get along so well." - Julie Johnson Bradford

Veterinary Tip:
GOT BEER? The Dove [sic] Lewis Animal Hospital of Portland, Ore., is recommending that pet owners use beer to kill slugs instead of slug bait. So far veterinarians have seen at least 40 cases of family pets suffering from slug bait poisoning. The hospital is the only nonprofit emergency veterinaryhospital in Portland, Ore., providing 24-hour emergency andcritical care.

Happy Tail Ale
Now from Dog Star Brewing Company A NonAlcholic Beer for dogs. Perfect gift for your doggie friends. Non carbonated, beef flavored. Per website: $8.75/ six pack; $2/Bottle. Six Pack: $9.99 (plus $14.94 shipping and handling) UPS Ground. Order here. See the Video here.

Why is canine beer bottled? Believe me, dogs drink canned beer. Bottles are plentiful where this originates: Made in the Napa Valley. Perfect gift for your doggie friends. Non carbonated, beef flavored.

Do dogs like regular beer? About 50% do, in my personal experience, with no ill effects. I am no expert on the subject of canines or of beer.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Submarine Launched Vehicle to be Recoverable

Dubbed the Navy's Swimming Spy Plane in the latest issue of Popular Science (artist's rendering), the Cormorant is a DARPA concept by Lockheed's skunkworks. Floated to the surface from a converted, Ohio-class SSBN at 150-ft depth, the 4-ton, autonomous plane would rocket skyward until its jet engine spools up to running speed.

The sub would be elsewhere during flight and recovery, which is envisioned by USV (robot minisub). This version (1 of 3) more here has wings designed to fold in flight, it could rapidly convert from slow-speed spy plane to quick-strike bomber. The Pentagon's Fiscal 2007 budget proposes spending $1.7 billion next year on unmanned aircraft.

Lockheed, working with General Dynamics Corp., plans underwater trials to evaluate the launch, retrieval and splashdown systems. The Cormorant would provide Navy submarines a cost-effective reconnaissance capability.

Who wants to bet that version #4 will be manned? Will the submarine service have airshows with Black Devils flying in acrobatic formations? Hint: submarines AND cormorants (also called shags) are generally black, not only in color, but in operation. Popular Science gives the Cormorant about a 30% chance of making it to factory (vs. skunkworks) production.


News You May Have Missed

US military to open light cargo plane contest Reuters Feb 17
Molten Eagle first reported this suspecting the mystery vehicles would be UAVs. Now, the Army's Brig. Gen. Stephen Mundt hints the 145 new planes will expand the Army's and Air Force's ability to ferry cargo and troops to remote places because they will be able to land on runways of just 2,000 feet, opening access to some 6,000 additional runways around the world. [ed. What about the V-22 Osprey? Apparently Army and AF are not buying any, yet.]

Ancient Tree Possibly Found in Indiana Las Vegas Sun February 17
A large oak tree dug up last summer from under 40 feet of sand and gravel could be up to 30,000 years old, and might have been entombed by a glacier during the last ice age, scientists say. [ed. - Political scientists and other Global Warming alarmists should note this discovery, as another ice age is expected by reputable scientists.]


Friday, February 17, 2006

Warning Muslims: Infidels Are Starting to Get It

Challenge for moderate American Muslims: Tell us who your leading cleric in America is and what his position is on violence and rioting. Sooner is better than later.

Molten Eagle posted this cartoonized photo of Ibrahim Hooper Wednesday, February 08, 2006. Hooper (born Douglas Hooper) is the National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, better known as CAIR.

Our Liberal press will not make this distinction yet, but American leaders are starting to understand the gist of moderate Muslim absence from the debate on radical Islamic violence and rioting -certainly, by their very silence, they are condoning the violence of their brothers because that is what popular Muslim clerics have been doing in their Mosques -condoning it, or at best, remaining silent. Can you name a single, Imam, Mullah or Muslim scholar who is popular with Muslims and not radical? Neither can Muslims. Besides the fact that our journalists are such objective reporters (just kidding), wonder why?

Vigilis is certainly not alone in this conclusion. From Gus Van Horn today, in Curse of the Moderates:
"A while back, I encountered this excellent Charles Krauthammer column (Feb. 10, 2006) which made the point that much of what passes for "moderation" in the Moslem world and the leftist intelligentsia is not, in fact the attitude of political tolerance which we would hope for."

