Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
So.............did I stick to my guns? Did I clean? LOL Give me a break! We took the girls to Stop&Shop and bought them an incredible amount of choclate and snackage. I am terribly grateful that I am not on stomach ache watch tonight. We watched "Stranger Than Fiction", which we all liked.
Now I have to go to bed and get up at the friggin' crack of dawn!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Pirate-Held Crew Runs Out of Food and Water [W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
It appears the world — including the Royal Danish Navy — has forgotten the pirate-seized crew of the Danica White
A Danish cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates earlier this month has run out of food and fresh water at sea, a Kenyan maritime official said on Monday.
The MV Danica White and its five Danish crew members were carrying building materials from Dubai to Kenya when it was seized off Somalia in the world's most dangerous waterway.
"The news we are getting is that food has run out in that ship and there is no water," said Andrew Mwangura, director of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers Assistance Programme.
Follow the link in the title to Smith's post over at The Tank and there's some back and forth with my pal Steve.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
June 26, 2003
We interrupt your regularly scheduled glimpse into my private life for this update. In talking to SB on the phone this afternoon, I was caught completely off guard. Very unusual. SB & I are the only two peas in this pod. Hmmmmm.
I asked if he had been to the blog today. "Yes," he replied. "No comment?" I asked. "To tell you the truth, I wasn't too terribly pleased." WOW! You could have knocked me over with a feather. You know those words don't come out of his mouth too often when talking to me! We talked for a few minutes more while I came to terms with the fact that I had called his reaction totally wrong. At first I assumed he was upset because something might have given away his real identity (which I guard jealously). But no......he felt that these IMs should stay between us.
So, since I am the best damn bedwarmer ever issued by the Department of Defense (to the best damn sailor there is)........I am removing this promptly.
Yes, Princess Crabby loves to *flash*..........but sometimes I forget.......this is not *my* thing to share.........it's *our* thing. So I will draw the curtains.
****************THAT IS ALL*************
I kept as many of these as I could. We had some computer expert tell my boss in the fall of '03 that even the saved instant messages could cause viruses and one weekend when I was out, she erased them all. She was an asshat. I saw to it that we got a new computer person right after that.
But what I was able to keep, I re-read. Especially on the anniversary of the day.
AG releases report, witness accounts
Gregory W. Floyd, 49, said he was furious and full of adrenaline after seeing 24-year-old Liko Kenney run over Franconia police officer Bruce McKay twice after shooting him. Floyd picked up the fallen officer's gun, leaned into Kenney's car , and saw Kenney trying to fix his jammed pistol.
"I didn't give him much time," Floyd told authorities hours later. "I'm screaming. I said, 'Put it down, leave it alone, [if] you want to live, ' whatever come into my mind . I thought he might let it go and I wouldn't have to shoot him. "
When Kenney held onto the gun, Floyd fatally shot Kenney, capping a horrifying confrontation May 11 that has shaken Franconia, a tiny ski resort town about 150 miles north of Boston.
The deadly encounter between Kenney and Floyd, who has never talked publicly about his experience that day, was described in an 80-minute recording of Floyd's interview with State Police. It was released yesterday by the attorney general's office, along with hours of other witness interviews and a 43-page report summarizing the investigation.
The office also released harrowing video footage, taken from a camera on McKay's cruiser, showing Kenney shooting the officer at least five times.
Floyd, who was an active Marine from 1976-1979, was not charged for the shooting of Kenney, after Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said she concluded that his use of deadly force was justified. Ayotte made the decision less than 24 hours after the confrontation.
Jeffery A. Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general, said yesterday that officials came to that conclusion after the interviews with witnesses and evidence was examined for hours.
"We worked upwards through the night with 50 officers," Strelzin said.
The shooting divided Franconia, where many residents knew of an ongoing feud between Kenney and McKay. The two had first clashed in 2003 when the officer asked him for his driver's license after seeing him parked in a park. An ad hoc group of citizens and local officials recently formed the Franconia Area Recovery and Reconciliation Committee to find ways to prevent such violence from happening again.
Many hailed Floyd as a hero for his actions, although others expressed reservations about his quick decision to shoot Kenney.
Throughout the interview with police, however, Floyd sounded calm and never second-guessed his decision to shoot Kenney.
"He was clearly a threat and had no remorse about running [over] that police officer," Floyd told the officers. "So why should I give him a chance? He might shoot me."
In the video, McKay pulls over Kenney, who was driving home from work with his friend, Caleb Macaulay. Police later said that Kenney fled the scene.
