Attn: Naval Academy Midshipmen And Staff

I understand that being at the USNA is tough duty, what with having to deal with all the wannabe martinet seniors who don't realize that they're about 8 months away from becoming the 2nd most useless thing there is in the Navy -- an unqualified Ensign. (The most useless thing? A Naval Academy midshipman on their 1st Class cruise.)

That being the case, I'm sure there are some of you who like good music. If so, you're in luck -- the world's greatest geek troubadour is coming to Annapolis tonight! If you're 21 or older (or have a fake ID) you need to go see Jonathan Coulton at the Rams Head On Stage at 7 p.m. tonight. To understand why JoCo is the musical hero of geeks everywhere (and let's face it -- if you're at the Academy, you are a geek, whether or not you want to admit it) go to this page and listen to "Code Monkey", "The Future Soon", "Skullcrusher Island", "Re: Your Brains", and "Mandelbrot Set". (The links in the song titles go to YouTube videos a fan put together. "Code Monkey" is clearly the most famous of his songs, but I probably like "Mandelbrot Set" the best.)

So, if you're in Annapolis tonight, it's well worth the $20 to see this show while he's still playing in small venues. Give into your inner geek -- the pay's pretty good. And when you meet JoCo after the show (which you will) make sure to tell him Bubblehead sent you -- and to get his butt to Boise on his next tour!

Congratulations To The Sub Report!

In becoming the best source for submarine news around the 'net, Eric at The Sub Report has earned a devoted following; I check out his page a couple of times a day. As an example of how much interest there is in submarines, check out TSR's Sitemeter, and you'll notice a milestone just got passed.

Eric got his one millionth page view sometime yesterday -- that's quite a feat! Even though his site started recording visitors probably a year or so after mine did, he beat me to 1,000,000 page views with a couple weeks to spare. (I'm still in the lead with unique visits, and will probably be passing the 500,000 visit mark about the same time I pass the 1,000,000 page view plateau sometime next month -- not that blog traffic is a competition or anything; after all, submariners are never competitive, right?)

Congratulations, Eric!

LDS Dating: A Study In Complicatedness

I didn't grow up in the Mormon Church -- I married into it. Since my own kids started dating a few years back (dating doesn't start until the kids turn 16), I've found that there seem to be a lot of expectations in our culture that, had they existed for my group of friends when I was growing up, would have probably made dating just too complicated to consider.

I've found that, when asking someone to a dance, it's expected that simply preparing the invitation will require several hours to plan and put together. Here's a web site that gives LDS daters some ideas of what they can do. For example, my oldest son just asked a girl from our Ward to the school's Homecoming Dance. He got a cooler and some flowers, typed up an invitation that started "Now that the ice has been broken...", laminated the paper and rolled it up, filled the cooler with water, and froze it into a block of ice with the paper and flowers inside. The answer came in the form of a 100 piece puzzle with the answer (basically, "Yes", in this case) on the back. Both were delivered using the time-honored "doorbell ditch" method. (As the "doorbell ditch" driver, I had points taken off for putting the mini-van in "Park" while waiting for my son to run back to the car after ringing the doorbell.)

Here's my question for those of you with dating kids or recent dating experience yourself: Is this just an LDS thing, or are other people doing it? If so, how long has it been going on? Had this requirement started back in the early 80s, would it have been the end of human existence on earth?

JFC In Yoko -- A Study In Black And Brown

USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) arrived in Yokosuka today for a port call; here's a picture, with USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in the background:

It seems like this is a fairly standard picture that Fleet Support in Yokosuka sends out for every submarine that arrives; check out the similarity to this picture of USS Chicago (SSN 721) pulling in there back in June.

There's one difference between the two pictures, though -- check out the vent line by the aft cleat in both places. The hull by the runoff from Chicago's topside vent line is clean; here's a blowup of the same area on the JFC:

So what did JFC put into their seawater systems to make that mess? Was it something that attracted some really, really big birds and gave them diarrhea? Did they cross-connect their sanitary system in some horrible way? Was it a prank? Some disgusting whale mating mistake?Have I just completely forgotten what that connection is supposed to be used for, and it's actually just a horribly mispaced san overboard fitting? You decide... and let us know in the comments. Whoever comes up with the best and/or funniest explanation gets the admiration of their peers.