UPDATE: And, this (H/T Chapomatic), quoting from the Middle East Media Research Institute, "... lying and misleading are prominent Muslim Brotherhood characteristics, and that the principle of taqiyya (hiding one’s true belief out of fear that it will be repressed), which is common amongst the Shi’a for historical reasons, is found in all streams of Islam. “Today, this method [of doublespeak and taqiyya] is used in the heart of the Western democracies, not due to fear of exposure, but in order to continue the secret advance [towards defined goals] without worrying anyone." February 17, 2006

The Danish Cartoon debacle was good for America. The veil is now stripped from so-called "moderate Muslims". Who are official, authoritative voices of Islam?

answer: Only popular clerics - not ordinary Muslims and certainly not apologists like Ibrahim Hooper. Are we starting to see a problem set? Here is what moderate, Americam Muslims want (per Ibrahim Hooper):

"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future...But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education." source

How will education apply? By helping muslims immigrate to the U.S., by encouraging Americans to convert to Islam and by propagating like rabbits (Islam allows multiple wives) -all of which are intended to create a significant bloc of Islamic voters in America. Their number (an estimated 7 million) now is nearly sufficient to swing a national election, perhaps a clue to why Republicans have been pussyfooting with them.

Do not be worried, however, now that the truth is out there. If anyone should worry, it is perhaps the turn of American moderate Muslims.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hunley Submarine: Latest Carnival Attraction Publicity Ploy?

An amazing mystery, made more intriguing by efforts to assure the mystery lingers indefinitely despite great scholarship, careful material conservation, and even best sellers claiming forensic investigation.

(AP) Best-selling crime author Patricia Cornwell said Tuesday she would donate at least $500,000 to help solve the mystery of the sinking of the Confederate submarine Hunley.

Currently, the two leading theories related to the Hunley's sinking are:
+ A conning tower viewport glass was shot out in the attack, admiting a flood. WRONG
+ The crew drowned due to another cause as they tried to reach safe harbor. CORRECT (the story, of course, will be what lead to the root cause)

No glass remnants consistent with the first theory have been reported inside the Hunley at this writing. Naturally, the second theory makes a far better and more interesting "forensic spellbinder" when colored by the taut emotion of the crew's last moments (hypothetical embellishments of key facts that are being guarded as closely as a modern submarine's secrets).

What Cornwell and her publisher have done is offered the highest bid, so far, for exclusive rights to the few remaining, factual tidbits. South Carolina is intentionally dragging out the process of discovery (actually disclosure) to assure the Hunley attraction is as well publicized as possible. This means other authors and publishers will have to pay even more for their shots at a best seller. The mystery is likely to be repeatedly solved and debunked for the next 100 years, simply because the facts will be meted out in piecemeal fashion for as long as possible.

Readers may be surprised by what probably lead to Hunley's sinking, but most submariners will not. More on that story, later - much, much later, unfortunately.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Update: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Running Scared, If not Dead

BAGHDAD: Radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada Sadr accused the US military of creating an occupation environment for presumed leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, blamed by Iraqi officials for some of the worst attacks in their country. “As long as the occupation remains in Iraq, Zarqawi will continue to harm the security and stability” of the country, Sadr said. Sadr may be too confident.

Zarqawi is not in the U.S. news much, of late, as he either shrinks or cowers under a neighborhood mosque. His final resting place? Certainly not, this vermin moves often with US and Iraqi forces now conducting relentless cordon and search procedures in a shrinking area as Zarqawi falls under increasing pressure from local civilians.

Prediction update: Zarqawi is not only doomed, he is now a brooding short-timer (about 22 days left).

Vice President Dick Cheney now appears to have the proper legal stamp that permits hunting down this evil, dune quail (price $7). Zarqawi's fate will not be eternal rest, for although, Allah willing, he will enter paradise, it will only be as the latest female virgin (Priceless).


Monday, February 13, 2006

Rear Adm. Mohammad Afzal Tahir, deputy CNO: Pakistan Considering Equipping Subs with Nuclear Missiles

Pakistan has at least 40 nuclear warheads, and one of the most sophisticated and feared delivery systems in the world.

The Pakistani Navy is very proud of its three, French-built Agosta 90B stealth submarines, each capable of carrying 16 cruise missiles with nuclear payloads. They are the top of their class for French submarines and Pakistan has the French license to produce more of them at a commercial base in Karachi.

The Agosta 90B build project was completed despite a suicide bomb attack that killed 11 of the its French engineers in outside their Karachi hotel in May 2002. The deal had to have been approved by the U.S. government because the sub contains U.S. parts.

Nominal specifications for the Agosta 90Bs indicate they can fire Exocet missiles and torpedoes.

Rear Adm. Mohammad Afzal Tahir, the deputy chief of naval staff for operations, announced that the Pakistan navy was considering equipping its submarines with nuclear missiles. He suggested the Agosta 90B submarine, with its air independent propulsion system, can deliver nuclear weapons.

The major question becomes Could al-Qaida take over Pakistan? Terrorists would inherit nuclear arsenal, delivery system

Is only one man preventing bin Laden or his allies from getting their hands on a large nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it anywhere in the world? The G2 Bulletin reports Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan may be the man. Were open elections held today in Pakistan, and bin Laden or his protege allowed to compete, there is little doubt the populace would be with such a leader, according to G2 Bulletin sources.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Behind the 2006 QDR (a very public discussion) are very exciting submarine developments?