The video then shows that McKay followed Kenney to Route 116, where Kenney's car was parked on the side of the road. There is no audio as the video shows McKay drive in front of Kenney's car and push the vehicle back. The audio suddenly comes on as McKay gets out of the cruiser, sprays an irritant similar to Mace into Kenney's car, and walks away, out of the camera's view. Immediately, Kenney takes out a gun, leans out his window, and fires.
The wails of a siren can be heard and then what sounds like McKay groaning in pain. Kenney pulls away.
The camera did not capture the rest of the encounter, but according to Floyd, McKay staggered away, bleeding profusely from his side, as he tried to get to the road.
Floyd said he then saw Kenney hit McKay with his car, back up, and hit him again, pinning the officer under the vehicle.
"What are you supposed to do?" he told the officers. "That's pure - out torture. If you're going to kill somebody, be man enough to knock on their door and tell him to get their . . . pistol."
After shooting Kenney, Floyd then turned to Macaulay, who was sitting in the passenger seat and who told officers he was fearful the former Marine would kill him, too.
Floyd acknowledged he threatened to kill Macaulay, for fear he also had a gun. "I point the gun at his face and tell him to get out of the car and get on his knees , and if he doesn't I'm going to blow his face off," Floyd said.
There were some contradictions amid statements from witnesses. While Floyd said he warned Kenney, Macaulay said Floyd never said a word before firing. In the first part of Floyd's 80-minute interview with troopers, he told police he said nothing to Kenney before shooting him.
But, according to the report, Macaulay said he understood why Floyd shot Kenney. "He stood up for a cop, and he was doing a great job," Macaulay said. "He was doing the right thing.
OK, most of the article is about Floyd, and I have no problem with Floyd's actions. I am pleased there were no charges brough against Mr. Floyd. He reacted properly given the situation as he saw it.
However, I watched the video and I can't believe the final report states that the police officer involved, Bruce McKay acted properly. Maybe there's more video, but based on what's here, McKay comes off like a bully. If all this information was in the possession of McKay's superiors, they are to blame as well. Fellow officers and town selectmen had to know there was a problem. I seem to recall reading that Officer McKay was not supposed to stop Kenney. It definitely seems like a preventable tragedy.
The Power Of The Navy
By H.D.S. Greenway
June 26, 2007
ONE HUNDRED years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt made an extraordinary gesture to illustrate American global reach and power. He had 16 battleships painted white and sent them on a round-the-world voyage.
"The Great White Fleet," as it came to be known, was painted white to show America's peaceful intentions, but the message was clear. America was a force to be reckoned with. The ships sailed for 14 months and visited 20 ports on six continents. Enthusiastic crowds greeted the ships everywhere.
The battle fleet was mostly obsolete and no match for British and German "dreadnoughts " then coming off the ways. America had already demonstrated its ability to project sea power by its 1898 naval actions against Spain in Cuba and the Philippines.
But the gesture was as David McCullough described Roosevelt himself: "picturesque, noisy, and colorful."
I heard the secretary of the Navy, Donald Winter, speak of the Great White Fleet at the Naval War College in Newport earlier this month. He particularly singled out the dispatching of part of the fleet to help devastated Messina in Sicily, which had just undergone an earthquake. He spoke of how, in this century, the navy had performed similar relief missions after the Indian Ocean tsunami, and how that had gathered badly needed good will for the United States.
Winter admitted that, except for its Marines, the Navy is not in the headlines these days as America fights two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the Navy remains an essential element of US power with the added advantage that other services seldom have. A Navy can be "non intrusive and modulated as conditions require," Winter said. Armies and air forces require bases abroad. The Navy, however, can float offshore with its planes, helicopters, and Marines ready to deploy, but over-the-horizon, and not in the faces of foreign countries. "Sustained presence, minimal footprint," is the way Winter put it.
You can make a case, as the Council on Foreign Relations' Walter Russell Mead did at the war college, that there is a continuum in America's grand global strategy from what we learned from the British, and what they, in turn, learned from the 17th-century Dutch who invented the system we now enjoy.
Globalization began with Ferdinand Magellan's first circumnavigation of the globe in the 16th century -- a voyage that he personally never completed, having been killed by Filipino natives when he took sides in a local dispute.
Previously there had been many unconnected maritime networks that had been developed over the centuries. Mediterranean trade had been thoroughly explored by the ancient Greeks. The Chinese had sailed all the way to the coast of Africa before they pulled back into the Great Within. Arabs traded all over the Indian Ocean, and Polynesians navigated the vast swaths of the Pacific. But it wasn't until Magellan's voyage that all these networks were connected.
The system pioneered by the 17th-century Dutch depended first on maintaining "open and dynamic society at home," according to Mead, then "taking the show on the road" to other parts of the world, and maintaining a global power structure that favored this openness and dynamism.
