Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Favorite Boatswain's Mate

On this cool boat we found in Port Hueneme. It belongs to the Center for Asymmetric Warfare. The guy who was taking care of it was dying to show it off.

It was apparently all kinds of cool. If we are lucky, maybe Boats Dotson will come out here and tell us some stuff about it.

If you want to know what CAW does - click here.

You know what they say about a Boatswain's Mate - "Anybody can make a rate only God can make a Boatswain's Mate!"

**Don't tell my Dad (QM2) that I typed that**

Friday, February 26, 2010

On This Day In Navy History

February 27, 1942

During the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied naval force attacks a Japanese invasion convoy.

On The Plus Side -

We solved a problem. Tonight at Stations, there was no crying. My very good friend Kathryn showed up. Great distraction! So except for the "oh-I-forgot-about-all-this-kneeling-since-last-Lent" was great.

On the down side - Despite all my listerine and nasal saline rinse and hand sanitzier and hand washing and lysol for my phone and keyboard. I appear to have picked up a little scratchy throat.

Ok, say it with me -

"It's just a little head cold!"

It is not a sign of my cancer worsening.

February 26, 1993

From the BBC that day

1993: World Trade Center bomb terrorises New York
A suspected car bomb has exploded underneath the World Trade Center in New York killing at least five people and injuring scores more.
The bombing has shocked America which had seemed immune from acts of terrorism that have plagued other parts of the world.
An emotional Mario Cuomo, New York's state governor, told journalists: "We all have that feeling of being violated. No foreign people or force has ever done this to us. Until now we were invulnerable."

From Atlas Shrugged "World Trade Center Bombing - February 26, 1993"

Remember, jihad does not give up. They do not surrender. They never take their eye off the ball - a world living under Islam. History shows over a millennium of jihad wars, land expropriations, enslavements, and humiliations of the conquered non-Muslim populations on three continents

I'm Not Neutral


“US refuses to endorse British sovereignty in Falklands oil dispute.”


Sal posts on it here...and much more eloquently. I'm just sitting here swearing and sputtering.

You know, I am an American. I am not an Anglo-phile.

I am a recently as the 70s there was graffitti on walls that read "England out of Ireland" & "26 + 6 = 1"

My father's grandfather was killed by the Black and Tans.

So if I am telling you Britain is right....Britain is right.

Who is advising him on this? For the love of God, Obama would do better if he used a ouija board or a crystal ball or magic eight ball.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A New Milblog - A New Squid

Two guys I think very highly of think we should pay attention to Mike Slagh and his new blog "Secure Nation"

Jules Crittendon wrote that blog founder Mike Slagh is an active-duty naval officer currently at Harvard’s JFK School who will be headed off to "crab" school (say Hi to RADM Tillotson for me). Jules thinks it's a promising blog.

Then I wander on over to Information Dissemination and whadaya know....Galrahn mentions Mike too.

So how can I not pay attention!

You can also follow Mike on his Twitter account - @mslagh

100% Of The Final Sale Price goes To Soldiers' Angels!

Plus Marcus has to shave his head.

Get out there and bid!

Engravable medallion to honor fallen Service Member

FW&FS, PO1 Sean L. Caughman

The official Navy Times article covers the basics.

Seabee dies in Kuwait
Staff reportPosted : Monday Feb 22, 2010 5:22:42 EST

A Seabee supporting Operation Enduring Freedom died Tuesday in Kuwait, the Defense Department announced Thursday. His cause of death was not provided, but the Naval Safety Center Web site said an “E-6 died after a PT run.”

Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SCW) Sean L. Caughman, 43, of Fort Worth, Texas, was assigned to Fort Worth-based Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 22. He joined the Navy Reserve in April 2000 and had been with the battalion for the past year.

NMCB 22, the “Lone Star Battalion,” arrived in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 8, 2009, and assumed the mission there one week later. The battalion’s tour was extended to seven months in January as part of the 30,000-troop surge.

More than 1,100 additional Seabees have deployed there since, increasing the Navy’s ground presence in the region by 29 percent.
But if you want to read something written by a person who clearly knew PO1 Caughman - this is a fitting tribute.

Sean L. Caughman (1966 - 2010)
Sean L. Caughman, 43, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010.Service: 11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in Greenwood Chapel. Interment: 2 p.m. in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Greenwood Funeral Home.

Sean was born Oct. 19, 1966, in Fort Worth. He passed away while on his second tour of duty as a Navy Reservist in Kuwait supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Sean, a 1983 graduate of Western Hills High School, also graduated from Tarrant County Junior College with an associate of
arts degree in 1992 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business from LeTourneau University in 2008. Sean became a proud Navy Reservist in 2000 rising to the rank of petty officer first class. He was deployed twice with the Seabees in naval mobile Construction Battalion 22, the first of these was in 2005. He earned the Seabee combat warfare specialist designator in February 2006 and attained status as a Navy career counselor in June 2007. His awards included the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, both the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service medals, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal (2) and the Expert Pistol Medal.

Sean had been a well-respected and much-loved member of several Star Trek and science-fiction organizations since the late 1980s. He became the glue that held every group he was involved in together. His lifelong love of "Star Trek," coupled with his visual similarity to one of the characters, led to many chances to dress up in his uniform to act in plays, visit, along with others, kids at children's hospitals in Dallas and Fort Worth and just have fun.

He loved movies and was part of the stunt crew during the filming of "The Protector," a 1999 film starring Lee Majors. Sean felt almost every situation in life could be summed up with a quote of movie dialogue. His innate childlike wonderment, his love for everyone he met and his ready smile made him a pleasure to be around. Every child he met called him "Uncle Sean." His love of animals led to a slew of dogs and cats at his house.

Sean was preceded in death by his father, Sam Leach; mother, Truvenza Coleman Leach; and sister, Sandra Leach Burroughs.

Survivors: Longtime companion, Kelly Seaman; noted jazz musician and maternal uncle, Ornette Coleman; noted jazz drummer and cousin, Denardo Coleman, wife, Cheri Coleman, and their son, Ali Coleman, and daughter, Keisha Smithwick; cousin, James Jordan and wife, Nancy Walker; a host of "brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews by choice"; and wonderful friends and comrades-in-arms too numerous to mention.
Now that lets you know you missed out on something because you never had the chance to meet him.

So tomorrow at 11:30 am, stop for a moment and think about PO1 Caughman and how lucky the Navy lucky America was to have had this man as a citizen and Sailor.