Author Joe Buff is an MIT-educated member of the Society for Risk Analysis, headquartered in McLean, VA. His interest in submarines and national security makes him a media cheerleader of sorts for submarines. The 92-page, public 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report was sent to Congress February 3rd, representing "a common vision of where we need to go and what we need to do," Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary for policy, said.

Buff says, "2012 is much too late to first start building two new U.S. Navy fast-attacks per year." And some in Congress appear to be addressing this concern already, because, as Buff notes, "The 2006 QDR is important, yet it's only a recommendation to Congress. Congress can, and has in the past, added to or subtracted from the incumbent administration's military spending budgets."

An intended group of QDR readers is all of our potential enemies and even our pretend enemies like Hugo Chavez. They will not have a clue what changes to defense posture will actually take place from reading this document, nor will we. Moreover, there is little of submarine relevance in the QDR that had not been covered in one form or another during the past 2 years of mainstream media reporting. A word search found 4 items with less detail than already revealed elsewhere. Our enemies stay on their toes, expend their scarce defense money to learn more about us and remain increasingly reactive. They cannot learn from us (we do not know, nor should we), and even Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, had better not disclose anything either.

So what will happen? Lots of top secret, good stuff. When will we find out? Regarding submarines, perhaps not for decades.

Do we really need to build more submarines sooner? No, the new kind we need to build are still being designed. That is probably one reason for the delay (the public reason, of course, is budgetary). Much was revealed about the Seawolf class, less about the Virginia class and what is under development is totally black.

My speculation has already appeared:

As part of an announced, four-year DARPA/Navy program known as Tango Bravo (technology breakthroughs), _____ will develop an external weapon-launch system that can stow, communicate with and deliver Advanced Capability torpedoes outside the pressure hull. Space-saving is an acknowledged advantage of stowing torpedoes outboard.

Also, there was my prediction of future need to use small, tactical submarine launched nukes.

Finally, the not so obvious advantage of reduced force size (with U.S. submarines of significantly greater flexibility and endurance) is added stealth. That could be tremendous to forward positioning in areas such as the South China Sea. It will require a radically different playing of today's submarine "shell game." Subs could eventually be deployed much longer (over a year?), rotating smaller crews and provisioning as necessary via a submerged tender (mother sub in each theatre) while SUBMERGED. Yes, it may be more practical for DSRV-type subs to ferry between the mother sub and the patrolling SSN/GN/XN. Submarines, always silent and strange.


Practical Islam: "When you think Afghan, think Klingon"

Molten Eagle once attempted a thought experiment to identify the Earthly nationality or counterpart for the major alien species appearing in Star Trek. So difficult was that to accomplish with credibility or otherwise, that no one seemed to have worked on it seriously. Moreover, I came to suspect the creators of Star Trek anticipated just such an effort might be tried, and intentionally thwarted parallels for the sake of political correctness.

Recently, however I found a curious letter at Jim Spickard, Professor of Sociology, University of Redlands (California). The writer had spent Navy enlistment " the Persian Gulf 'til the onset of the Iranian revolution" and a decade later "spent 5 years in graduate school (1990-1995) contemplating Afghanistan and adjacent mountain environs, and even was asked by my UC Davis professor to do a tiny bit of outsourcing for the CIA while I was working on my thesis at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London." The last sentence of his fourth paragraph is quoted in the title of this post.

Read the letter and draw your own conclusions. The writer was against the war, but clearly understood "...there is a serious effort afoot to establish a new pan-Islamic, multi-ethnic polity along the lines of the medieval Caliphate via a revolution in Saudi Arabia."

A more recent experiment involved seeking a parallel to Islamic behavior reflected in current events. This was accomplished informally through use of the game called "Pass-it-on," "Telegraph," or "The Whisper Game." It's a popular exercise for demonstrating the problems inherent in verbal communication. The message received and repeated by the last person in line usually bears only a passing resemblance to the original whisper. More insight (anti-submarine type CPO) here.

Basically, the 5 Islamic terms we tend to hear too often were used as the original whisper and participants (15 non-Muslim parents with college degrees) knew the goal was to deliver a translation of each term. Islamic glossary definitions are shown parenthetically. Whisper result is shown in green highlight:

Fatwa - (legal verdict) GERD

Hijab - (burqa, veil) Diaper

Imam - (leader) Nurseryman

Infidels - (nonbelievers) Adults

Jihad - (striving) Bowel Movement

A loose theme of the result might suggest that these Islamists behave like preschool children. Someone else can try it using muslim words for rioting, beheading, and 'peace be unto him'. Almost forgot, the Islamic word for hypocrisy is nifaq. I was surprised they even have the word.


Friday, February 10, 2006

For whom has France's doomsday clock just clicked 2 minutes?