What the United States is trying to do, and what the British and the Dutch did before, is to build an ordered system of world trade, driven by exchanges of ideas, goods, and technologies -- the heart of what we now call globalization -- and then make the system attractive to the rest of the world.
The concept, based on command of the seas, was grasped by Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, president of the war college in Newport in the late 19th century. His book, "The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783," became the bible of naval strategists around the world.
In the 17th century, globalization was a product of ships and the sea. Today ideas and exchanges of technology travel almost at the speed of light. But the sea still carries the vast majority of the world's commerce.
In time another power will supercede America in technology, wealth and power. At the moment China is building a high-seas fleet that one day may challenge America's ability to influence events in the Far East. The trick will be to manage competition, and bring China ever closer into our accepted system of international norms rather than indulging in counterproductive hostility.
The Navy is an indispensable guarantor of peaceful, strategic order, and because it doesn't require a physical presence ashore it can, in Theodore Roosevelt's words, "speak softly" but still "carry a big stick."
I liked the article above and poked around a bit for more info and found the photo and a quote from TR:
"Other nations may do what you have done, but they'll have to follow you." February, 1909.
Photo at right shows the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Battleships, steaming out of Hampton Roads, VA. , in December 1907, to begin their cruise around the World. Leading two ships are: Kansas (BB-21) and Vermont (BB-22).
Germany imposes ban on Tom Cruise
Germany has banned the makers of Tom Cruise's new movie from filming at military sites in the country because the actor is a Scientologist.
The rest of the story is over at the "Beeb". I found it by way of.......Foreign Policy's Morning Passport????? What? LOL All the news out there and FP's Passport rounds up their top 15 or so picks...........and Tom Cruise makes it?
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Me? I'm just a small voice, floating along with my nonsense. I have no focus, save what amuses me. Sometimes it catches someone's attention......most of the time it's not worth comment.
Besides having a focus, you have to have a sense of presentation. Just like in fine dining, how you present your creation matters.
A few days ago I read a teaser over at Military Motivator (I love that blog!), followed the link to the BBC story and posted it here. Then, somehow it was picked up over at The Tank (Ho.Lee.Shit! How did he find me?!?) So, the MM people called it "Understatement" with a great graphic that I also stole. I titled my post "Yesssssssssssssss". W. Thomas Smith, Jr. titled his "Aussie Sailors "Vigorously Repelled" Iranian Boarders" (very dry).
But Flea handles it the best. This presentation is beyond compare! Incredible title and better pic.
Madness? This. Is. Australia!I bow before the greatness that is Ghost of a Flea.............
h/t to The Castle for the link to Flea.
Then we headed home after a long day. As good as it was to be with these people to celebrate Paul's life, it was also a heavy day......very emotional. We decided on one last bad-for-us-meal. Tomorrow we must be back on Atkins......meat....meat....burger....burger.
We pull up to the McDonald's drive through. Simple order. Three items. One cheeseburger. One "plain" cheeseburger, no condiments. One small fry.
We get one cheeseburger. We get one small fry. We get..........a roll with two slices of cheese?
Who is going to McDonald's for a roll and two slices of cheese.
I go back inside and the guy actually tries to tell me that the order was filled correctly. There is a slip attached to the paper. "See," he says "Plain, no burger." I reply "I ordered a plain cheeseburger. Cheese. Burger." He gave me a cheeseburger.
What nonsense. Jennifer blames me because I said "no condiments". She says no one in there knew what that meant. Hence all confusion was my fault.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
First, CIE Business
Obviously you were lying! I am actually only out here in La La La Land to post a note to SB.
SB, since she drops us like hot rocks whenever you call (which I understand is without your knowledge or consent) I am circumventing her altogether to let you know that she must attend a drunken cookout Sat July 28th with me at our cousin's in Maine.
Don't worry I will make sure she comes home, not that whomever would be stupid enough to steal her wouldn't bring her back himself but if it makes you feel better I will make sure.
CIE, your beliefs on this particular subject are right on target. I have told her many times NOT to drop everything and everybody but apparently she chosen to willfully disregard what I've said. She is all yours for the cookout in Maine!
Let's see, where to start..............Do I have any say in this trip to Maine? Will you two ever stop conspiring against me? CIE, I possess a very good record when it comes to attending family events. SB, I don't see how making my own choices in life (I am free, white and over 21) counts as "willfully disregard what I've said.".
Friday, June 22, 2007
Iran 'unable to take Australians'
By Frank Gardner
BBC News security correspondent
Iranian naval forces in the Gulf tried to capture an Australian Navy boarding team but were vigorously repelled, the BBC has learned.
