Wendall & The Kraken



In 1944, a submarine slid sideways into the Manitowoc River near where it empties into Lake Michigan. As she kissed the water, some 1500 miles to the west, a young man who wanted to be a farmer heard the clarion call of his country, left his home in Ogden, Utah and joined the US Navy. After a detour through Connecticut and New Guinea, he would arrive in Manitowoc and report aboard that new submarine.

Commissioned in September, the USS Kraken (SS-370) would sail down the Mississippi River, through the Panama Canal and on to the Pacific Ocean where Wendall would make all four combat patrols of USS Kraken, and eventually leave the Navy after the war ended. He would return to Ogden and become well involved in farming. Kraken would be decommissioned and placed in reserve until she was needed again.

The United States Submarine Veterans exists “To Perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.”

In 1982, almost 38 years after she touched the waters of Lake Michigan, Kraken was scrapped. Last year, Wendall passed away, after a long and fruitful life.

I just thought that you might like to know their stories…


Atlas Shrugs



In Washington, D.C., the shutdown has paralyzed parts of the government. Meanwhile, business and life goes on for commercial enterprises, including the making and selling of Beer.

But (insert ominous music here) the government is closed and cannot be bothered to regulate the commercial free speech that it has decreed is required in order for the Beer Brewers to label and sell their product.

So… if the government is required to approve speech, is it really free speech?

The Scarlet Island

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Washington State has something that no other State has. Well… other States have them, but not like ours.

We keep our civilly committed sex offenders locked away – even after they’ve served their sentences – on an island in the Puget Sound. The whole thing is arguably unconstitutional, but also touches that point of our society where the overall safety of citizens meets the rights of the accused (and in this case, convicted).

There is a bigger issue here in that there is only so much room on McNeil Island, and there are more Sex Offenders than space.

To be clear here, we aren’t talking about the 19-year-old kid who had sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend. These are – as Washington State classifies them – Level III offenders (because there is no Level IV). They are “likely to re-offend” despite their sentences being served along with whatever efforts were made at rehabilitation. These are the worst of the worst of the worst.

The State of Washington has established LRA’s (Less Restrictive areas) so that Level III Offenders – those who are “likely to re-offend” – can be placed in neighborhoods.

Now, one of those LRA’s in my general area. And at least four Level III offenders are roaming about…

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