Friday February 10, 2006 Guardian Unlimited - Paris
France secretly upgrades capacity of submarine nuclear arsenal
· Modification increases range of missiles
· Altitude bomb to knock out electronic systems (EMP effect)

During a speech made in January, President Chirac said: "The number of nuclear warheads has been reduced in certain of the missiles in our submarines".

Military experts say this was not a step towards disarmament, but was instead a move to expand M45 missile performance. Until now each submarine carried 16 French-made M45 missiles, each fitted with six nuclear warheads.

Scaleback to only one warhead per missile obviously reduces throw weight but allows higher altitudes needed for electromagnetic pulse effect (to destroy enemy computer and communications systems), and increased missile range and precision.

France operates four SSBNs in two classes: two Triomphant class and two L’Inflexible class.

In a related story, Gus Van Horn asks Is the "Doomsday Clock" stuck? He says: That famous symbol of the Cold War, the Doomsday Clock (of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) appears to have become stuck at seven minutes to midnight since some time in March or April of 2002.

For whom has France's doomsday clock just clicked, then? Every peace-loving country in the world is becoming inoculated against certain violent extremists. They can hardly help from defeating themselves.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Newspaper Columnist: "The Internet is now the only place Americans can view the cartoons and, as a bonus, learn..."

Kathleen Parker is an award-winning columnist whose columns frequently focus on family and sex roles. She writes for the Orlando Sentinel. Parker is also the director of the School of Written Expression at the Buckley School of Public Speaking. Her column today, The end of civilization was a joke, was syndicated in some newspapers owned by the New York Times. It should should inform millions.

The real story behind the Danish cartoon outrage. The U.S. it seems is not the only country with a Muslim propaganda organization deceiving complacent infidels. Take a look at what she says happened in Denmark (excerpts):

The dozen Danish drawings everyone by now has heard about — but not necessarily seen thanks to our own media's sanctimonious sensitivity to insanity — were mild by modern satirical standards.

Meanwhile, querulous Americans still reliant on traditional media are left in the kind of darkness admired by Islamic states. How are they to debate and make a judgment about the cartoons without seeing them? They can go to the blogosphere, that's how.

The Internet is now the only place Americans can view the cartoons and, as a bonus, learn that much of the outrage now seething through the Middle East was stoked not by the cartoons in question, but by three bogus photographs circulated by the (peace-loving) Islamic Society of Denmark. A spokesman for the group said they circulated the photos to demonstrate Denmark's Islamophobia.

Except that the photographs weren't published in Denmark or elsewhere on terra firma. One of them, allegedly depicting Muhammad dressed like a pig, is in fact a photo of Frenchman Jacques Barrot as he participated in last August's annual French Pig-Squealing Championships in Trie-sur-Baise. And that's no joke.

See the top pig photo here. Show them to Islamists near you, tell them it is Mohammud and watch them get enraged. That is what the (peace-loving) Islamic Society of Denmark did to foment Muslim outrage. I do not trust anything this man says, should you?


As Radical Islam Hides, Moderate Pretenders Lie

Ibrahim Hooper makes an excellent radical Muslim apologist and propagandist, saying:

I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future...But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education. source

Hooper admits he wants the government of the U.S. to be Islamic. He says this will be accomplished through education. How? By educating muslims to immigrate to the U.S., by encouraging Americans to convert to Islam and to propagate like rabbits (Islam allows multiple wives) -all of which are intended to create a significant bloc of Islamic voters in America. Their number (an estimated 7 million) now is nearly sufficient to swing a national election, perhaps a clue to why Republicans have been pussyfooting with them.

From what profession would a consummate propagandist migrate? Doug Hooper (before his conversion to Islam) worked as a news producer for KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis until the early 90s. Hooper is an American convert to Islam.

Non-muslim Americans must remember that:
+ CAIR and similar mouthpieces are neither heeded by nor official voices of Islam to Muslims anywhere.
++ Ibrahim Hooper is dangerous because he attempts to deceive his countrymen and women.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hints: Where is Hugo Chavez in the Big Picture?

Next December, for the first time, Venezuelan voters will select a candidate from a pool including an incumbent president. Hugo Chavez is running for re-election.

"The most serious thing about this situation is not only the use of (public) economic resources for campaigning, but also the use of the whole state apparatus" for such purposes, said Leopoldo Puchi, secretary general of the opposition MAS party.

Secretary-General César Pérez Vivas labeled as abuse the president's "unleashed political activism." He underscored there was evidence of the "whole state machinery used for political activism. It is a commingling of state and party assets, of state goals and the goals of a political sector. They [President Hugo Chávez electoral campaign] are using all the society's resources to remain in office in an illegitimate, immoral manner.

"CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned supporters on Sunday that the United States could try to sabotage his upcoming re-election bid, his latest salvo in a new row with Washington over alleged U.S. spying. Left-wing Chavez, who frequently accuses the Bush administration of seeking to overthrow him, has presented what he calls the U.S. "empire" as his principal adversary in the December election.