Have a good thought for his family and friends; and his Navy family at NMCB 22 in their time of sorrow.

Fair winds and following seas, Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SCW) Sean L. Caughman!


So, we have some SeaBee news.
First Naval Construction Division is on Facebook - you should fan them! Come on, make my friend RADM Handley happy.

Next - NMCB21 is training hard!

and night!

So, It's Not All Fun & Games

Sure I post right away about being caught out by RADM Handley.....but there was some seriously interesting stuff in that Roundtable.

This is a link to the audio of the call.

Several bloggers on the call were asking questions about the materials that the SeaBees need to do their jobs. What gets imported? What is acquired locally?

These questions led to thoughts on fostering sustainable industries in Afghanistan. I've also been thinking about that in light of some stuff we were presented with at EPIIC last weekend.

The questions started out asking about moving equipment and materials in C-17s vs. sea-lift and coming in through Karachi. But then the conversation turned to the materials themselves.

Chuck: Yes, sir. Chuck Simmins, from America's North Shore Journal.
I wanted to ask about raw materials. Afghanistan doesn't seem to have much industrial capacity. When you need cement, when you need concrete, when you need asphalt, when you need milled lumber, can you buy any of that locally, or is it all imported?

ADM. HANDLEY: Our construction material -- and for us, that is our fuel; that is what -- that drives us in our construction -- is probably one of the greatest concerns that we have. And we find that it's a very long lead-time for us to get material. In the past, we've been able to get and resource general building materials, mostly lumber. But as we go into more specialty materials -- some electrical materials that we need, and then we do a fair amount of water well drilling, and the well material that you need -- the pipe and what we call a completion kit that has all of the valving and other technical components that help develop a well -- those are the longest-lead items.
And so we are working with -- through the Army system in Afghanistan, as well as the Defense Logistics Agency, in order to improve the flow of materials. But our ability to be successful today has been the fact that we have reached very far into the future of what we believe our requirements are going to be, and we've anticipated fairly well.
Our two challenge areas have been in electrical materials and in well-completion kits, to this date.

Chuck: Well, do the Seabees have the capability of putting in a small concrete manufacturing plant and making their own concrete, or putting in a small mill and making their own milled lumber?

ADM. HANDLEY: The Seabees have the ability to run what's called a concrete batch plant. But the core ingredient that you need -- you get aggregate that goes in there, and sand, but the real core ingredient you need is cement. And we don't have the ability to -- essentially it's a cement kiln that is where you make cement. We don't have that capacity. That's a raw material that you have to go out and procure. And we've never had the ability to mill, and to mill you'd need, obviously, lumber and a number of other things. Far more efficient for us to go ahead and buy it and have it imported in than to go out and create that kind of production.

Chuck: Thank you, sir.

So Chuck wanted to follow up, but we had to go around again.

This time it was Andrew who picked up the thread.

Andrew: Yes, I do. Admiral, Andrew Lubin again, Leatherneck Magazine. Sir, I spent a fair amount of time in the international trade business. And frankly, when I'm in Afghanistan, I'm horrified at the amount of American materials I see. Pakistan has cement they're dying to sell. The government of -- Indians have wire mills for rebar. They've got pipe mills where you can buy all the pipe you need. Why are we shipping it from the States or wherever, when it's better and cheaper to get it virtually locally, if almost domestically?

ADM. HANDLEY: I actually don't have specific knowledge that it comes from the States. I'd have to research that one and get back to you.
I know that when we were in Iraq -- and I'll say just from my own experience of being deployed there -- we did pull it from Jordan and from Turkey and from, obviously, from Kuwait, but not necessarily all the way from the United States.
I would be -- (inaudible) --

Andrew: I mean -- sorry; go ahead.

ADM. HANDLEY: -- if we got lumber from the United States, but I'll take a look at that.

Andrew: Lumber I understand. But you read the value of cement that comes out of the States versus -- the locals are buying their cement from Pakistan; we're importing it from the States. We're shipping 20- ton containers full of cement. You can't find a worse waste of money.

ADM. HANDLEY: Right. Very good. I'll take a look at that.

Andrew: Thank you.

ADM. HANDLEY: I'd much rather get it local.

So, I thought that was excellent. The whole..."teach a man to fish" thing.

And I am going to have another post related to this discussion from some stuff I got out of EPIIC and forestry.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

As Promised!!

When I wrote about my favorite panel at the USNI #West10 Conference -

"Pirates: How Do We Defeat Them?"

I said I would put up a video link when it became available.

Here it is!

For All I Beef....

...I am actually very grateful for the good things that come my way.

So I have some stolen swag from #WEST10 and some thank you cards and some totally cool Distinguished Sailors commemorative stamps.

You see I had access to the "Field Notes" some made it back to Boston with me. Part of my job at #West10 was to chase Sailors up and down the exhibit hall floor and make sure they received the coolest handout at #WEST10. It wasn't always easy, but somehow I bore up under the intense pressure, lol. I am only half kidding.....My Marine interfered with my mojo. Baby! Being in the Rotation means learning to share.

Anyway, some happened to fall into my suitcase. I am the tormented product of a mother who wouldn't take a sugar packet from a restaurant and a father who defined the Navy word "cumshaw". So I stole some - but I feel bad.

So I will be sending out thank you cards to some of the many people who make my blogging life what it is and sharing my loot.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So...Have You Ever Been To Branson?

Yeah, me neither....but I'd have to think about it. 'Cause you know there is no bigger draw for me than a bunch of Sailors.

The crew of the USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) will hold their 2010 reunion from the 18th to the 21st of March, in Branson, MO.

If you are interested, you have to hurry because the registration deadline is March 1st.

Does the name USS Franklin sound familiar? It should.

All the details are at Chaotic Synaptic Activity.

But if you want to read more -
Tom of NavyCS posted here.

Steeljaw Scribe wrote at his place and crossposted at USNI Blog

From EagleSpeak - "The Ship That Wouldn't Die"

Isn't She Beautiful?

Beautiful pic from US Navy & video courtesy "Openmikescene"s YouTube channel
100218-N-2319A-029 BOSTON, Mass. (Feb. 18, 2010) USS Constitution is towed from her mooring at Boston National Historical Park and turned around in Boston Harbor during a major three-year restoration. Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world and America's Ship of State. (U.S. Navy photo by Aviation Boatswains Mate Airman Mark Alexander/Released)

A New (to me) Milblogger

Rajiv Srinivasan is an Army milblogger deployed in Afghanistan.