The incident took place before Iran successfully seized 15 British sailors and Marines in March.
The lessons from the earlier attempt do not appear to have been applied in time by British maritime patrols.
The 15 Britons were searching a cargo boat in the Gulf when they were captured over a boundary dispute.
'Having none of it'
When Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured the British sailors and Royal Marines in March, it was not exactly their first attempt.
It turns out that Iranian forces made an earlier concerted attempt to seize a boarding party from the Royal Australian Navy.
The Australians, though, to quote one military source, "were having none of it".
The BBC has been told the Australians re-boarded the vessel they had just searched, aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians and warned them to back off, using what was said to be "highly colourful language".
The Iranians withdrew, and the Australians were reportedly lifted off the ship by one of their own helicopters.
The circumstances for the Britons in March were slightly different in that they were caught so much by surprise that, had they attempted to repel the Iranians with their limited firepower, they would doubtless have taken very heavy casualties.
But military sources say that what is of concern is that the Royal Navy did not appear to have taken sufficient account of the lessons of the Australian encounter.
In an oblique reference to the threat from Iran, Britain's First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, has recently admitted there was a need for greater strategic awareness in the northern Gulf.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/6228342.stmPublished: 2007/06/21 18:06:46 GMT
I love the the last few paragraphs. It cracks me up the the BBC tries to save a little face and point out that it was completely different when their sailors were taken. The incident and resulting publicity was also blogged about over at Foreign Policy magazine.
Good on the Aussies!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
"Princess Crabby" brings up the Armorer 1st and this place 4th.
It's appropriate since The Armorer named me. Come to think of it, my other nicknames come from him or his place!
I am also #1 for "CNO Pool", so get down there and vote!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
I'm telling you.........stop now.
First off, there were two people in the theater and Jen goes and sits right behind them. I am looking at her, they turn and look at her. "What? I want to be right in the middle, it's the best seat."
Trailers. I love movie trailers. They had the widescreen format on, but the trailers aren't. They better fix this before the movie. We saw the trailer for "Balls of Fury". Words fail me.
Then the movie starts, formatting still isn't fixed........everyone's head is cut off.......first trip to the kid in charge.
Now, the screen is narrow and everyone is stretched......heads still cut off............second trip.
There's actually a kid at the back of the theatre with a walkie talkie. Yeah, that's great.
What do I have to say about this movie?
I am a woman who loves her heroes larger than life.
John Wayne.........My Dad.......SouthieBoy.
Spiderman cries. A. Lot. He cries. He weeps. Crying? Crying! What the hell kind of superhero is that?
The people in front of us left three quarters of the way through. I wanted to beg them to take me with them.
Plus it was over two hours long
The booming Gulf emirate of Dubai announced on Monday it had bought the Queen Elizabeth 2, one of the world's most majestic cruise liners, and planned to turn it into a luxury floating hotel.
Dubai said it has paid Cunard Line 100 million dollars for the liner, the latest move in its ambition to become a global tourism desert hotspot ranking alongside Las Vegas.
"Dubai is a maritime nation and we understand the rich heritage of QE2. She is coming to a home where she will be cherished," Dubai World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said in a statement.
The QE2 has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times in its 40-year lifetime and carried over 2.5 million passengers.
But it will sail no more once it is berthed at a huge multi-million dollar palm-shaped artificial island and turned into a luxury hotel from 2009, according to the plans unveiled by Istithmar, the investment arm of state-owned Dubai World development company.
The Palm Jumeirah, which is one and a half times the size of New York's Central Park and can be seen from space, will eventually include thousands of luxury apartments and villas as well a hotel part-owned by billionaire Donald Trump.
The 963 foot (293 metre) long ship weighs around 70,000 tonnes and has a combined guest and crew capacity of 2,794, Cunard said on its website.
Dubai's latest purchase is just another step in the city-state's sprint to become a major tourist and leisure destination to rank alongside Las Vegas and Orlando in the United States.
The ship, which was launched by Queen Elizabeth II herself in September 1967, is the longest-serving cruise liner in Cunard's 168-year history and was its longest-serving flagship.
Since it came into service in 1969, the ship has undertaken 25 world cruises, has crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and has carried more than 2.5 million passengers.
Istithmar said its refurbishment programme would aim to recreate the ship's original interior and would also include a museum celebrating its rich history.
Dubai has undertaken several other mega-projects in order to more than double the number of its tourists to 15 million by 2015.
Work on Dubailand, a cluster of billion-dollar schemes billed as the "world's most ambitious tourism, leisure and entertainment project", is well under way.