This Is One Reason Drinking Aboard Ship Is A Bad Idea

Did you know that just being drunk and stupid while onboard the boat, even if you're not on duty, was one of those general Article 134 offenses? A lot of those little rinky-dink General Article offenses seem a little bit silly, but it turns out that there's a reason you might not want drunk people onboard the ship -- even though we've all seen enough guys being hauled down the ladder, or been a little tipsy coming back from liberty ourselves.

Check out this story that purports to tell why the CO of USS Halsey (DDG 97) got relieved for cause earlier this year. Excerpts:
Cmdr. John J. Pinckney Jr. was relieved after a Navy inquiry revealed how he encouraged other officers and sailors – even those on watch duty – to drink during and after the Nov. 2 reception aboard the Halsey for dignitaries in Kagoshima, Japan.
The investigation also indicated that Pinckney changed a report to hide the seriousness of the fire that damaged one of the ship's two main reduction gears, which help drive the propellers.
The Halsey returned to San Diego on Dec. 24 without further incident. But the Navy linked an explosion and fire in the same gear the next month to Pinckney's incomplete account of the first fire...
...Two officers said Pinckney insisted that they drink alcohol even though they told him they were on duty.
“The (command duty officer) and I realized we may be the only sober line officers on the entire ship,” the duty operations officer that day said in a statement to investigators. “I was fed up, and this situation was totally (unsatisfactory).”
Shortly after 10 p.m., alarm bells signaled a fire in a dehumidifying unit of the No. 1 engine room. The duty officers became angry when only about 15 members of the firefighting team responded, several of them too drunk to put on their gear, investigators said.
One officer said he randomly grabbed sober-looking sailors to help out. The blaze was extinguished within minutes, but not before it spread to the main reduction gear.
The duty officers said they had trouble reaching Pinckney, who had retired to his stateroom. Over their objections, he ordered them not to enter the burned area until morning and not to send a report up the chain of command.
While the main problem here was obviously the CO's decision not to inform the chain of command about what really happened, it made me ponder what might have happened some nights on the boat when most of the crew was pretty much unusable. It's probably not something we can fix (unless you tell the crew they can't drink while on liberty anymore unless they have a place in town), but I'm wondering how close to disaster we've come from similar situations. Does anyone have any sea stories they'd like to relate?

Bringing Submarine Life Home From The Boat

No, this isn't a post listing the ways you can make your house seem more like a submarine (or even one listing the reasons why working at McDonald's is better than being a nuke) -- this is a post about how, if you act today, you can buy -- on E-Bay -- a piece of submarine memorabilia that will make your old boat friends curl up in a corner and go all fetal on you.

Here's what's being sold: 12 unrolled TDU cans, complete with lids and bottoms (TDU weights not included):

Bidding ends today, so you'll have to hurry. (Note that although the seller thought the cans are shot out of a boat's torpedo tubes, a commenter already set him straight about concept of the Trash Diposal Unit.)

Now you won't just have to tell your wife and kids about how you used to get your fingers all cut up rolling the cans -- you can show them!

Things to Come

A policy point I would like the administration to adopt is the following:

Break up Saudi Arabia.


It is clear that radical Islamism is being spread around the world by Saudi petrodollars. This needs to stop.

I was pleased therefore to come across the following "map" outlining one possible future for a remade Middle East. Nobody in official circles admits to supporting it, but it's a more rational setup than the semi-random lines drawn by the post-colonial powers we are stuck with now.

The more I look at it, the more I like it:

Click to enlarge.

Hyperbole On The March!