Actually at this moment he is in Boston on R&R, but he is headed back soon to finish a tour he started in July.

He is also on Twitter.

See? It's not all Navy here, lol!

EPIIC Highlight Video

This is a great vid featuring the amazing Sarah Cheyes during her EPIIC appearance. The vid is from Tufts Daily & goes with their write-up. This was from Friday night's panel “Buzkashi: Afghanistan’s Recurring Great Game,” (my write-up, which pales in comparison is here)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some TroubleMaker Showed Up at Pundit Review Radio

Alternate title - "Maggie Begs CDR Lippold, USN (ret) To Get In The Race!!"

Last night Kevin on Pundit Review Radio had Matt Lewis on. Matt writes at Politics Daily.

Follow this link to Kevin's write up & listen to audio. I come in just after the seven minute mark to make my case.

I explained to Matt & Kevin that I was backing CDR Lippold with my heart & soul. But let's be honest - I'll have to support him with the blog since my heart is a tiny, blackened shriveled little thing.

I Am Cut To The Quick!

I was on IM with my sister Jennifer detailing a serious infraction by one of the Rotation -

I typed "Your BFF is dead to me!"

.... and she says "Let's skip the Erica Kane moment of the day, shall we?"

When I explained his side of the story she followed up with - "Sounds reasonable. You on the other hand, never do."

For the rest of the Navy Coterie & the Rotation (two separate, but sometimes intertwined groups) - my birthday is March 20th....not February 20th!

More Miracle on Ice

Because I NEVER get tired of this stuff -

30 Years Ago Today

Townie Jack O'Callahan & some friends like Mike Eruzione (of Santarpio's fame) & Davie Silk & Jim Craig brought you a Miracle on Ice.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cold Clam Chowder?

I loathe chowder and the guys at "30 Days Through Afghanistan" actually made it seem even more unappetizing, lol. I almost gagged watching Tech SGT Ken Raimondi, USAF choke down the chowder because the Canadian rations don't come with a heating element.

Follow this link and watch "Day 13" where they talk to the Canadians about their food. On the one hand they were having a little cookout with steak and baked potatoes.....then....IMP demo.....

Fan them on Facebook.

Follow them on Twitter.

MRE vs. IMP either way.....LOL

The Most Surprising Thing About EPIIC

No Twitter feed.

Given the average age of the an EPIIC participant being under 30, I was shocked to see how few Tweets there were.

Two other participants put updates out, three between the two of them using the word "EPIIC".

Then there were a few updates from @TuftsAdmissions and one for the campus newspaper.


Also, it is shocking that so many people can't spell the word "epic" and got caught in my feed.

Did I Take This Too Seriously?

Yesterday's panel "Governance in Transition: Pakistan and Bangladesh" discussed - among other topics - education in Pakistan. There was a presentation of facts on enrollment; spending; literacy and all the factors that one usually uses to measure performance. But Dr. Perez Hoodbhoy wanted to go deeper than these statistics. He wants to steer you away from just throwing money at this problem.

After all, that's our first response, isn't it? For as long as I can remember, anyone discussing education wants more money. I have never subscribed to this theory because I know that money isn't the answer. My personal experience in Catholic schools showed my over and over that more can be done with discipline and dedication on the part of teachers. this is not to say there aren't dedicated public school teachers. I'm sure there are, but I attended Catholic schools, so that's my frame of reference.

Dr. Hoodbhoy wanted to highlight what money can't fix. He talked about teacher literacy rates. He talked about schools whose budgets have to accommodate bribing local officials. He talked about children who must work to help their families survive.

Then he showed us a reading primer.

"A" is for "Allah"
"B" is for the Urdu word for gun - complete with picture.

And the the letter "T" for "takrao" the urdu word for "collision".

My heart skipped a beat and my eyes stung. The illustration was a crude cartoon of planes crashing into the World trade Centers on 9/11.

What good would all the money in the world do?

Did I take it too seriously? Because around me there was shocked laughter. I felt completely all alone and isolated? Was I the only person in the room who felt that like a physical blow? The bulk of the audience were young people under 25. They were students, but well educated students. Laughter?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Night

So today was long and interesting and I was going to blog for a while, but I am too tired.

How long was I on this computer (in the business office of the Medford Hyatt) last night? I guess it was a while because as I walked through the lobby tonight the desk clerk joked "On the way to your computer?"

I've gone through my mail and found something absolutely awesome!

TSO proposed to Caro (one of my two favorite USO girls) on "This Ain't Hell". They found each other in a Milblog....they first met at the Milblog track of BWE '09 in it's only appropriate really.

Go read the whole awesome story here.

With that, I am headed up to my room. I have chocolate ice cream waiting for me.

How About This?

How about we focus on one the many, many positive aspects of an extraordinary life well lived? You know, instead of the made up tempest in a teapot that the media would like you to focus on?

Today a true American hero and patriot has passed onto Fiddler's Green as John likes to say.

Instead of talking about a misquote pulled out of context - let's read the citation for then LtCol Alexander Haig's Distinguished Service Cross. The distinguished Service Cross is the US Army's second highest medal for valor. It was awarded by GEN William Westmoreland for Haig's actions during the battle of Ap Gu in March 1967.

From Home of Heroes -

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (0-50790), Lieutenant Colonel (Armor), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with while serving with Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Lieutenant Colonel Haig distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 31 March and 1 April 1967 while serving as battalion commander during an attack by a numerically superior Viet Cong force near Ap Gu. When two of his companies were engaged by a large hostile force, Colonel Haig landed amid a hail of fire, personally took charge of the units, called for artillery and air fire support, and succeeded in soundly defeating the insurgent force. Before dawn the nest day, when a single mortar round fell near the perimeter, Colonel Haig recognized it as the registering round prior to a massive attack and immediately alerted his entire unit. Within five minutes a barrage of 400 rounds was fired by the Viet Cong, but it was ineffective because of the warning and preparations by Colonel Haig. As the barrage subsided, a force three times larger than his began a series of human wave assaults on the camp. Heedless of the danger to himself, Colonel Haig repeatedly braved intense hostile fire to survey the battlefield. His personal courage and determination, and his skillful employment of every defense and support tactic possible, inspired his men to fight with previously unimagined power. Although his force was outnumbered three to one, Colonel Haig succeeded in inflicting 592 casualties on the Viet Cong. Lieutenant Colonel Haig's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Headquarters, US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 2318 (May 22, 1967)

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Head Is Swimming!