President Hugo Chávez Sunday forecast 2006 would be one of the hardest years of the Bolivarian revolution because "the empire will risk all" in order to prevent his re-election in December 3rd presidential polls. In a completely self-serving claim, Chavez has often suggested the U.S. will invade Venezuela, a proposition that would allow him to declare a state emergency and retain the presidency without election.

Hugo could as easily forecast that Venezuela will be swarmed in a UFO visitation. What is interesting is that more people are buying his prediction of the U.S. invading Venezuela than of UFOs swarming Caracas. Look for a UFO swarm in mid-September. -Molten Eagle


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Dumb Ideas Never Succeed: Muslim Inoculation of the World Against Their Brain Virus Continues

Associated Press - Norwegian troops fire on Afghan cartoon protesters


Scientific Observation: People Who Jumped from the WTC Rather Than Burn to Death Were Not Suicidal

Like many of us have, Chapomatic calls attention to the power of language in a religious war. He quotes a comment by JIM GUIRARD — TrueSpeak Institute 703-768-0957 Alexandria, Va.:

Imagine, please, how much more difficult it will be for bin Laden and his murderous ilk to inspire and to sustain the suicidal zealotry of young Muslims — or the approval of any truly devout and faithful Muslims whatever — once these genocidal irhabis (terrorists) come to be viewed by the Umma (the Muslim World) as mufsidoon (evildoers) engaged in Hirabah (unholy war, forbidden “war against society”) and in murtadd (apostasy) against Allah and, therefore, on their way to Jahannam (Eternal Hellfire), instead. Truth in language and truth in Islam are the solutions.

JIM GUIRARD has come to the correct conclusion. Islam must mature. A new "Reform" branch of the religion must emerge to face modern realities. It would be best if Muslims accomplish this rejuvenation on their on volition. If not, it will certainly be accomplished by default.

Their suicide bombers are certainly familiar with the concept of default, according to Scientific American.

According to Florida State University psychologist Thomas Joiner, in his scientific treatise Why People Die by Suicide (Harvard University Press, 2006): "People desire death when two fundamental needs are frustrated to the point of extinction; namely, the need to belong with or connect to others, and the need to feel effective with or to influence others."

According to Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a study of 400 Al Qaeda members found 75% of his sample came from the upper or middle class. the vast majority--90 percent--came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that's usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways." They are engineers, architects and civil engineers, mostly scientists. Very few humanities are represented, and quite surprisingly very few had any background in religion."

What gives, then?

In 65 percent of the cases, preexisting friendship bonds played an important role in this process." Those personal connections help to override the natural inclination to avoid self-immolation. "The suicide bombers in Spain are another perfect example. Seven terrorists sharing an apartment and one saying, 'Tonight we're all going to go, guys.' You can't betray your friends, and so you go along. Individually, they probably would not have done it."

In an analysis of State Department data on terrorism, Princeton University economist Alan B. Krueger discovered that "countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which have spawned relatively many terrorists, are economically well off yet lacking in civil liberties. Poor countries with a tradition of protecting civil liberties are unlikely to spawn suicide terrorists. Freedom of assembly and peaceful protest without government interference provides an alternative to terrorism."

For Scientific American, reporting a conservative theory like this had to be diificult. Congratulations to Scientific American for some bipartisan objectivity, at last. [Dr. Michael Shermer is editor-in-chief of Skeptic Magazine and director of the Skeptics Society and a monthly columnist for Scientific American]


Ibrahim Hooper, National "Communications Director" for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Do Not Be Fooled: These Characters Are Not Cartoons

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a Muslim, some say terrorist, mouthpiece in America. A non-profit, propaganda organization, it is funded in a significant part by Middle Eastern sources such as the Al Maktoum Foundation, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, and even grants from U.S. taxpayers.

CAIR's stated goals are to promote a positive image (religion of peace and harmony) of Islam in the United States, empower the American Muslim community, and promote understanding (propaganda). CAIR's national spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, is neither an Islamic scholar nor religious leader. Therefore, his peaceable words to American infidels have no more weight with Muslims than mine or yours -zero. Ibrahim Hooper, a convert to Islam, makes an excellent propagandist, saying:
I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future...But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education. [ed. education that promotes muslim immigration, conversion and propagation (Islam allows multiple wives) -all of which are intended to create a significant bloc of Islamic voters in America. The number now is sufficient to swing a national election, perhaps a clue to why Republicans have been pussyfooting with these intolerant-dels].

Muhammad's image is conjectural. He took up the sword late in his life and was a warrior for ten years. Muhammad engaged in caravan raids and took part in battles. Critics say that his wars went well beyond self-defense.

The bust is one of his most infamous followers, the Muslim butcher, Tamerlane, also known as the Scourge of God. He invaded Baghdad in June of 1401; after the capture of the city, 20,000 of its citizens were massacred, for one example. Timur ordered that every soldier should return with at least two severed human heads to show. The devastations of Delhi (twice) were worse.