Check out this opening for this story from the Salt Lake Tribune -- there's no judgment being passed in this news story:
Vice President Dick Cheney will speak to a super-secret, conservative policy group in Utah on Friday during his second trip to the state this year.
Cheney will address the fall meeting of the Council for National Policy, a group whose self-described mission is to promote "a free-enterprise system, a strong national defense and support for traditional Western values."
The organization -- made up of few hundred powerful conservative activists -- holds confidential meetings and members are advised not to use the name of the group in communications, according to a New York Times profile of the group.
"The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before [or] after a meeting,'' a list of rules obtained by The Times showed.
[Emphasis mine] Whoa -- a "super-secret" organization! That supposedly doesn't want the list of speakers at their events given out, even after the meetings! Secret combinations, meeting in Utah! Scary stuff...

And imagine what the writer would be calling it if this "super-secret" organization didn't actually have its own web site (complete with transcripts of speeches given at past meetings) -- he probably would have called it a "super-duper-secret" group.

Another Active Duty Submarine Blogger

Please head on over to Blunoz' Random Ramblings and welcome Kevin to the submarine blogging fold! An active duty officer for 13 years, Kevin should have the current submarining perspective covered from an interesting angle. Welcome aboard!

Update 1009 26 Sept: You can read another submariner's blog over at Twelve Fluid Ounces. Matt has a link to the story about the unfortunately-shaped barracks at the Amphib Base on Coronado.

New Dress Uniforms

Navy NewsStand is reporting that a few "lucky" Sailors are going to start wear-testing of the new dress uniforms; here's a picture:

Long-time readers will know that I'm quite curmudgeony when it comes to the new Navy uniform initiative, but I'll admit that I like the concept of the Service Dress Khaki -- and I'm not alone. Unfortunately, in all the pictures of the new uniform, everyone is wearing pisscutters. I'm sorry -- not to be too metro here, but pisscutters do not look good with a jacket. Come to think of it, they really don't look good in any situation. (The only halfway decent thing about them is that you could stick it in your belt and not lose it in situations where you had to carry your cover around.)

As far as the new Service Dress Whites for E-6 and below -- I like that they've made it machine-washable, but the new piping on the cuffs and flap just doesn't look right. It's not bad, it's just not an improvement, and probably detracts from the overall look -- but it's still way better than the damned dress dungarees.

EXCLUSIVE! Photo Of "Britney In Idaho"! Must Credit Bubblehead!

While I was away in Texas, apparently rumors started flying around the Boise area that Britney Spears was hanging out in southwestern Idaho. From the Idaho Statesman:
Rumors ran wild Thursday and Friday that the troubled singer was lurking in the Treasure Valley. Callers to pop radio stations claimed Spears was in town to see a concert by the Young Dubliners at Taco Bell Arena. (You just know Britney loves Irish-rock.) Others thought she’d be at The Big Easy for a show by rapper E-40.
The most common spot Spears was allegedly spotted? Nampa...
...Radio station Kiss 103.3 FM was the first to receive a call from a female listener Thursday claiming that Britney was in Idaho. The calls soon multiplied — at Kiss before spreading to its competitor, Magic 93.1 FM — and continued Friday.
Rumors claimed Spears would be going clubbing at China Blue/Dirty Little Roddy’s Thursday, which had fans breathlessly eyeing every limousine that drove down Main Street.
While Britney's publicists are claiming that the young dancer was not in Boise, my sources say otherwise! The same elite Bubblehead Photoshopping Investigative Team that brought you the picture of the Zamboni in the Boise Burger King Drivethru has undisnonreliable photographic evidence that Ms. Spears had recently visited the most recognizable landmark in Boise:

Take that, mainstream "flea"-dia! A blogger just totally scooped your butts! Boo-yah!

Where Do We Get Such Men?

On the front page of the USA Today I got at my hotel today was a story of such stunning power that I was left teary-eyed and shaken. While the story is focused mostly on the guilt survivors may feel when heroes have sacrificed their lives for them, I was drawn to the word portraits of the lost heroes themselves. An excerpt:

Last September, Petty Officer Michael Monsoor, 25, of Garden Grove, Calif., fell on a grenade that landed on a rooftop in Ramadi, where he and two other Navy SEALs were stationed as part of a sniper team. Monsoor saved the lives of the other two.
"You think about him every day. And everything pretty much revolves around what he did," says a 29-year-old Navy lieutenant with the SEALs, married and the father of one... "You'd like to tell yourself that you'd do what Mikey did. But until you're faced with that situation, you really don't know."
That's the part of the story that really got me; all of us who are or have been in the military know that there are circumstances where we might have to sacrifice ourselves for our buddies, or shipmates, or whatever we call our brothers in arms. Most of us never have to actually face that choice, of course; the heroes in this story did, and in the most sacred tradition of the U.S. military, met their fates with dignity and honor.