So much to take in with tonight's panel on Afghanistan.

Tuft's EPIIC Symposium Program - "South Asia -Conflict, Culture, Complexity and Change"

Tonight - "Buzkashi: Afghanistan’s Recurring Great Game"

Sarah Chayes Former Special Advisor to General Stanley McChrystal, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan; Founder, Arghand Cooperative, Afghanistan

I found Ms. Chayes presentation to be utterly fascinating. Her insights from her many years in Afghanistan really gave me pause. Many people today and in other venues have hammered away on Afghanistan's utterly crushing poverty. Ms. Chayes pointed out that while there is no oil in Afghanistan...there is a wealth of other natural treasures. Natural resources include coal, iron ore, copper ore, and gemstones as well as natural gas fields. And the geographic location is a uniquely suited to a powerful nation....the gateway between India, Iran and China. Ms. Chayes was the first and most lengthy speaker and she also answered the most questions in the Q&A session.

Matthew Hoh Former Senior Civilian Representative, US Department of State, Zabul Province, Afghanistan


Said Jawad Afghanistan Ambassador to the United States of America

A very interesting speaker on a complex topic. I will have more to say on him. I was most closely aligned with his viewpoint - there's plenty of blame to go need to heap it all in one place (us) and lets not give up.

Sulaiman Layeq Founding Member, People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan

This guy wasn't there.

David Mansfield Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Independent Consultant, for a range of organizations, including the UK Government and the World Bank, on illicit drugs in Afghanistan

Hilarious!!!!! Loved him.

Dipali Mukhopadhyay Author, “Warlords as Bureaucrats: The Afghan Experience”; Jennings Randolph Dissertation Scholar, U.S. Institute of Peace

Interesting presentation on warlords. I would liked to have seen much more of it.

Noor ul-Haq Olomi Chair, Armed Services Committee, Lower House of the Afghan National Assembly; Leader, United National Party of Afghanistan


Michael Semple, Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Harvard Kennedy School; former Deputy to the European Union Special Representative for Afghanistan

Concur with his remarks that we should fight "defeatist attitudes" and that we need to remember why we (the international community) are there.
As always with these panels, I would have been happy to listen to much more of what everyone had to say. Four hours flew by in the blink of an eye.

There was also a photo essay on Afghanistan focusing on heroin addiction and the impact on Afghanis by Nichole Sobecki. The title was "Afghanistan's Tipping Point". When you click on the link, go to the index for this particular group of 15 pictures. I liked it, but would have appreciated more narration.

Happy 1st Friday in Lent!

So the afternoon panel wraps up and I have two hours before the next one.

My favorite panelist was Dana Freyer of the Global Partnership for Afghanistan. I was completely fascinated.


You know at some point I have to go to Beachmont Roast Beef for my favorite roast beef plate with fries and cole slaw.

Tonight? Tomorrow night? I decide tonight. I drive along route 16 in heavy rush hour traffic. I get there, place and pay for my order. I go out to the car to get my cell phone and it pops into my head.....

Today is the first Friday in Lent.

Oh well, the fries were good. and there's a fridge in the room.

Roast beef for breakfast!!

Two Things I Need To Check Out.....

.....from Thursday night's EPIIC panel.

The Idea Of India Project


Bengal Oral History

EPIIC Friday Sked

Yeah, I promised blogging at night.....clearly I lied.

I loved Thursday evening's program (details here). But I didn't get out until nearly 10:30. Then I grabbed up Tom from work and gave him a ride home. Now the house is full of kids playing cards (three of my four boys are here). I have to get to bed.

I saw the West Point cadets.....where are the Annapolis midshipmen? Do they know to look for me?

I have to be up early to run errands (REMEMBER to grab Nic's laptop!!!) and get to Cabot Hall for the first panel of Friday. No links in this for now. I will try to get to that later.

So, instead here is the EPIIC Friday schedule.

• South Asia’s Troubled Waters: Deluge and Disappearance, 11:00am

Junaid Ahmad World Bank Sector Manager for Social Development, South Asia Region

Sanjoy Hazarika Managing Trustee, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, India

Shafiqul Islam Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University

Adil Najam Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University; Co-Coordinator, South Asia 2060 Project
• Development, Poverty and Inequality: The Challenges Ahead, 2:00pm

Junaid Ahmad World Bank Sector Manager for Social Development, South Asia Region

David Dapice Associate Professor of Economics, Tufts University; Faculty Associate, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Kennedy School, Harvard University

Dana Freyer Chair and Founder, Global Partnership for Afghanistan

Hossain Zillur Rahman Founder, Power and Participation Research Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Former Minister of Commerce and Education, Caretaker Government of Bangladesh

Rafia Zakaria Director, Amnesty International USA; Director, Muslim Women’s Legal Defense Fund for the Muslim Alliance of Indiana/The Julian Center Shelter
Student presentations
Jennifer Dann-Fenwick (A’12) and Anika Huq (A’12) on “Comparing Primary Schools in Bangladesh: A Story of Inequalities and Diverging Attitudes” EPIIC Student, 2009-10 “South Asia: Conflict, Culture, Complexity and Change” Colloquium; he conducted this research as part of his course work over winter intersession
Anna Gilmer (A’12) and Mark Rafferty (A’13) on “NGOs and Community Development in Bangladesh” EPIIC Students, 2009-10 “South Asia: Conflict, Culture, Complexity and Change” Colloquium; they conducted this research in Bangladesh as part of their course work over winter intersession
• Buzkashi: Afghanistan’s Recurring Great Game, 7:00pm

Sarah Chayes Former Special Advisor to General Stanley McChrystal, Commander of the International SAssistance Force in Afghanistan; Founder, Arghand Cooperative, Afghanistan

Matthew Hoh Former Senior Civilian Representative, US Department of State, Zabul Province, Afghanist

Said Jawad Afghanistan Ambassador to the United States of America

Sulaiman Layeq Founding Member, People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan

David Mansfield Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Independent Consultant, for a range of organizations, including the UK Government and the World Bank, on illicit drugs in Afghanistan

Dipali Mukhopadhyay Author, “Warlords as Bureaucrats: The Afghan Experience”; Jennings Randolph Dissertation Scholar, U.S. Institute of Peace

Noor ul-Haq Olomi Chair, Armed Services Committee, Lower House of the Afghan National Assembly; Leader, United National Party of Afghanistan
Student Presentation
Julia Evans (A’13), Mara James (A’10), Iman Jawad (A’11), Lauren Milord (A’12), Katherine Monson (A’13), Emily Pantalone (A’12), Benjamin Perlstein (A’13) Patrick Schmidt (A’13) on “Comparing Soviet and American Strategies in Afghanistan”
EPIIC Students, 2009-10 “South Asia: Conflict, Culture, Complexity and Change” Colloquium; they conducted this research at the National Security Archive as part of their course work over winter intersession

Thursday, February 18, 2010

EPIIC Starts Tonight

So I'm pretty excited. I didn't get to go last year, I was too ill. I was bummed, I am a big fan.

