Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nifong's Career Move, Commercial Air Travel Revolution

What is an ambitious lawyer to do when his law career is deadended? Results vary by party affiliation and political clout, of course. Lawyers are the undisputed fundraisers, financers, strategists and leaders of the power party. Among the other, the pretense party, however, lawyers are usually lower profile characters who feign fundamental differences with their loyal counterparts.

There is only one league in which players in the two, major U.S. political parties compete for jobs. Neither seeks to upset league policy or rules of the game. The public votes for most valuable players every few years.

If you are Watergate convict Charles Colson (GWU-Law 1959), you become an evangelical Christian minister. If you are Mike Nifong (UNC-Law 1978), that last thing you not want to become is a cleric, but your former colleagues encourage it. Why? It places you far from the fold of lawyers, especially the power party's lawyers. Unlike another disbarred power party politico, Nifong does not merit a presidential library.

Will Nifong take his former colleagues' advice for televangelism, or revert to an occupation prior to law school (teacher or social worker)? Watch for a decision in a few months.


What's wrong with commercial air travel in the U.S.? The purpose of air travel used to be enormous time savings over competing transportation. For longer distances this is still true, but not as attractive as in the recent past.

Today, commercial airliners are like interstate buses. Amenities are poor, overcrowding is a given and schedules are dicey. For shorter, regional trips one spends as much time in waiting rooms and traffic queues as in the air getting from Hub A to Hub B then driving or training to the real destination. Hmmm!

Something revolutionary is now on the horizon (but, only in Europe). Will lobbying prevent it from revolutionizing air travel in the U.S.? I am afraid so, initially. It will be available privately, of course, but not for the public. It eliminates not only needless Hub-to-Hub travel, but unnecessary Hub and spoke air travel, as well. You could travel from your nearest departure airport to the choice destination airport. These aircraft takeoff and land vertically with better speed, range and capacity characteristics than helicopters. Amenities? Improved, of course.



Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Tip of the Nation's Arsenal

Perhaps you missed or forgot this great submarine motto: The Arsenal of the Nation. Compared to previous SSNs, its class sports increased weapons.

Her sister ships' mottos are Cave Lupem (Beware the Wolf) and Semper Optima (Always the Best).

By now, you have identified these as the three Seawolf class (SSN-21) subs.

Here is the concluding text from a declassified report written by then Commanding Officer, USS CONNECTICUT (SSN 22):

Ironically, CONNECTICUT finished 2003 where she began, but with a myriad of accomplishments under her belt. Combating material problems with vigor, USS CONNECTICUT (SSN 22), the Arsenal of the Nation, will always be ready to support

any required tasking in defense of our homeland.

The report had been found and linked here for a while: For oldtimers, it offers a good opportunity to refresh your terminology such as fast cruises, RBPs, SPUs, etc. Example:

During a fast cruise pier side technical problems were noted with the ship's Secondary Propulsion Unit (SPU) as well as ongoing difficulties with the Variable Shunt Field Devices (VSFD) which control the operating speed of the ship's trim and drain pumps. Submarines are always silent and strange.



Thursday, June 07, 2007

Doing the Math and Machismo

Had you ever heard about this admiral? Robley Dunglison Evans of Virginia, was born on 18 August 1846. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy (at age 13) in 1860, back when we had no women officers and perhaps a handful of JAG lawyers (in the whole Army, none yet in the Navy).

Fighting Bob Evans continued to fight even after his fourth wound, drawing his pistol and threatening to kill any man who attempted to amputate his leg in surgery. To the rest of us, however, his kind are more than symbolic, they are de rigeur for respect by our worst enemies.

Molten Eagle has been on a one-man crusade to keep women from onboard submarine service. If a reason for this stance is not obvious to you, a selective review of history should help bring it home.

The world as we had known it is now under longterm assault from radical Islamists and their wealthy supporters. These men treat their women as consenting chattel (movable personal property; or slaves). They are currently propagating their kind at a very fast rate by Western standards. Extremely intolerant of anyone unlike themselves they behave as viral antibodies, seeking to destroy individuals and subvert cultures they cannot convert.

Why now? For many decades this dormant Islamist plague had been held in check by adequate memories of ferrocious men as devoted to Western freedoms as the Islamist radicals are to their vision of an intolerant god.

During intervening decades, Western civilizations have downplayed male role models, primarily military leaders, in order to improve opportunities for females. While the intention is valid, results have been carried to extremes thanks to aggressive litigation, political correctness and myopia. Generals on the order of "Black Jack" Pershing (West Point, 1886) and admirals like Robley Dunglison Evans (U.S. Naval Academy, 1863) were once regarded as models or mentors by military leaders of World War II, including Nimitz, George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and George S. Patton. Today, the Navy enhances Evans's reputation with a politically correct appeal to women: 'his energetic efforts to stop illegal seal hunting off Alaska' in 1892.

Such men were considered inspirational genuises to the likes of Nimitz and were regarded as mentors by the generation of American generals leading the United States army during World War II, including George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and George S. Patton.