Submariners nowadays don't normally have to make those choices, but back in WWII, they did. The submariner who most closely fits the profile of the heroes discussed in the article is CDR Howard Gilmore, CO of USS Growler (SS 215), in early 1942. His Medal of Honor citation says it best:
In the darkness of night on 7 February, an enemy gunboat closed range and prepared to ram the Growler. Comdr. Gilmore daringly maneuvered to avoid the crash and rammed the attacker instead, ripping into her port side at 11 knots and bursting wide her plates. In the terrific fire of the sinking gunboat's heavy machineguns, Comdr. Gilmore calmly gave the order to clear the bridge, and refusing safety for himself, remained on deck while his men preceded him below. Struck down by the fusillade of bullets and having done his utmost against the enemy, in his final living moments, Comdr. Gilmore gave his last order to the officer of the deck, "Take her down." The Growler dived; seriously damaged but under control, she was brought safely to port by her well-trained crew inspired by the courageous fighting spirit of their dead captain.
CDR Gilmore knew that his crew would try to save him if he let them, but in doing so would risk the loss of the submarine. Like the heroes in Iraq who covered grenades with their bodies to save their brothers, he freely sacrificed himself to save his crew. And as CDR Gilmore's memory was honored by a grateful nation with the awarding of our highest decoration, so too should the sacrifice of the more recent heroes be honored.

Neptunus Lex also commented on the story, and adds this highly appropriate conclusion:
We must instead remember them, tell their names, tell the stories of those who loved so much that they gave their own lives. There will be many, of course, too many to list. But we can start with these:

Jason Dunham
Michael Mansoor
Ross McGinnis
Rafael Peralta
James Witkowski

John 15:13
(Links above were added by me.) That verse is the most appropriate way to describe these heroes. As Christ gave his life that all of us could have eternal life, these men gave their lives so their brothers could continue in this life. Greater love has no one, indeed.


Oh look, "Anonymous" has come back with a big long response! The original exchange started here.

And sure wasted a lot of time because its knee-jerk responses of standard cut & paste arguments completely fail to address the points I was making and continue to deliberately misframe the issues.

I'll get into details below, but broadly speaking, some of the typical errors Anonymous makes (which may serve as an object lesson to others) are:

1. A failure to appreciate there are worse things than hypocrisy

2. Contentment with marveling at its own ability to recognize "shades of grey" (congratulations!), but not being able or willing to distinguish between them and take practical action

3. An unwillingness to admit what the logical real-world consequences would be if its anti-Zionist program and its palestinian heroes succeed in their stated aims -- (hint, it would be indistinguishable from the fondest fantasies of the anti-Semites; who's the real Nazi?)

4. A total strawman-conception (out of ignorance or malice?) of the structure and purpose of the Bible

5. A stubborn refusal to see the difference between religious/philosophical doctrines as concepts, versus the actions of organizations of (universally fallible) people; I'll make it easy:

Evil doctrine = higher probability of evil outcome.

Good doctrine = lower probability of evil outcome.

Simple enough for you yet?

6. An inability to distinguish the important differences between the past (where events and people's motives can't harm us anymore), and the present or future (where they can)

7. A stunning blindness to its own anti-religion bigotry and thralldom to leftist religion, complete with its own set of values and virtues (i.e. appeasement, globalism, pacifism, and supporting claims of the weak over the strong regardless of merit), and as a corollary, silence over the blood on the hands of atheist left-wing utopians

These are the marks of the adolescent philosopher who has attempted to obtain a mantle of pseudointellectualism by adopting a ready-made framework of talking points but, alas, without applying critical thought. Thus, it can't respond coherently when its apparently clever (but subtly misframed) arguments are challenged from an unsuspected direction. Anonymous becomes, as its masters desired, one of their Useful Idiots.