You can read about Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) here.

The 2010 Symposium is titled -

South Asia: Conflict, Culture, Complexity and Change

Tonight begins with -

Burden of Memory, Quest for Identity, 7:00pm

Ayesha Jalal
Mary Richardson Professor of History and Director of the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University; Author, Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia

Kris Manjapra
Assistant Professor of History and Fellow of the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University; Author, M. N. Roy: Marxism and Colonial Cosmopolitanism

Asim Rafiqui
Photographer; Recipient, 2009 Aftermath Grant for “The Idea of India”

Rajini Srikanth
Associate Professor of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston; Author, The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America

Rafia Zakaria
Director, Amnesty International USA; Director, Muslim Women’s Legal Defense Fund for the Muslim Alliance of Indiana/The Julian Center Shelter
Student Presentations Elizabeth Herman (A’10) on “9/11 in South Asian Textbooks” EPIIC Student, 2007-08 “Global Poverty and Inequality” Colloquium
There will be panels all weekend. I will be blogging at night and twittering during the day. If you are in the neighborhood, you should try to catch one or more panels.

It's definitely outside my comfort zone politically and that's saying a lot for being in Boston. They've made my crazy, but they have never bored me. I am without a doubt the most conservative person in the room at all times, lol.
I'l be tweeting from my cell phone, so you have to DM me if you want me. I can only see direct messages on the cell phone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Spoke Too Soon

Off To Get My Forehead Dirty

Jen found a Church in New York for Ash Wednesday. They had no heat. How happy was Jen! LOL

Seriously, she said is was very close to being at St. Francis, no touchy-feely stuff.

Lent brings Stations of the Cross. My favorite Catholic ritual. Mentally I am in a much better place than last year.

Someone Else Does My Homework

This is from Greyhawk. It's long, it's complicated. But you need to read it to understand why it's so dangerous to get all your news from the mainstream media. They took a horrifying story of child abuse and turned it into something political.

Child Abuse: Because of Bush!
By Greyhawk

or "how America's news is made".

Chapter one: the locals

Our story begins with the sort of tragic child abuse story that appears in local papers all too often. This one was from the Nisqually Valley (Washington) News - a report of an arrest made on January 31.

Man suspected of beating 4-year-old
By Megan Hansen

A Yelm man was arrested Sunday [January 31] for allegedly beating and torturing his daughter. Police said they found the child covered with bruises.

Officers were dispatched around 2 a.m. to Umptanum Road behind Safeway for a report of a disturbance.

Joshua R. Tabor, 27, was allegedly walking up and down the street with a helmet, saying he was going to bust windows, said Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil.

He appeared to be intoxicated.

When police arrived they discovered Tabor's 4-year-old daughter had locked herself in a bathroom.

Tabor's girlfriend allegedly told police that Tabor has an anger problem and beats his daughter, Stancil said.

The child was interviewed and photographs were taken of the bruises that covered her body.

During the investigation it was also discovered Tabor may have held the girl's head, backward, in a sink of water because she wouldn't say her ABCs, Stancil said.

The Seattle-Tacoma News Tribune added additional details, including that the suspect was "a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier."

Anger over alphabet ends in arrest
Charged: Man accused of dunking 4-year-old

According to court records:

Tabor's girlfriend told Yelm police that Tabor beats his 4-year-old daughter and that the child's back was covered in bruises. The girlfriend reported that the 4-year-old had locked herself in a closet because she was afraid of her father.

The girlfriend also reported that when the child wets herself, Tabor "makes her sit in the urine-soaked clothes" until he gives her permission to change.
Tabor spoke to a Yelm police officer and said that he and his girlfriend had "held her down on the counter and submerged her head into the water three or four times until the water came around her forehead and jawline." He said that she was face-up when her head was in the water. He added that they gave this punishment for the 4-year-old "refusing to say her letters."

Tabor was released Monday from the Thurston County Jail after posting $10,000 bail. He is restricted to base at Lewis-McChord as a condition of his release.

The "dunking" was an important point because - as the Nisqually Valley News had reported - "Tabor was arrested for third-degree assault of a child, but police are requesting charges be increased to second-degree assault of a child because of the alleged water incidents." And "they are also asking the prosecutor to charge Tabor's girlfriend, who he said helped hold the girl down in the water." And according to the News Tribune: The Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed a charge of second-degree assault of a child against Joshua Ryan Tabor, 27, on Tuesday.

As to why he chose dunking her in the sink "until the water came around her forehead and jawline" - "Tabor allegedly admitted to police that he did it because he knew she was terrified of water."

And there you have it. Tabor's arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 16. Until then he is confined to post. It's a tragic story, and it happens all too often. As a parent, it's horrifying and unforgivable and a reminder that ability to have children and ability to raise children are two different things - and that some thankfully small percentage of people just barely qualify as "people". There are some in your neighborhood and mine. That's one of the reasons when it happens in your neighborhood, it isn't news in mine.

Chapter two: Tabloid data (in which our story sets out for Britain to seek it's fortune)

Somehow the British tabloid Daily Mail heard the child abuse story, and one week after the arrest they found a way to make news from Nisqually Valley an international sensation: add "waterboarding" and CIA" to the mix.

U.S. soldier 'waterboarded his own daughter, 4, because she couldn't recite alphabet'

A soldier waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because she was unable to recite her alphabet.

Joshua Tabor admitted to police he had used the CIA torture technique because he was so angry.

"The practice of waterboarding was used by the CIA to break Al Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay," the Daily Mail helpfully adds. "Detainees had water poured over their face until they feared they would drown. President Barack Obama has since outlawed the practice."

But they also include a description of what allegedly did to his daughter. The story even includes a photo captioned "Human rights activists demonstrate waterboarding in front of the Justice Department. A soldier father stands accused of waterboarding his daughter because she couldn't recite the alphabet" - even though the photo itself is proof that what Tabor is accused of isn't waterboarding.

