Category Archives: News & Notes
I could talk about news and politics, but the reality is that nothing is gonna change, it’s the Holidays. Plus, I am still waiting for the “Distraction” story to hit…
SEGMENT – MY FAVORITE HOLIDAYS (00:00)
For much of my life, I never really got the chance to enjoy the Holidays. When you get a chance to help someone less fortunate, it feels good. When it’s your job, year in and year out, it gets… well… it can’t help but jade you. Even the worst year ever for me I thought I’d found a chance to set things right, but even that left me… well… jaded… It’s why I try to enjoy the Holidays as much as I can. I do stuff, go places, see things and visit people. All the corny stuff that we see in commercials. What I don’t do is spend a lot of money, but I would if I could.
Oh, and I have five programs that I watch every year, starting this week with the greatest Thanksgiving moment in the history of Television…
SEGMENT – CRIMSON TIDE (39:00)
Recent news reports have indicated that the leading US General, with responsibility for nuclear weapons, has made it clear to President Trump that he will “defy to carry out an illegal nuclear strike,” presumably ordered by President Trump.
Now, there’s a couple of things here. First of all, OF COURSE HE WOULD DEFY AN ILLEGAL ORDER! Sorry for yelling.
What isn’t discussed in the article, and as far as I can see what the General did not even hint about, is how come HE (the General) gets to decide if it’s an illegal order or not? Did you get that? I want you to THINK about it for a minute. If a General today can decide what’s legal and not, how come the Generals couldn’t do that, say, six, sixteen or even twenty years ago? Or… could they?
Or is the General answering a question he thinks the reporter is asking but really the reporter is writing a story about an answer he thinks is about something the General never said or meant? Huh?
Back in the early 1990’s there came a Hollywood version of this same scenario, which, naturally, glorified the bucking of the system and emphasized the evils of the system. But it was also Hollywood and made for one of the worst films ever from the standpoint of accuracy and plot. It did, however, have an awesome soundtrack.
So what should you consider when you read about this General who says he would “defy” Trumps “illegal” nuclear strike order? Is it as simple as the President is insane and we shouldn’t obey him? Or is there a bit more at work here?
These things are never easy for me and for my Brothers of the ‘Fin. You try to be stoic about it, but really, the idea of fellow submariners trapped under the waves is something that I certainly have nightmares about.
I don’t want to get ahead of things, and news stories such as the missing Argentinean Submarine, ARA San Juan, can move very quickly. Almost as soon as something is said, it is outdated by new information or is confirmed to be something not related. Given those parameters, and because I have been asked to comment, these are my thoughts. They are grim, but not completely without hope.
(1) They are on the bottom. This actually should be obvious, given that if they could have surfaced, they would have. The question as to where that bottom is and how deep it is as yet have no answers. But the ARA San Juan has sunk.
(2) There were reports of electrical problems. In fact, the reports are what officially prompted the Argentine Navy to order her back to base. There are spurious reports that she had an electrical fire and/or short circuit, but these are unconfirmed and more importantly, not verifiable at all until the submarine is found. Presuming she was submerged when it happened, how would her command know about it if she had not surfaced or contacted them since?
(3) There are reports today (11/21/2017) that she is nearing the end of her seven day air supply. This is a false hope. It is highly unlikely that she was 100% charged when the incident happened. How full her air banks were is obviously unknown, but it was unlikely to be at a full charge, given that she was most likely already travelling submerged due to the high sea state. While she could have snorkeled to recharge batteries and air, how likely is that?
(4) Even if she were at 100%, there are things that can be done to extend the air supply. Again how far they could stretch the air would be a combination of available materials and crew training. Seven days would be the theoretical limit, but it’s possibly to go beyond that time limit.
(5) The ship is powerless. The failure to use any equipment to communicate or make her presence known indicates a complete loss of the ability to operate her electrical equipment. (Stay with me here) If she could make noise, she would. Running her engines or using her active sonar or whatever. In trouble, she would want to attract attention.
(6) The crew is most likely incapacitated. Again, if they were not, they would be banging on the hull, releasing oil or debris, or even attempting an escape. They haven’t done so, which points to an inability to take any action.
(7) There is little support available in the South Atlantic. Unlike the Northern oceans, there is little need to monitor Soviet boats, so there are not a lot of hydrophone or SOSUS arrays in place. There are scientific sound gathering systems, but the time needed to assimilate their data will be too much. It may eventually help in the final search to locate the wreck.