But I will pray for your enlightenment, because Jesus loves you.

So, on to a few specifics. You can read the whole tedious screed in its comment here, I'll just refer to representative bits because it's a mountain of garbage in, garbage out.

I'll actually begin with the end, because it's the best part:
You’re a disgusting and ignorant human being and it’s a shame you’ll never realize truly how evil and dangerous people like you are to the survival of this world and the different people in it. And with that, I will never visit your racist and offensive blog again. Cheers.
Oh, that we should be so lucky! And then what, you'll stamp your feet and hold your breath until you turn blue? Stick your fingers in your ears and go la-la-la?

But actually, despite making that pledge, Anonymous, aka Mr. IP-address, with service provider in NY, has been checking back on this blog for any reply all afternoon! After spending an hour leaving this comment, it was back at 11:04, 3:17, 4:10, get the picture. Must have a masochistic urge to be taken to the woodshed.

Even spent another whole hour poking around the archives for material to criticize!

Do feel free to come back, old chap -- if you have anything new to say.
While I will certainly not even address your disgusting, Custer-esque contempt of American Indians and other City-On-A-Hill superiority complexes present in your response (and perhaps just refer you to Charles C. Mann's book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus),
Because it's a can or worms you'd rather not look too closely at? Watch too many 1970s revisionist made-for-tv movies? I am pleased I succeeded in disgusting and shocking you, for that was the intent of my rhetorical device to demonstrate I am not a slave to PC-taboos. Break those shackles. Reality is not pretty.
I do think there are a great number of issues you raise that warrant a response…even though I know full well that you won’t be moved to consider new ideas or transform into a forward-thinking humanist and will surely continue spouting hatred and bigotry until you die, alone with your god and your anger.
Ah, the highly-evolved lifeform, the forward-thinking humanist! And already fantasizing about my death. Who's the angry one again?
My comment regarding not being a Muslim and therefore not wishing to have a religious discussion was not stated out of any sort of ignorance on the subject. I do feel that any discourse on the contrasting merits of different religions is a dubious enterprise...we might as well discuss which is a better book, The Great Gatsby or The Sun Also Rises. Better yet, let's tussle over the merits of the original Star Wars Trilogy (if I think The Empire Strikes Back is the best one, does that make Jesus love me? Uh oh!).
What a stupid argument! Dolt, can't you see that what people believe about a book like The Sun Also Rises or a movie like Star Wars isn't really going to impact your life? But that what people believe about religion can have a huge effect on your freedoms and whether you live or die?

Your fallback argument is that all religions are equally a threat to you, so you don't care which one might be better or not.

As a survival strategy, that's pretty dumb!

Honestly now, ar eyou saying you can't distinguish between the effect of religion on you if you lived in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or Bangladesh etc. versus a non-islamic country? Try criticizing religion or being a non-believer over there and report back to me, ok?

The dangers might seem on balance about the same, but only if you bizarrely conflate the past with the present.
Either way, regardless of whether this is stupid argument (which it is), you seem to want to debate Christianity and Islam and try to prove some bogus theory that Jesus-fanatics are better than Mohammed-fanatics. I find it sad and pathetic to try and justify your (or anyone's) way of thinking by citing scripture written thousands of years ago by humans, by the leaders of a cult that holds as much rational credibility as the belief in Zeus, Gilgamesh, Zoroaster, Xenu and the Galactic Confederacy, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Nana Buluku, or Krypton's Almighty Zod.
You forgot the Tooth Fairy!

Again you refuse to see the obvious. Those things you mentioned? Except for Zoroaster, they aren't real and don't exist. Duh!

But Jesus and mohammed existed -- or certainly might as well have, because we have, for a fact, a body of work directly attributed as their words and examples of living.

And this matters, whether or not you accept Divine inspiration for either of them, because lots and lots of people, today, who affect you, act and behave under the influence of those moral principles.