But that's what tabloids do. Here's the front page of the Daily Mail's web site, here's a list of libel suits that have been filed against them in the recent past - that has no bearing on this particular story, just an indication of how they do business. This is no secret - "Brangelina's Secret UFO Sex Diet" sells - especially with added Beckham quotes. "Man beats kid near Seattle" doesn't draw the average housewife's attention away from the Snickers bars in the checkout lanes - unless he used secret CIA waterboarding techniques.

Fortunately, no one's really that gullible. (/kidding)

Chapter 3: Back in the USA (In which our week-old story makes it's way back across the Atlantic to it's home country, reborn.)

"Money see, monkey do. And the chimp in chief made it a household word," explains the American web site Political Carnival in their endorsement of the Daily Mail story. Fortunately no one reads... wait - "Joshua Tabor admitted to police that he used a CIA torture technique on his 4-year-old daughter because he was angry she couldn't recite the alphabet. (h/t The Political Carnival)" reports Alan Colmes (fomerly of Fox News). So now we have a man admitting he used a CIA technique? Astoundingly, Colmes uses the Daily Mail photo, too - but doesn't quote the portion of the story that reveals this isn't what the father is accused of doing.

The Daily Beast web site links the Daily Mail story too, and adds another twist: "He chose waterboarding--the CIA torture technique that simulates drowning and has been banned by the Obama administration--because he knew the girl was terrified of water."

AOL News Filter ("With so many news aggregators out there, who can keep up? AOL News filters the filters to steer you to the headlines that really matter" reads their banner) announces "The Daily Beast picks up a story from Britain's Daily Mail, reporting on a U.S. soldier who allegedly waterboarded his 4-year-old daughter." The AOL roundup includes several stories - but the overall headline is "The Filter: Soldier Accused of Waterboarding Daughter".

One of the people who writes at The Atlantic using the name Andrew Sullivan writes "A US Soldier Waterboards His Own Child." He (I believe all the "Andrew Sullivans" are he) calls the Daily Mail a "populist paper" (the original Andrew Sullivan is British - so he should know) but is mostly concerned that Marc Thiessen might claim "she wasn't really "waterboarded" as the professionals do it." I have no idea who Mark Theissen is, but if he does make that claim it's because it's true, and apparently at least one of the "Andrew Sullivans" knows this. (Does his willingness to acknowledge up front that he's wrong somehow increase the truthiness of what he writes?)

But more hilariously, "Andrew Sullivan" further notes that "No US paper has yet to report the story. Why am I not surprised?" Except that US papers broke the story a week ago - a British paper twisted it into a form suitable for international news of the tabloid variety, and not only are lefty bloggers and web sites falling for it, but the New York Daily News, Fox News, and ABC all have the "waterboarding" headlines now, too. (ABC News adds that the suspect served in Iraq!!!!)

With at least three "Andrew Sullivans" you'd think at least one of them could have checked that.
But there you have it - that's how "news" is made in America today.
And if you ever doubted that leftists are convinced that American soldiers are "monkeys" who would torture their own children because of Bush, now you know a little more about that, too.
Oh, and free advice to any potential lawyer in this case: ignore the people quoted above, don't try to blame Bush.
Story tip: Miss Ladybug.

(Instant update: Fox has re-written their story to eliminate the false "waterboarding" claim. You can see their original headline here)
Villainous Company
Confederate Yankee
And update: this is Mark Thiessen. Now I know.
Thank you to Greyhawk for doing all the legwork and pulling this together. So now you and I know the real deal on this sad, sad story.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Navy IAs 12FEB 2010

Navy IAs "Boots on Ground" 12 FEB 2010

Active 4,898

Reserve 5,899

Total 10,797.

Keep them & their families in your thoughts. And fan them on Facebook.


Something For You Animal Lovers

Yeah...that's something you don't see here much, huh? I am animal neutral. I don't mind them. I don't hate them. They just don't cause any blip on my radar.

But I know I am in the minority.

However, even I am drawn to this story.

From my fav Beergirl - Maryann

Rufus the Dog; Hero of Bravo 2-121

Go read it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The New Siskel & Ebert?

Troy of Bouhammer (pronounced Boo-Ham-Ah) and Alex of Army of Dude (a guy who'll never steal my seat again), have written reviews for movie "The Hurt Locker".

This movie is getting some serious attention which I find kind of comical. It's just so ordinary and sticks to the "formula" that I can't believe it stayed on anyone's radar. But it didn't have an overt political message and it was a war movie directed by a woman.

Anyway, snippets of their reviews made Wikipedia in the paragraph titled "Response from Veterans" . Color me impressed.

I'll see you two in the balcony?

Actual review from Alex is here - and from Troy is here.

My take on the movie - it was ok and I didn't pay for it. So I guess that's a thumbs up. YMMV

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's Official!

I have the best pirate guy ever!

I love how all the facets of the pirate discussion come together. Panels at conferences, posts on blogs, articles in the mainstream media, interviews with experts in the field, authors of books....


Midrats is an hour long blog talk radio program hosted by Eagle1, CDR Salamander and Galrahn of Information Dissemination. Their focus is the Naval blogosphere, so of course piracy would come up. Of their first eight shows, this is the second about piracy.

Today's episode "The Response to Piracy" If you missed today's broadcast, don't worry there is always the podcast.

The guest during the first half hour was Daniel Sekulich. Daniel had many great points, but for me, the important one was to dispel the "Robin Hood" myth. I am the first to concede that the problem of Somalia was left to fester through several administrations. Other countries violated Somali territorial waters by overfishing and illegal dumping. Certainly the international community should have stepped up and handled this very serious situation long before the pirate problem rubbed our noses in it.

But that time to act proactively has passed. Now we are faced with a serious threat to international shipping; to the lives and well being of mariners; and to facilitating international aid work.

What do we do? First you have to face the fact that no matter how dreadful it is to live in the desperate and lawless country of Somalia, it does not excuse the actions of Somali pirates. We can't let this stuff slide just because they've been dealt a bad hand.

Should we be working on this in the "Diplozone" as my most infuriating Democrat demands? Of course! Does it mean that the US Navy and private security firms should stand down as our State Department; the UN & the international community assist in returning Somalia as they return to a fully functional state? Hell no.

Daniel responded to a question by Eagle1 on paying ransoms by saying the up the ante and should not be paid. Although he did say he understood the motivations of the shipping companies.