Remember, in Islam there is one god, and it must be their god, infidels. Tamerlane was, of course, a peaceful butcher (yeah, right). Islam promotes harmony thusly: when everyone left is Muslim, there will be harmony.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Nice, But What About Submarine Assistant Navigators?

Lubbers Line introduced us to this first (January 26, 2006).

Enlisted sailors get shot at a seat in the cockpit, today here.

Under a trial program, some enlisted members would be promoted to warrant officers and become eligible to fly the P-3 Orion patrol plane or SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter. Currently those jobs are reserved for unrestricted line officers.

That is nice, what about submarine assistant navigators, that is, PACFLEET NAVETs? Much more responsibility, a little more pay, but no rank (curious isn't it). Traditionally, not at all, but then these moves are breaking paradigms (out of the box) not traditional for the Navy.

Just asking.


News You May Have Missed

Can you remember where you were during the third Annual Lingerie Bowl football game in Los Angeles on February 5, 2006? The 30-minute game features female models playing full-contact football in lingerie and airs locally on pay-per-view during half time of the NFL's Super Bowl XL football game.

Questions: What did premium tickets cost?
Discounts for active duty sailors?

Navy eyeing submarine launched version of Raytheon's AIM-9X missile for Joint Battlespace strategy in Littorals, raising the possibility that submerged subs could someday shoot down enemy aircraft.

Raytheon said Monday that the AIM-9X launched at the McGregor range in New Mexico last November successfully locked onto and destroyed a drone helicopter, raising the possibility that submerged subs could someday shoot down enemy aircraft.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Islam and The Two-Edged Sword

Among all major religions, conversion to Islam is said to be the easiest. In terms of daily worship and ritual, none appears more ostentatious (fard, jihad, Hajj) or repetitive (Salat) than Islam, imparting an immediate sense of devotion and superiority to its faithful. As to intellectual consistency on the otherhand, practioners of Islam are perhaps the most blind-faithful of all, because they must either be an Imam or allow one to guide them through stark, Qu-ranic contradictions.

Now, it has to be obvious why some Westerners have converted to Muslim. Islam fills any void of discontentment in their lives in a showy fashion that requires little thinking. An unpretentious explanation of reasons to convert can be found at Daniel Pipes (An authorative commentor on the Middle East - The Wall Street Journal) here. Who are famous Western muslims? As seen here, mostly musicians and athletes, none noted for intellectual prowess.

All religions have been propagandistic at one time or another, unfortunately. Islam, however, is again at the top. It trots out its political cover of being a religion of peace and harmony, while its hypocritical leaders remain silent too long over outbursts of violence against Westerners and their establishments. Islamic writings and their most famous spiritual leaders demonstrate clearly an intolerance of non-Muslims, branded as infidels.

Although Muslim women are accorded subservient privelege under Islam, they inhabit free Western nations and some even shun equal rights. Muslims partake all of the benefits of Western living, but literally propagate voters intent on changing western culture to Islamic by democratic vote.

Muslims in America must be accorded the same rights and priveleges as everyone else. The time is now, however, for infidels to be as easily and conveniently offended as they.

Like Ku Klux Klan supporters and members, however, there needs to be a two edged sword that comes with our political convenience and their volatile intolerance. Smarter Muslims know this and are surprised their nation has been so lax with them this long. Dumber, violent muslims are more dangerous to Western culture than the Klan, to whom public legitimacy has not been accorded since 1964.

If American Muslims wish to disassociate themselves from backward forms of Islam, they must be clear not only to infidels but to the lower forms about the actual differences and it must come from the lips of their most esteemed imams and popular scholars, not fringe academics as we have seen almost exclusively, to date. So far, the smarter Muslims pretend only vague and ambiguous difference to infidels without making a strong and authoritative case to their violent brothers.

Infidels are not as stupid as our PC-obsessed government leads you to believe. I urge you, smarter Muslims, to act now of your own volition, or bear the brunt of a sudden shift in federal mood in the not far distant future. Peace be with all of you. -Vigilis


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Submariners Standby: The Pentagon's new "rules of engagement"

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Army is trying to teach troops how to pick the right spouse, through a program called How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk, run by Chaplains. DoD records indicate some 56,000 Army personnel - active, National Guard and Reserve - have divorced since the campaign in Afghanistan began in 2001.

The Army "no jerks" program is formally known as "P.I.C.K. a Partner," for Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge. It encourages the marriage-bound to study a partner's F.A.C.E.S. - family background, attitudes, compatibility, experiences in previous relationships and skills they'd bring to the union. It also advises the lovestruck to pace themselves with a R.A.M. chart - (Relationship Attachment Model) - which warns against allowing sexual involvement to exceed either level of commitment to or level of knowledge about the other person.