Somehow you think you live in a bubble outside the real world, and your skepticism will protect you from the beliefs (irrational or not) of others.

Guess again.

That you discard it all as equal to the Flying Spaghetti Monster betrays an incredible lack of maturity and depth of thinking.
The claim that certain religions or belief-systems are more violent than others or that promote violence over peace and understanding is absurd, as most religious doctrine present a hypocritical view of the world, one that serves the interest of the writers of the doctrine while condemning those who may not follow orders or have divergent viewpoints. Even to snicker at a pagan moon-idol while exulting almighty Yahweh is, at best, the stupidest thing you could attempt to do.
No, the stupidest thing is to think they are all equal in their effect and impact on you.
And, for those who claim that religions can not be condemned for the actions of people who 'act in the name of god', how else should a man-made belief system be judged if not by its followers? But I suppose that argument only works when it adheres to pro-American, pro-Christian thinking, so as to condemn obvious targets such as Bin Laden while avoiding having to mention Jim Jones, Timothy McVeigh, or David Koresh.
Strawman! I made clear I'm aware of every belief system, somewhere, sometime, being used for ill ends.

Who cares? It's human nature to be rotten and manipulate. You fail to give credit for the influence of good that beliefs have on their followers. You search for any transgression to seize upon and declare your "aha!" of superiority. Your "humanism" isn't guilt-free either, my boy!

Don't you think it odd to assert that all belief systems are exactly, precisely, the same in their outcomes?

I mean come on, the essence of Christianity is The Golden Rule: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." And it's to be applied according to universal brotherhood to all mankind. If people fail to heed that, is it Jesus' fault?

The essence of islam however is to be good to muslims, and treat the infidel harshly. It's inherently bigoted. Somehow you can't see that.
But, no matter...onto the annoying crux of your argument (and without your obnoxious bold text for righteous emphasis!!)…

To know both the Bible and the Qur’an is to know that both are equally intent on bloodlust as they are on tolerance under the omniscient, benevolent, and omnipresent essence of one true god (wrathful, vengeful, and insecure are traits I can readily identify, but this may offend your pure sensibilities).
Why would I be offended? You miss the whole point of the Bible as the story of the difficult and evolving relationship of mutual understanding between man and God. I am only saddened at your low-level and sophomoric understanding of these texts. You can't distinguish pure history in these texts from their moral imperative teachings!

And guess what, history is bloody -- is studying history therefore dangerous? Can then not history be a tool for misleading people? Since that's an absurd argument, so too is it absurd to think the bloody Biblical Jewish history of the Bronze Age has, or should have, any particular influence on Christian behavior today!

You'd have to think every Christian were a knuckle-dragging retard to worry about that! I suppose you do think that, but it's a sign of your inherent bigotry.

So 4,000 years ago God said to slay the Canaanites or whatnot. So what?

Does God say anything like that today? (Again with your misunderstanding of past versus present!) Are there any logical conclusions I should draw from such a fact? Are there any Canaanites today I might be tempted to attack?

No, no, and no!

And maybe the Canaanites had it coming.

On the other hand, when a text says the sure way to heaven was, is, and always will be, dying as a shahid while killing enemies of the faith during jihad, well that's something entirely different, isn't it? We've still got infidels and Jews around as targets today, don't we?

The old the "Bible is violent!" argument is so inept, it amazes me anyone falls for it.
Both texts are full contradictions, issues that can easily be exploited by those wishing to promote certain beliefs. As David Rodier of American University in Washington, D.C., an expert on the world's religions, states, "If people are intent on using religion to motivate terror or violence, they'll find an excuse there no matter what the actual text says."
But it won't always logically follow or be generally accepted except by a fringe of the mentally ill if the intent of the text isn't really to motivate violence.

But if the intent IS to motivate violence, you'll get followers much more easily!

Quantity seems to not matter to you. A single example of religious justification for violence, whether reasonably warranted or not, is enough to condemn the whole program for you.

You totally neglect the massive works of good that religion, particularly Judeo-Christian religion, has historically inspired.