One question: Assuming the exemplary traits and careers of these fine men are still studied at West Point and the USNA, what can be the benefit of such studies to female graduates of those military institutions, or to the male 'girlie men' who opt for either civilian law schools or the JAG corps? That is right - it is of no use, and so only token mentions of such men are presented today.

All this is in further feminization not only of a fragile culture, but also its military. Our military!

Guess who has been noticing the wussy feminization of our culture and military? Like all competent foes, they struck when are weaknesses were apparent. The question remains, do we have the will to restore full force male roll models? We do not yet, in my opinion.

If U.S. submarines are feminized, recruitment of red-blooded males will decline precipitously as has been Australia's recent experience. Complicating military matters further, our military draft program has been rendered tenuous by the proliferation of women's rights lawsuits over the years in the civilian workplace.

Can the U.S. surmount these difficulties without acknowledging and praising traditional male values? Let's turn that question around; can an insidious, virus-like enemy that holds maleness in great esteem and that has unending financial support subdue weaker feminized cultures one at a time? History informs the most attentive, no matter who they are.



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Loss of the USS Herring (SS-233)

Some of you may be familiar with the U.S.C.S. (Universal Ship Cancellation Society). It is a non-profit, tax exempt corporation founded in 1932, to promote the study of the history of ships, .... and events involving the U.S. Navy and other maritime organizations of the world.

The U.S.C.S. Log turns out to be an interesting compilation of well-researched naval history with healthy smatterings of current events and arcane compendia of related postal covers and cancellations.

June's U.S.C.S. Log includes a one paragraph Out of the Past article on USS Herring's final war patrol. Log authors are sticklers for details and facts. Errors are rare and usually caught and corrected very quickly. Japanese shore batteries apparently scored two hits on Herring's conning tower and sunk her. Was Herring in shallow waters (she sank 2 anchored Marus) within range of the shore batteries? If not, what else would make her expose her conning tower?

A 6-paragraph page claimed by Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet reveals more, but unfortunately is an embarrassment of drunken spelling errors. Past attempts to contact the "Commander's site" for other error corrections were without result or even acknowledgement of e-mails. Perhaps someone else will have more success. For a cleaner version of the Pac Fleet page, try this (about 1/3 of the way down the page). Hmm, who is copying whom?

Want to better appreciate the ultimate sacrifice of those on Herring's eternal patrol? Count the names listed to see if they add to 83 lost. Takes quite a while to count those names, doesn't it? Eighty-three submariners lost at one time, and two more U.S. subs would be lost that very month during 1944.

The CO, Lt. Cdr. David Zabriskie, Jr. had been an Annapolis (USNA) football star. On his first of 2 war patrols, Zabriskie had sunk nothing. On his 2nd and final patrol, Zabriskie sank four Japanese ships (13,202 tons total), and had been operating with USS Barb commanded by his senior, none other than Eugene Fluckey. After Zabriskie's initial attack, the remaining ships scattered towards Barb and Fluckey bagged 2 more marus.

For her first seven patrols, Herring sank nine ships, totaling 45,200 tons, and damaged two. Her first four patrols were in the Atlantic. Herring had originally been credited with sinking a Nazi U-boat (U-163) on her 3rd war patrol, although this now appears to have been corrected.

One of the most important things accomplished by the Herring was for Newport (Torpedo Station and factory), however. On August 1, 1941, eight months after the infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Newport finally conceded that Mark XIV torpedoes ran 10 feet deeper than set. The depth control mechanism had been improperly designed and poorly tested (from barges, not submarines). The Bureau of Ordinance had previously blamed Mark XIV reliability problems on crews. There had been hell to pay, it has been said, when skippers shot their expensive loads and missed.

Submarines have always been silent and strange.



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Scientists Predict: Submarine cloaking at close range

Scientists have previously created an 'invisibility cloak' made out of metamaterial which bends electromagnetic radiation – like visible light or radar (microwaves) – around a spherical space. The bending makes objects within the sphere appear invisible.

Until now, scientists could only make objects appear invisible from far away. Liverpool mathematician Dr Sébastien Guenneau, together with Dr Frédéric Zolla and Professors André Nicolet from the University of Marseille, have proven - using a specially designed computer model called GETDP - that objects can also be made to appear invisible from close range when light travels in waves rather than beams.

Scientists predict that metamaterials could be of use in military technology, such as in the construction of fighter jets and submarines, but it will be some years before invisibility cloaks can be developed for human beings.

"Until now, however, it was not clear whether photons – particles that make up all forms of light – can split and form new waves when the light source is close to the object. If we use ray optic techniques – where light travels in beams - photons break down at close range and the object does not appear invisible. If we study light as it travels in waves however, invisibility is maintained."

Now, some scientists predict that invisibility will be possible for any objects within the next decade.

Vigilis expects cloaking would be first seen publicly in a Disney display. The best real world submarine application would be the