Now there is a problem. Navy separations and divorces are notorious. Think of submarine sailors who, unlike their Army comrades in arms, have not even been able to phone home on their long deployments. Another potential problem is the Navy's service branch specialty -lawyers and litigation. The Navy would soon have to follow the Army's lead (if it has not begun already). Otherwise, well, you can fill in that little blank for yourself.

With our Air Force concentrating on becoming the military's center of excellence (COE) for religious tolerance (lead by Chaplains), the Army wants to become the COE for domestic tranquility (also lead by Chaplains), and the Navy is left with the unenviable lot of trying to become the COE for political correctness (lead by lawyers).

H/T The Sub Report: "The divorce rate among submariners (Australia) is huge - about 80 per cent."Imagine 42 men in a densely packed space for months, without privacy and no opportunity for escape. Impose rigid chain of command discipline. Then, unexpectedly introduce six women to the equation. Under pressure .... Is the U.S. Navy's divorce rate no longer the highest in the military? Fabulous, if this is true.

In my opinion, the chaplains' goals have important merit. What do you think?


Strange Defense News

275 knot Seal Swarm Carrier (CSC)

What will be the use of the CSCs and other military aquisitions described below?

Lawmakers encouraged by report urging boost in sub production
"The Quadrennial Defense Review, which offers a broad blueprint for changes in the military, recommends that the Navy increase production of its submarines to two per year by 2012. "

answer: Replacements of aging fleet

US asks for data on military use of very light jets
"The U.S. Air Force on Tuesday asked the defense industry to help explore the possible military uses of an emerging aircraft class called "Very Light Jet," without explaining how it hoped to use the new jets. ...maximum takeoff weight no greater than 10,000 pounds, powered by one or two gas turbine engines, and a commercial list price of much less than $5 million per aircraft, according the Air Force notice."


answer: CSCs are for a New IV Fleet

U.S. to Add a New Fleet to Lineup
The Navy is currently organized into five fleets:
Second Fleet - Atlantic.
Third Fleet - Eastern Pacific.
Fourth Fleet - none
Fifth Fleet - Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean..
Sixth Fleet - Mediterranean.
Seventh Fleet - Western Pacific.

The first new fleet since prior to WWII will be Roman-numeralled 'IV' (as in 4th fleet). In a departure from the MILITARY PHONETIC ALPHABET , the IV fleet will be phonetically referred to Hugo Chavez's country, Invade Venezuela. No units have been assigned to this fleet as yet, and the Pentagon is said still to be screening admirals with reputations as madmen to command it. Once Congress approves the Pentagon's $997 billion funding request, the first dozen SEAL Swarm Carriers (CSC shown above) will be assigned. There are no firm plans to overthrow Chavez or invade Venezuela, but the water temperature offshore is conducive to relatively easy training, maintenance, and swim call activities. So Chavez will not be unduly frightened, Fleet IV will be a demonstration and test fleet only. Live munitions will be unnecessary, so IV fleet will have a lighter overall look (LOL) for VIP show and tell purposes, as well as operating savings.


News You may Have Missed

Cartoon controversy spreads throughout Muslim world Publication of Prophet Muhammad satitical cartoons has caused strife around the world. For non-Muslims they are equal treatment for Islam, a test of tolerance. To many Muslims they are as apparently insulting as the intolerance they shown for Jews, Christians, Buddhists, etc. in say, Muslim countries.

Another who masks his face gets it right here:
"Part of the price of living in a free society is putting up with insults. Jews and Christians have borne the burden of bigotry for centuries. Christian bigotry among American liberals seems to be at an all-time high. Christians rightfully get angry when an "artist" submerges a cross in a jar of urine, or a school punishes a child for reading a Bible during his free time or a leftist cartoonist depicts Christians as rats. But they don't kidnap people. They don't take over buildings. They don't bomb and kill. They express their outrage without committing crimes against humanity."

Failing to pass this little test, they will prove to the world what little value they bring to liferaft Earth. First to become shark food? Their choice, of course.

From Lawyer Kickers pro bono: What the news article DID NOT say
Money Laundering 101 – By Lawyers for Lawyers here


Journalist Asks: IS THE ICE AGE HERE?

Former Russian correspondent Michael Hammerschlag writes political commentary. His recent post asks IS THE ICE AGE HERE? He is commended for his openmindedness, since the book (Ice : The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance) that starts his article off states "Global warming, it seems, is making inroads in much of the world's ice. Artic sea ice is thinning, permafrost in the ground is thawing, glaciers are retreating."

As an avid reader of scientific articles on the Ice Age, I consider the current Global Warming crisis a product of political manufacture. Yes, another Ice Age will eventually come, ending the Holocene warm period begun more than 10,000 years ago. There will be plenty of notice, however, with extreme cold and hot weather transients for hundreds of years beforehand.
(we have not seen the transients yet, so don't worry. World governments can not stop it, and it is natural -not caused by ozone depletion, which raises skin cancer incidence).


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Missed Prediction?