Scheduled for completion around 2025, Dubailand is estimated to cost 235 billion dirhams (64 billion dollars) and will also house the world's largest transparent snow dome and a Universal Studio theme park.
Equally ambitious is Burj Dubai, or Dubai Tower, which is touted to become the world's tallest skyscraper.
Launched in early 2004, the construction of the one billion dollar tower by South Korea's Samsung should be completed at the end of 2008.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
The US Navy today announced that it has released a senior Al Qaeda terrorist after questioning him extensively for 27 days while being held prisoner aboard a USaircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea .
In a humanitarian gesture, the terrorist was given $50 US And a white 1962 Ford Fairlane automobile upon being released from custody.
The attached photo Shows the terrorist on his way home Just after being released by the Navy.
It reminded me of this article.
Gates again turns to Navy for Joint Chiefs
By Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writer
June 10, 2007
In choosing to recommend an admiral as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has for the second time given a high-profile job to someone from the Navy — a service that has, for the most part, worked only on the fringes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The choice of Adm. Michael G. Mullen comes just five months after Gates surprised many in the military, including some members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by picking an admiral to become the new head of Central Command. Adm. William J. Fallon is the first Navy officer to head the Pentagon headquarters responsible for the Middle East, which now oversees the two major wars.
Pentagon watchers said the choice of the so-called sea services — including the Marine Corps, whose Gen. James E. Cartwright was chosen as the Joint Chiefs' new vice chairman — for the military's most difficult assignments was a testimony to the Navy's growing reputation as the most intellectually rigorous of the services.
"There's no obvious reason a Navy guy would be put in charge of Centcom, or why we would have two sea service people replacing two other sea service people at the top of the Joint Chiefs," said Loren B. Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based military think tank. "But the reality is that they seem to be able to work with big ideas and big political leaders better than the other services."
Navy officers say their worldview is uniquely fitted for the current environment, in which threats are global and understanding foreign cultures is critical. Because Navy officers must constantly patrol the world's seas and regularly interact with international governments in ports abroad, they say, the Navy has developed a culture that is more open to a broader view of American power.
One Navy officer, who asked not to be named when discussing interservice rivalries, said a broader worldview is bred into sailors early in their careers, adding that even relatively junior Navy officers can find themselves commanding a ship alone on the open seas and be forced to make quick decisions without the aid of superiors.
read the entire article here. It's LA Times, you have to register, but it's free.
I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in this article and not just because I am the Swabbie Doxie the Armorer calls me. When SB was taking courses with the Navy for his Masters-in-Terrorism, I read along with as much as I could handle (small percentage, trust me) and gained a whole different perspective on Joint Military Operations and how the USN prepares for it.
Friday, June 15, 2007
So my cell phone which is several years old and has been replaced once finally died yesterday. The screen blew. So my boss insists on an upgrade. It will do this. It will do that. I don't care. Pick the cheapest one. I talk and I text. That is all. Still, she insists. So she gets this one. It's alledged to be worth $300, but we know that's a crock. Credit this. Rebate that. Free car charger (which I couldn't make work...it had a little appendage and Jen asks why my charger has a penis!), free case, whatever.
My text messages are lost. SB typed out "Happy Birthday" once in a text so I would have it while he was "traveling". My ringtone is lost. It was a very distinct ring which always woke me from the soundest sleep when SB was in different time zones.
It doesn't work in the house.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Others include "The Great Molasses Flood", "The Boston Strangler", "Stephen Decatur, American Naval Hero, 1779 - 1820", "The Sedgwick's In Love", and "The Boston Massacre Events".
Sue has moved on to the Boston Harbor Association. I checked out their website and saw some stuff that interested me. I called Les, who takes me to events at the "Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands" and asked if he was interested.
Looks like Sue will be seeing me again!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Hey Guys,No story today, just some Admin notes of interest. First of all, I am flying up to St. Louis MO on the 22nd of June to join Marty Horn and Maj Pain for a Harley Bike ride in support of Any Soldier. If anyone is close to St Louis, check out the latest news on http://www.anysoldier.com/ and you will see where the ride starts etc and we hope to see you there.
Second, Yes, I pinned on LtCol the other day with my folks who made it down from DC, my wife, In-laws and another Marine buddy named Reb.The CO did a great job and I'm very proud that I have made O5.
Third, we are expecting a boy this Oct, so we've been throwing names out there and right now "Jesus Mohammad Bell" I think it would reflect the dichotomy of our world today and the future of his classes and race. He would fit in well with all his Hispanic, Islamic classmates the way America is moving and ensure that no college would dare turn him down...What do you guys think???
No news? I don't think so!