CDR Salamander mentioned the USNI #WEST10 conference panel and labelled me as rowdy! What?

Mr. Sekulich also reminded us that this problem has allowed al-Qaeda to gain a foothold in the area. If we don't pay attention to this problem it will only increase.

The second half hour was Princess Crabby's own Pirate Guy. Doesn't everyone have a Pirate Guy? No? Really? Well they should.

So Kevin comes on with his unique perspective as the owner of a firm that furnishes private security for US flagged vessels traveling in dangerous waters.

We had Claude Berube, USNA professor; various bloggers and commenters; active duty, veteran and civilian in the chat room along with some lurkers.....quite lively!

Kevin responded to RADM McKnight's view on water cannons, etc. as outlined by CDR Salamander's recounting of the USNI #WEST10 panel discussion. He suggested we use what we see on "Whale Wars" to contrast the two approaches. The important quote for me was regarding non-lethal vs. potentially lethal weapons -

"You talk about a distance of at best, maybe, 100 meters, at these cannons. An RPG has a max range at 927, has a max effective range.... at 300 meters, you're going to be dinging with that thing all day. Now you're talking about the issue about, you're either going to have to put out a fire or your vessel is going to be damaged to the point where it's potentially slowing the pace and it's ... or they could have already impregnated the fire hose system that's used - that's around it. It's a good aspect in the scope of security, but if that's the end result, I mean in essence you've conceded "hey, we're going to stop at level 3 or 4 in the use of force and if it gets to that level 5, you know we're just going to stop and in essence concede the vessel". And really all you've done at this point is upset the pirates as much as any armed security detail would however, the armed security aspect has the ability to stop it. And we've seen it recently with the Mearsk Alabama round two where the security team was able to fire rounds and deter the attack. And we saw it with the Spanish fishing trawler, where the armed response has ceased those attacks."

Eagle1 asked about the controversy of having armed forces it vigilantism? Kevin explained that they are there to "maintain that innocent passage" and reminded the audience that an American flagged vessel is an extension of America and thus protected by United States law. Having the ability to protect yourself from the known threat is our right.

The Biscaglia was discussed from several angles.

Kevin also pointed out that here in the United States, private entities - banks - hire private security to protect their interests.

In the chatroom, the blood thirsty Ken Adams mentioned Q Ships. I mentioned Letters of Marque and when I went looking for a link for said letters.....guess what I found? The top Google return was a lingerie boutique....and yes, I bookmarked it!

Convoys were discussed....warts and all.

It was very interesting and it doesn't end here folks.

Go listen to the podcast.

Sunday Musings

I am enjoying a nice low key Sunday. I am in work, on call because both owners are out of town. Otherwise I think I might have snuck off to Foxwoods. It would be lovely to sit in their pool area on a sunny day.

But I made the best of it! I used my new Lavender & Calendula Salt Scrub .... is it wise to mention it was also an anonymous gift that I receieved last weekend? Well, regardless, it was just decadent and I love the smell and feel of it. Nevermind that I feel quite virtuous because I didn't spend over a hundred dollars on a spa body polish to feel this way.

Then I do what all New Englanders do on sunny February Sundays.....I went to the car wash! LOL, and I vacuumed the car earlier in the week. Again, good girl points.....

Now I am in work, enjoying my flowers, listening to Dick Cheney on "This Week".

Midrats is coming up in an hour. This week - Galrahn, Phibian Salamander and Eagle1 are discussing "The Response to Piracy" with Daniel Sekulich and my Pirate Guy, Kevin Doherty of Nexus Consulting Group of Alexandria . Join us in the chat room.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Secret Admirer???

Guess I'm glad I came into work today.....

Pretty much on target. Whoever the sender is, he reads me. Flowers - good. Chocolates - good. Stuffed animal....ehh not so much. I'm not that girl.

And as far as the flowers go, they are perfect! Iris is one of my favorite flowers, second only to lilac and just ahead of hyacinth. The colors are beautiful. And they smell fabulous. I am big on scent and these are just lovely.

I called Jen and read the card -

"Just another secret admirer of Boston Maggie.

Have a wonderful day.

The CNO knows Maggie"

Jen laughed and said...."Well, they didn't come from me! Keep dialing, it wasn't this number!"

Student, Swimmer Wins Biggest Battle Yet

So I've mentioned my friend Kathy whose cancer is more rare than mine. She sees the world's top specialist for her cancer....who is right here in Boston. Kathy forwarded me this story because it features she doctor. But it's a great story anyway, so I thought I'd throw it out here.

Student, Swimmer wins Biggest Battle Yet

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thanks To The Bunny

Just read this post over at the USNI

What Can The Vietnam POWs Teach Today’s Combat Veterans?

The Bunny does a great job with a painful subject and in the end you feel hopeful and inspired.

I wrote about this day in 1973 three years ago. It was the first time I saw someone cry because they were happy.

I am currently reading "In Love and War" by Jim & Sybil Stockdale. It's one of the books I "acquired" during my USNI heist....sshhhh!

I highly recommend it. It's gut wrenching. I have just gotten to the part where Sybil receives her first communication from months after he was shot down in September of 1965. She has two letters. I had to put the book down after reading the first letter last night. Something made the words all blurry. I'll be back to it shortly. I have always been an admirer of ADM Stockdale's, but now I am equally in awe of his wife Sybil.

So go get this book - did I mention it's a Naval Institute Press book?

And go read the post that got me on this subject.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love This Story!

You know down there in the Baltimore/DC/Annapolis area they don't know what to do with all the global warming that fell since Saturday.

So it was Midshipmen to the rescue!

Good on MIDNs King, Jeter & Withington!

San Diego Loot

Here is the updated pic with my Field Notes!!!
***Update - Great! Now I am in trouble! I forgot to put my field notes in the pic. I will have Rachael take a new pic tomorrow. Stop giving me that "I'm so disappointed in you, Maggie" look, Conrad!****Everything is pretty recognizable, even if you can't tell specifically what the coins represent....but you are wondering about the jar, aren't you?

It's honey! BMC Dotson is a Sailor of many talents.....including bee keeping. How awesome is that? You are so jealous.....because it's delicious. We have had it in tea and on scones.

And the honey makes their logo all the better, huh?

Like It Wasn't Easy Enough To Distract Me!

Made it onto my Blogger's Roundtable call by the skin of my teeth.....thinking about what I want to ask. Although half the time I end up asking about something that comes up in the call.