United States SSGNs will be a powerful breed (quasi-attack submarine) reconfigured to counter terrorism. Formerly, they were part of the nation's nuclear deterrent. Officially loaded with up to 152 conventional, cruise missiles, they will also transport special operations forces to potential trouble sites. Now, if you were a jihadist, how well could you plan your day? Which will be off your coast unseen, the SSBNs with nukes, the SSGNs, or both?

What I had predicted: Small, Tactical, Sub-Launched Nukes

A DoD disclaimer (bottom right of my M.E. page) has been there a long time. On the good authority of our CNO, the conversion of four SSBNs is for conventional strike and SOF insertion, so officially I missed the prediction. There are laws, treaties and arms limitations (START II, for instance) that would call into question arming SSGNs with TLAM-Ns.

What about in a pinch (a war)? Would SSGNs accomodate TLAM-N payloads in a pinch or was a 1984 design discarded? See what I mean, submarines are always silent and strange.


Global News You May Have Missed

Are They Suicide Bombers?
Nearly one out of three French men is overweight, compared to one woman out of four. Frenchmen and women are getting taller and heavier. The French are larger than people in some countries that import its fashions, including Japan, China and Brazil. The average woman in France has gone up a dress size since 1970, according to a major fashion industry study released Thursday that measured about 12,000 people nationwide. The study was conducted by the French Institute of Textiles and Clothing to help clothing designers understand the sizes and shapes of their clients.

The average French woman today is just over 5 feet 3 inches tall and 137.6 pounds, compared to 5 feet 2 1/2 inches tall and 133.6 pounds in 1970. Women's waistlines in particular have thickened. Will Iran be fooled by these warheads?

US naval 'spy' expelled. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he is expelling a US official accused of spying with Venezuelan officers.

The naval attache at the US embassy, John Correa, would be forced to "leave immediately", Mr Chavez said in a speech to mark seven years in power. US officials responded that the charges were baseless and Captain Correa had left for medical treatment and a holiday.
Mr Chavez has repeatedly accused the US of supporting attempts to overthrow him.

Thursday's announcement came three days after Mr Chavez said agents had infiltrated an alleged spy ring at the US embassy. (Molten Eagle: When you infiltrate a foreign embassy, the last thing to do is announce it.) The Chavez announcement was for consumption of the Venezuelan peasant voters in preparation for his declaration of an emergency government that he hopes keeps him in power beyond constitutional limits.

The Ominous South Pole
China radar at South Pole could sabotage U.S. spy satellites National security analysts say the South Pole, because of its remoteness, could be used by China for anti-satellite lasers capable of blinding or disrupting U.S. reconnaissance satellites, most of which pass over the pole.

Beijing announced plans to build a high-frequency radar system at the South Pole. Analysts say the it could disrupt U.S. intelligence satellites.

The system will be built at China’s Zhongshan Station, where Beijing has set up of a space environment lab. China’s space program is directly related to Chinese military operations. The system will consist of 20 antennas, each 20 meters high.

Moscow unprecedented
Gorbachev nominates nuclear submarine crew for Nobel Peace Prize. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev requested the Norwegian Nobel Committee nominate the crew of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-19 for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The crew averted an accident onboard the sub on July 4, 1961. Submarines are always stealthy and strange, but this is probably unprecedented. The entire crew received substantial doses of radiation, and the entire repair crew of 8 men died of radiation exposure within a week. Worry of a crew mutiny prompted Commanding Officer Zateyev to have all small arms thrown overboard except for five pistols distributed to his most trusted officers. What has Gorbachev been smoking?

United States
SSGNs will be a powerful breed (quasi-attack submarine) reconfigured to counter terrorism. Formerly, they were part of the nation's nuclear deterrent. Officially loaded with up to 152 conventional, cruise missiles, they will also transport special operations forces to potential trouble sites. Now, if you were a jihadist, how well could you plan your day? Which will be off your coast unseen, the SSBNs with nukes, the SSGNs, or both?


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Callous Time

A retired Army friend, certainly a great guy, disappointed me when he moved to another county to downscale his home. Still saw him at work and had lunches occasionally. That was not the problem.

He had adopted a nice retreiver from the local animal shelter, named it Rusty, cared for and enjoyed his company for ten years. When we would go to his house, Rusty would greet him as his best friend. When Major X downsized, he returned his devoted Rusty to the animal shelter. In his mind, this act made perfect sense (his daughter was gone and married, and his wife did not care). He rationalized that Rusty had gotten ten better years of life than if he had not adopted him. Should the Major's wife actually take comfort in the scrapping of his pooch?

I had just met my first objectivist. Was his behavior considered a defining moment, an acceptable decision, or an applauded moment? It was simply his business (no one ever claimed otherwise).

Gus Van Horn, cat owner I believe, often philosophizes about objectivism on a more intellectual plane than Major X. Cat owners have a distinctly better, final option, too.