Congratulations to the Bell family and good luck and my deepest sympathies to Mrs. Taco............I have boys.
In Iraq, semper fidelis
Despite the public's waning support for the war, Marines' morale remains high.
By Tony Perry,
TONY PERRY is a staff writer for The Times
June 3, 2007
UNDER A sweltering Iraqi sky, the general asked for questions from his troops. Many were reluctant, but one stepped forward.
Marine Lance Cpl. Jack Kessel, 19, of Raleigh, N.C., asked about something that had been gnawing at him as he and his buddies go about the dangerous business of winning hearts and minds in Al Anbar province.
"How are we supposed to fight a war when people back home say we've already lost?" he asked.
It was a question that Marine Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis had anticipated as he toured Marine outposts in the sprawling province that is the home of the Sunni Arab insurgency in Iraq. After four years of war — and nearly 900 Marines killed and 8,000 wounded — many Marines believe they have begun to drive a wedge between the civilian populace and the insurgency in Al Anbar.
Many of the Marines were the sons of Marines or soldiers who had fought in Vietnam. They had grown up hearing tales — real or apocryphal — of returning veterans being scorned. There seemed to be a palpable fear among the Marines that the same fate might await them if the public changed its mind about the mission.
Instead, something different happened. As support for the war waned, support for the troops increased. A tidal wave of paperback books, goodie boxes of candies and other things and banners done by schoolchildren has engulfed the troops. At Christmastime, so many stockings and presents arrived for the troops that the loot had to be distributed to Iraqi children to keep it from clogging warehouse space.
It's a point that Mattis, the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command, made repeatedly as he talked recently to troops.
"There's a lot of dissent about the war, but there's zero dissension about the troops," he said. He used the example of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), possibly President Bush's most ardent opponent on the war but also the most aggressive member of Congress in getting money for a safer combat vehicle.
Mattis told the Marines to believe their own eyes rather than news accounts on the issue of who is winning the war. Don't be discouraged by the politicians and pundits who haven't been to Iraq and don't understand, he said.
Don't hold it against them," he said to Kessel and the others gathered at a base in Habbaniya. "The only reason they have that freedom of speech is because you'll fight for it."
Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and while they're chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.
"She's facing potentially three years of incarceration for three rolls of toilet paper," Chief Lon Walker said, stifling a laugh as he talked to KCCI-TV about Suzanne Marie Butts. "See, I can't say it with a straight face."
Workers had noticed the rolls disappearing from the Marshall County Courthouse much faster than usual, Walker said.
Butts, 38, was caught last week after an employee saw her taking three rolls of two-ply tissue from a storage closet, Walker said.
Butts insisted it was the first time she'd pilfered toilet paper, but she declined to answer further questions on her attorney's advice.
The fifth-degree theft charge, a misdemeanor, normally carries a sentence of less than a year in jail. But Butts could face more time if convicted under the state's habitual offender law because she has prior theft convictions.
Walker did not know why Butts was at the courthouse, but said that she did not work there.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Blackfive has a post up about Riverines, a subject near and dear to my heart. It had an embed YouTube video that I couldn't load. So I went out to YouTube to scout around for it. I found this. I don't know if it's what Matt wanted us to see, but it's worth seeing.
Go Brown Water Navy!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
It started on the drive into Charlestown with Jen, we were laughing about the new team mascot at her work, Otis. Jen & I are so not "animal" people. Oh well.
So we get up there and greet all the relatives. Soon enough it's time for the parade. We head up to the corner. Our chairs are by the curb, one under a tree to give my mother some shade. I always enjoy the parade. It's usually sunny and warm. It's the kickoff to the summer. My extended family is nearby, lot's of people who've moved away come back for the day. Between greeting people and watching the parade, there is a lot to do. Anyway.....
Six Naval officers pass in the parade. We clap. Of course........we're a Navy family! Then after they pass I see a banner from the USS Constitution. Hey! I wonder if the new CO of the Constitution was in that group? I dash up to the next block where they are temporarily stopped.
I grab the first officer. "Where's Bullard?" I get a confused "What?". "Bullard. Which one is Bullard?" I ask again. He looks confused "I am." He shakes my hand, I look at his name tag. "Chip Miller". "You're not Bullard." and I laugh. "Oh, I thought you said Bullet, it's my call sign." He points down the line to the tall officer with the moustache. "He's Bullard."
I move down to the officer he pointed to and shake his hand "Congratulations, Commander Bullard. I've read your stuff at [insert name is super secret Navy website] and you are the balls!" He is completely startled (is anyone surprised?) and asks "How do you know me?" I laugh and answer "Nevermind!" the parade begins to move and he has to go with it.