How convenient.
The Qur’an actually states time and again how tolerant Islam is of other religions and how religion itself is a very personal thing, and that the choice of belief is of one's own concern, not that of anyone else. It stresses its viewpoint that belief is to one's own benefit and that non-belief is a detriment; however, it distances Islam from the notion of religious compulsion.
A LONG section follows detailing the wonderful scriptures in the koran.

Ha! You seem to not really have studied islam at all!

You apparently don't understand that islam is a system of progressive revelation, in which later verses, when they contradict older ones, over-rule them entirely. It's called abrogation.

Those peaceful verses? Abrogated.

Null and void.

Or, understood to not be universally applicable to all mankind.

Oh, the friendly local imams don't tell you that, do they?

Furthermore the koran is not in temporal order, so you wouldn't easily know which came during mohammed's early "peaceful" period when he was weak and gathering followers, and which came later when he went on conquest.

And you only have to look at the common practice throughout officially islamic countries today, where there is indeed compulsion in religion. Not from a few nutcases, but whole countries full of people where the penalty for leaving islam is death. Try bringing a crucifix into Saudi Arabia. Try travelling to Mecca as a non-muslim and see how far you get. And we're talking about today, not the past. It's mainstream, not fringe or abberation. See the difference?

And now, the ridiculous old standby, as we get to what Anonymous thinks is the coup de grace, quoting from the Old Testament!
but what of the Judeo-Christian idea of allowing others to believe in religions different from their own? Let’s take a gander at some of your greatest hits:

For example, your precious Bible states, “One who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death” (Leviticus 24:16) and it doesn’t stop there…
Yes, more quotes of nastiness from Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus...

My God you're dense!

You don't know the difference between the Old and New Testaments?

I mean, Bronze Age Jewish laws are historically interesting, but what do they have to do with being a Christian? I must have been absent when my Catholic church told me to follow ancient Jewish laws! Such a silly attack!

Exodus is poetic history. So what?

Same with the rest. Jesus didn't write those chapters. God's relationship with man evolved.
But, what else can one expect from a religion full of ridiculous contradictions? (Quick question: God said “Let there be light” on Day One, but waited until Day Four to create the Sun? Smart.)
And the Big Bang preceded star formation, so yeah, that's pretty smart, moron.
I mean, look at what your lord and savior, Jesus Christ has to say about things:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27)
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
Stupid attempt at rhetorical games. One statement is a greeting, the other a metaphor.
But then again, the Bible seems not to be clear where it stands on the issue of deeds and faith. James 2:14-1 claims, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?...Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead,” while Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…not by works.” Maybe your god should get on his own same page.
You're so blinded by your hate that you can't think straight. Any idiot knows the Bible is a collection of separate works by different authors over time. Jesus is not James, and Jesus is not Ephesians. Go get a good Protestant Bible where the actual words attributed to Jesus are printed in Red if you want to know what Christianity is about. All those other chapters are secondary supporting history and poetry.

You'd prefer to mock and jeer to feel better about yourself than to look at it honestly.


Then Anonymous gets into statement of the Founding Fathers, because I mentioned John Quincy Adams.

Again Anonymous makes a stupid mistake! Its reading comprehension is nonexistant!

For example:
But it doesn’t stop with doubting Thomas, unfortunately for patriots like you. Check out what James Madison had to say about your lovely belief system: “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.”
So he's criticizing the legal establishment, he's criticizing the church as it had been instituted by fallible men. So do I!

I don't see criticism of the essential doctrines Christianity, only of attempts to live up to it.

Adams as I quoted was specifically discussing the doctrine of Jesus versus the doctrine of mohammed.

Why you think that doesn't matter is beyond me. I guess it would upset your carefully constructed worldview.

To repeat:

Evil doctrine = higher probability of evil outcome.

Good doctrine = lower probability of evil outcome.