(8) Whatever happened, happened fast. I can postulate several scenarios, from flooding while attempting to snorkel in heavy weather, to shorting in the battery due to flooding, to chlorine gas buildup to loss of propulsion while flooding to an electrical fire (which again, seems unlikely to me as I believe that they would have surfaced) to a hydraulic failure and jammed planes casualty. Anything really, we just don’t have any evidence to really even speculate with accuracy. But it clearly happened fast and it clearly was catastrophic. Anything less, they would have surfaced.
I, of course, have my prayers for the crew and the families, and to be honest, even myself. I can assure you that I have not slept well for the past few nights. I don’t mean to be depressing, certainly I hope for a successful recovery and the safety of the men and woman of ARA San Juan. But I am also a submariner, and I know the risks and the odds.
Hopefully ARA San Juan is the luckiest sub to ever sail the seas.
SEGMENT – J’ACCUSE! (00:00)
In the great war, the use of WMD’s, specifically chemical weapons, emerged as a great threat. The truth is that Militarily, they were essentially useless. But what they really represented was the first application of the MAD theory. The only sure thing about he use of chemical weapons was that if you did not 100% annihilate the enemy, you would be hit right back with them. And in virtually every case, the only people who really suffered were the truly innocent.
Now, the latest WMD weapon in the political arsenal is the “Sexual Misconduct Charge.” It’s the new battlefield gas of both political and social weapons. and the only guarantee in using it, is that it will come back on the first side.
Let me say this… as of this recording, I have no clue if Roy Moore did or did not have inappropriate sexual contact with women – including a 14 year old, which – by definition (even in Alabama) – is inappropriate. If he did it, then let the damnation and consequences rain down upon him. I am no fan of the Judge, in fact, I hold that he is the very embodiment of everything that is wrong about the political hard right in America. But that’s my opinion. And my opinion of a person doesn’t change the rules. The presumption of innocence versus what we call “lashon hara,” literally, the evil tongue. Ask yourself a simple question: if YOU were to be accused of this, do you want your day in Court or in the Media?
He says that he didn’t do it.
You can choose to believe either side, it matters not to me. but you have to be careful of falling into the trap of conflating two separate issues: CAN he run for US senate versus SHOULD he run for US Senate. They are NOT the same question. And with just a few exceptions, virtually none of us live or vote in Alabama.
Despite the proclamations and lengthy explanations, none of us, not you, not me, not Shepherd Smith or even Gloria Allred, actually KNOWS what – if anything – happened.
Corey Feldman’s case went nowhere in Los Angeles, because there is basically no reliable way that would hold up in a Court of Law to show that it happened. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. It means that any Defense Attorney with more than five minutes of training would have no problem at all slicing up the prosecutions case. And for the record, that’s the proper way of things. no prosecution should be a “slam dunk.” And without an admission of guilt, the accused has rights.
Where does that leave us? In a society where the simple act of “J’accuse!” is more damaging than an actual conviction. A society where simply saying that somebody is suspect – of anything – is enough to destroy them in the political, social and media arenas. Rightly or wrongly.
Shouldn’t that make us a little uncomfortable?
SEGMENT – MATHIS’S 100,000 (28:39)
USA Today reported this week that the US Army has decided – I am not making this up – to lift the ban on giving waivers for recruits with mental health issues. Now before you get hyper, we’ve done this before. Also, the Army says, No we’re not…”
Like most things though, the devil is in the details. The most important of which is why make any change at all?
♦ARMY TO LIFT BAN ON RECRUITS WITH SOME MENTAL ISSUES (USA Today November 12, 2017)
SEGMENT – THE MOST AMAZING PICTURE (46:17)
The middle of November was among the darkest of days for the US Navy. Just two days earlier, a massive defeat – one of the worst in US Navy history – had imperiled the tenuous invasion of Guadalcanal. Two Admirals were dead, ships had been lost, and the Sullivan brothers had gone down with their ship. Now, on the afternoon of the 14th of November, into what would come to be called Iron Bottom Sound, sailed two American battleships, the USS Washington and the USS South Dakota, along with five destroyers. They were tasked with stopping the Japanese Navy from destroying Henderson Field and ending the US attempt to hold the island of Guadalcanal. The Naval Battle for Guadalcanal would start at around 2230 that evening..
It was the ultimate winner take all moment. And one ship would stand above all of them…