I run back to my family just in time for a whole group of officers and sailors to be in front of us. I start whooping and yelling and clappping. We all do. I yell to my nieces and nephews to yell louder. I yell "Go Navy!", "Navy leads the way!". Then the sailors start to respond and yell back. Hats were thrown in the air. IT WAS GREAT!!!!!!
We were generous with our applause with all the military and the firefighters. It was a great parade. My uncle Walter comes down to our spot. "What were you doing chasing those sailors?" We laugh and I explain who he is. Jennifer asks if I asked for a spot on the July 4th TurnAround cruise. I said I hadn't thought of it. Besides, I didn't think I was that bold. Everyone laughed. They seemed to think I was that bold. Hmmmmmm
When the parade was over we all went back down to my parents house. I asked my Dad if he thought the parade had made it to it's final destination, the Training Field. He didn't think so. I decided to see if I was that bold. I walked up to the Monument and down to the Training Field. there he was. He was speaking with another officer. I stepped into his line of sight. He finished talking and turned to me, laughing. Thank Heaven's! Otherwise I could have been hauled off for stalking, LOL. "How do you know me?" I laughed and told him that I knew he was a great Red Sox fan. Then I said "This is where we find out how much gumption I have. Can you get me a spot on the July 4th TurnAround cruise?" They all laugh, there are still two officer with him. We go back and forth about the super secret site, he is trying to guess who I know. I name the administrator.........hmmm.....that goes over pretty well. Then they ask if I am with a certain group that causes trouble on the site. "Hey, if you're with them, you won't get a spot!" I laugh and assure them I am not. We go back and forth for a bit more. Then I tell him that I have had drinks in the French Quarter with the Ogre!! and that appears to buy me some credibility. Cdr. Bullard tells me to drop him a line andhe'll see what he can do.
So, I head back to the house............I was starving. I told my family the story between bites of my sister-in-law's chicken salad. My mother was mad at me that I wouldn't eat potato salad. I explained that I was being good on Atkin. She told me to be good tomorrow!
Now we know...........how big are Princess Crabby's cajones? They roll and clank, baby!
Saturday, June 09, 2007
With my life, with my (teeny tiny) heart, with protecting our freedom.
There's always a "but", huh?
He does have this one annoying habit (there's more than one, but I'm in an excellent mood today). Once a contest or election is won, he claims to have supported the winner all along. As I recall there was much talk of the two "Ediths" and being sure it would be a woman............once John Roberts was named, SB claimed to have been in his corner all along. And even though I was a Ratzinger girl from the get-go (how could I resist a guy who seemed so mean?), SB tried to say his support predated mine.
So I said that the next thing that came up had to be in writing......and I got it.
In the comments here, SB backs Keating.
"Vice Admiral Thomas Keating is my choice. He is the only flag to have had command of the 3 most important Commands-NAVCENT-NORTHCOM and PACOM. He is a natural and one of my favorites even though he is an airdale.
Does everybody see that? I've got it in writing. I've got Roughead and he's got Keating. Now I'm not saying Roughead's a shoe-in or better than Keating (even though Keating is an airdale - gimme a break). I'm just saying here it is June 9th and I've got witnesses.
BTW, the second comment.........."By the way....I think all of this is a great idea! SB".....you slay me baby!
Sitemeter is doing it's best to cloak you. 0140 Naval Ocean Systems Center Sunnyvale CA, lol.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaking with reporters at the Pentagon, announcing his recommendation that ADM Mike Mullen replace Gen Peter Pace as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff!
Now.........who will be the next CNO? Admiral Timothy J. Keating? Admiral Gary Roughead? Admiral Henry G. "Harry" Ulrich, III? Admiral Patrick M. Walsh? Admiral Robert F. Willard?
Right now I'm saying ADM Roughead.
Another possibility has been raised, Admiral James G. Stavridis. Some think the fact that Roughead just got CFFC rules him out.
In 1967, the USS Liberty, an intelligence ship sailing in international waters off Egypt, was attacked by Israeli jet planes and torpedo boats. Thirty-four Americans were killed in the attack, which Israel claimed was a case of mistaken identity.
I dunno which is worse... having to say... "Maggie has the right of it?" referring to her comments in the H&I yesterday regarding the piracy involving the Danica White.
Hehehe! the funny part was that I didn't know we were on opposite sides, lol. I thought he was thinking the same things I was! His comments over at CRD Salamandar's place led me to think he was thinking what I was thinking.
Anyway, here's what I said over there and it bears repeating here.