I was still dressing and trying to get out the door while we waited for RADM Handley to come on the line to talk about the increased mission of Navy Seabees in Afghanistan.

As you know.....I have an interest in the Seabees...seeing as I have my own NMCB now.

There was a brief opening statement and then we were off with questions - Jim Dolbow, Richard Lowry, Andrew Lubin, Chuck Simmins, Dale A. Kissinger and some others I'll name later (sorry, I didn't know everyone on the call).

Disclaimer - Chuck's question was wayyyyy better and brought up this whole interesting line of thought. But I'll post on that later when I have the transcript. For now, this is just the nonsense post where I tell you I got discombobulated.

I start my question about reservist Seabees when RADM Handley broke in to say he knew I had been to Port Hueneme last week!!!! What? All I could do was laugh.

PETTY OFFICER SELBY: Thank you, sir. And Maggie, you are next.
Q Morning, Admiral. My question has to do with Reservists. The forces that you're talking about right now that are about to leave -- (word inaudible) -- are they active, or are they Reservists?
ADM. HANDLEY: Maggie, that's a very good question. And we havea balance, as I mentioned early on, with active and Reserves. And I think you were able to visit with NMCB 21 recently, were you not?
Q (Laughs.) Yes, sir, I was.
ADM. HANDLEY: Well, we do a little research. I saw on your blog that, and you had some great comments from the CNO. But right now we have NMCB 22 in country today. And that is a active battalion. We are transitioning to -- excuse me; that's a Reserve battalion. We are transitioning to having the -- essentially two Reservecomponent battalions that will be in Afghanistan.

I'm not sure how I feel about people knowing who I am....

So there will be another post later with the serious and interesting parts of RADM Handley's call.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Am So Blue

A while ago a friend had a problem.

I tried to help.

It looked like my efforts would pay off.

I was wrong.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

February 9, 1775

On this day in 1775 - The English Parliament declares Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion.

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from 1776 the Musical -
"Fat George has declared us in rebellion! Why in bloody hell can't they?"

Boston 1775 is a great blog. Love it.

Monday, February 08, 2010

There's Linky Love.....

...and then there is the NRO orgy I was part of yesterday.

In the morning I got a Tweet about a link at National Review Online Weekend page. My CDR Lippold post was linked. It was listed under NRO Web Briefing.

Normally the blog gets 250 or so hits per day during the week, a little less on the weekend.

Yesterday? 3,926 visits.

Holy cow!

Today there was still some NRO love coming, the sitemeter lists 1,311 visits for today so far.

There were four items listed in the "Web Briefing" on the front page yesterday.....Huffington Post......Washington Post......USNI blog post by Claude Berube "From DADT to DKDC".....and me!

Thanks Greg! I follow Greg on Twitter and he is hilarious.

My Favorite USNI West Conference Panel

Come on! You know without me telling you, doncha?

"Pirates: How Do We Defeat Them?"
Moderator -
Dr. Virginia Lunsford, Professor of History, U.S. Naval Academy
Panelists -
CAPT Chuck Wolf, USN, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group 4
Col David W. Coffman, USMC, Commander, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Pendleton
RADM Terence E. McKnight, USN, Expeditionary Strike Group 2/Commander, Task Force 51/59/151

How awesome was this?

I ran up to conference room 6A 20 minutes early. I wasn't going to be stuck in the back like I was for the Tuesday afternoon panel "Cyber Issues: What Should Be the Priorities?". I was right in the front row - where the nuns always knew to put me.

I tweeted up a storm!
#WEST10 I am at USNI booth 1032 waiting for the 11 am PST panel on pirates "Pirates: How Do We Defeat Them?"
#WEST10 I am in my front row seat for the piracy panel at USNI West Conference w/RADM McNight.
#WEST10 I am in my front row seat for the piracy panel at USNI West Conference w/CAPT Wolf & Col Coffman & Dr Lunsford
#WEST10 USNI Wilkerson set to open piracy panel with administrative notes to shut off cell phones. He doesn't mean me, does he?
#west10 Dr Lunsford of USNA makes opening statement on USNI conf piracy panel
#west10 Dr Lunsford of USNA makes opening statement on USNI conf piracy panel - piracy growing & not going away
#west10 Piracy panel Col Coffman #USMC - solution to pirate problem - kill them. But no Lappetite' in DC for kenetic operations
#WEST10 piracy panel RADM McKnight who started up CTF151 explaining roots of current situation in Gulf of Aden
#WEST10 piracy panel RADM McKnight who started up CTF151 discussing successes of coalition in Gulf of Aden and different motivations
#WEST10 RADM McKnight wraps up with reminder that in GOA re piracy - land belongs to Africom, water belongs to CTF151
#WEST10 Piracy panel CAPT Wolf points out that w/respect...only Navy SEALs have killed pirates...much laughter & applause
#WEST10 RADM McKnight points out if you read US history, we have always been involved with counter-piracy
#WEST10 How awesome is Col Coffman #USMC in this piracy panel?? He rocks!
#WEST2010 Piracy panel ? 'Should we be fighting piracy in GofA?' All say yes.CAPT Wolf dscs our dealing with some elements of Somali gvnmnt
#WEST10 CAPT Wolf on piracy, comparing situation in Gulf of Aden to Straights of Malacca
#WEST2010 Col Coffman #USMC reminds piracy panel that his Marines R not just there 2 kill pirates, but can do more i.e. humanitarian work
#WEST10 All panelists agree process for prosecution of piracy needs to be streamlined
#WEST10 Piracy panel discussing 'National will' and the degrees of which are required.
#WEST10 1st ? is there a published anti piracy policy. No not yet
#WEST10 question on ship owners paying ransoms and business interests as they factor into fighting piracy
#WEST10 Piracy panel takng questions. Some guy wandered in from the street...his ? was why not estab sea lane? Hello? We have one.
#West10 Piracy panel Col Coffman #USMC order comes from power. we are a powerful nation we need to act powerfully
#WEST10 Piracy panel ? from #USCG drawing comparisons with drug interdiction.
#WEST10 Piracy panel ? from floor what is our primary motive - kill pirates or stop pirate activity? Great question
I am told there is audio of the panel, I will try to get my hands on that.

Are you reading USNI blog? Proceedings Magazine? Are you a fan of the USNI page on Facebook? Following their Twitter feed? You should be.

Galrahn has a recap of Day 2, which includes his thoughts on this panel.