I still think the French are less than worthless. The original title of my post was "I Hate The French - Reason 2,647,354". Why are we letting them off the hook? They did nothing!!!! We did something. I'm in on the back channel stuff and I understand what certain other people are trying to get across without saying so. The favorite Naval Consort spent the week in vacinity so his only comment was about holding his tongue.....which(a)I'd rather hold & (b)is all the confirmation I need of those rumors.
My point was that while every ship can't do everything, every ship should be prepared to make a good run of it. Also, this territorial waters shit is just that...shit. Somalia is a failed state. By definittion they can't enforce laws and borders. The UN should pass some kind of resolution saying that any member nation can take action against piracy when it occurs and explain themselves later. We would have had a slam dunk case. Does anybody from Somalia even show up in Turtle Bay these days?
This whole thing peeved me for many reasons but the biggest was these are Danes. These are Danes in the hands of crazy, lawless Muslims right now. Hello? Cartoons? Remember? I'm praying, but I don't feel real good about it. Any other nationality, but not Danes. There's a Korean guy over there right now trying to negotiate the release of some Asian hostages and he'll probably be successful. I fear it will not be so easy for the Danes.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
The parade is this Sunday the 10th. Yes, I know it seems early. The usual formula is the Sunday before the 17th. Yet this year the 17th is a Sunday, so why not then? Because it's Father's Day and people who do things with the Parade do not want to do them on Father's Day (or so I am told). So it's the 10th at 12:30 pm.
Other events include:
Fireworks down Eden Street tonight- bring a blanket and bug spray.
The Mummers will be up the Monument Saturday at 5 pm.
The Doll Carriage Parade is Saturday June 9th at 10 am at the Knights (75 West School Street).
The Grand Marshall is Al Gallarelli.
Are you looking for an invite? Email me.
What. The. Fuck.
Read the very interesting analyses over at CDR Salamandar and EagleSpeak.
I'm not completely happy with the USN this morning either.
**********UPDATE********** It was the USS Carter Hall....not Hill***********
The USS Carter Hill, part of a U.S. task force that helps maintain security off Somalia and nearby countries, engaged the pirates after they hijacked a Danish cargo ship, the Danica White, in international waters, said Lt. Denise Garcia, a public affairs officer at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain.
The U.S. ship fired several warning shots across the Danica White's bow and also destroyed three small boats the pirates had used in their assault and were towing behind the Danish vessel, according to Garcia, who said the incident occurred Saturday.
The U.S. ship called off its pursuit after the pirates navigated the Danica White into Somalia's territorial waters, where the U.S. does not have jurisdiction, Garcia said.
What's that saying......... "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."? Everybody already thinks we're a bully, why not run with it?
I hope and pray for the best for the crew members of the Danica White.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Double Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph Daly
Belleau Wood - 6 June 1918, the casualties were the highest in Marine Corps history up to that point in history. They would remain so until the capture of Tarawa in November 1943. Overall, the woods were taken by the Marines (and the US Army 3rd Infantry Brigade) a total of six times before they could successfully expel the Germans. They fought off more than four divisions of Germans, often reduced to using only their bayonets or fists in hand-to-hand combat. In order to rally his platoon of pinned-down Marines, Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly encouraged them with what would become a famous phrase
"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"
On 26 June, a report was sent out simply stating, "Woods now U.S. Marine Corps entirely," ending the bloodiest and most ferocious battle U.S. forces would fight in the war.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
It was late Sunday when the tractor-trailer pulled up to Charlestown's Sullivan Square fire station, a routine stop for truck drivers who get lost trying to navigate the nearby rotary.
Lieutenant Chris Corwin and Firefighter Daniel Donahoe gave the driver directions and started helping him back up the 18-wheeler when a sedan tried to sneak around the rear of the truck. When Corwin asked the driver to wait, the driver started swearing, telling Corwin he would run him over if he did not move, Corwin said.
Then, four men wearing New York Yankees caps, all believed to be in their 20s, rushed out of the car and began beating Corwin, hitting him with a club and kicking him, Corwin and Donahoe said. Corwin received at least 14 stitches. He had a broken eye socket and bruises. He spent the night at Massachusetts General Hospital.
I read about this over at No Looking Backwards where Bruce had this to say.
All I have to say is WTF?
Bill has a quiz on his website that if you take the quiz, AT&T will send a 20 minute phone card to the soldiers in Iraq.
Bill, as in Bill O'Reilly, but she just writes "Bill", like, they're tight, you know. LOL
Go take the quiz, I'm sure Jen's friend "Bill" has an upper limit on how many phone cards, but I want to make sure we hit it.
I got 8 out of 10, so did Jen, but we got different ones wrong. Together we have a perfect score.