But now we get to the heart of the matter:
I think belief in Jehovah, Mohammed, a divine Buddha, Vishnu, and Quetzalcoatl are all equally absurd, which is why it’s frustrating that you saw fit to divert the genesis of this discussion towards that of weighing the merits of two of the world’s major religions rather than actually addressing your misunderstanding of Zionism and its disastrous policies and effects. It’s a pity you have no knowledge or understanding of history and are aware of only the disturbing and perverted propaganda of power-hungry racists. Maybe if you knew about the atrocities of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 and the subsequent systematic genocide, starvation, and other war-crime fundamentals of the BenGurion/Golda Meir/Ehud Barak/Ariel Sharon school of apartheid.
Ooo, a war had atrocities! I'm so shocked!

Look, when the colonial powers withdrew from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire, all sorts of new countries had to be formed. Your precious UN even blessed this partition plan. Borders were being moved all over Europe too after the war, with millions of displaced European people who had to get up and leave forever to face the new realities. And also new countries were carved out of the Middle East. That's hardly surprising.

What is surprising is that anyone thought the arabs on the Gaza strip were somehow different enough from the arabs next door in Egypt, or that the arabs on the West Bank of the Jordan were different enough from the arabs in Jordan, that they should have their own special country. Sure arabs were in the area for 1300 years. And there had been Jews there for a lot longer. You're right I don't really care that the Jewish side isn't pure enough for you.

The palestinian side has been even worse and there's no excuse for their behavior. Sneaking into houses to shoot infants in their cribs? Shooting rockets at schools?

I ask you, who "occupied" their territory from 1948 to 1967? Hmmm? Nasty Jews?

No, Egypt and Jordan.

Why didn't they get on with the business of setting up a real country like everyone else in the aftermath of world-changing WW2? They tried -- and failed -- to snuff out Israel in 1948, and should have gotten on with things.

So today, if your palestinian heroes succeed in "anti-Zionism", tell me how that will be, in reality, when really carried out, different from an extermination of the Jews and destruction of Israel as a Jewish state?

But that's what you want, isn't it, my dear Nazi?
I’d happily provide you with news articles, books, and other matter from which to learn the truth about the Palestinian situation if I actually thought you cared at all. But, anyone who equates resistance against the overwhelming military might of a foreign occupation with extremist terrorism based on blanket racism is surely deceiving themselves, or at least allowing themselves to be deceived.
Ah, the venom starts to flow! I'll be happy to provide some of my own resources.

Such lovely people, they sure love their children!
Resistance to governmentally-sanctioned talking points is certainly not a neoconservative strength and I can only assume that fascists like yourself would probably have attacked Munich’s White Rose Society in the early 1940’s for not falling line with the Third Reich at the time.
A truly odd statement to make.

That is the start of an attempt to make "references", you see, to other things I've blogged about. Like I said, Anonymous sure spent a lot of time reading my blog!
But hey, who’s to care about conditions and realities in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, that are far worse than South Africa’s nightmarish Bantustans, when gay people might be getting married somewhere this very minute?! What a travesty! Let’s focus on what’s really important here…which, if I’m to believe your hero Daniel Pipes, is clearly to make sure that no god-fearing, patriotic American has to be burdened with the uncomfortable sight of Arabic writing on a t-shirt, let alone, having Arabic language and culture being taught in a Brooklyn public school. It’s true, there’s really no point in confusing good ol’ Western values and words with those crazy Arab ones, I mean, we’ll just rid ourselves of dangerousness terrorist codes such as “alcohol,” “algebra,” “giraffe,” “magazine,” “admiral,” “mattress,” “sugar”, “lilac,” and let’s be sure to forget the entire concept of zero that’s been secretly infiltrating our defenseless children’s math textbooks for generations now.
The pre-islamic Indian zero, by the way, came to us through the Persians, as the last gasp of a once-great civilization stagnating under its islamic rulers.
I have little else to write to you and your non-existent legion of blog readers.
Well, almost 70,000 hits so far according to the counter, which amounts to about 14 full Roman legions.

To wrap up,
People like you don’t read books, news articles, or see films that are shunned by the likes of such notorious bigots (oh sorry, in your world, you might know them as ‘luminaries’ and ‘soothsayers’) Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, or Ann Coulter. And when you decide that books you disagree with are not worth reading, you might as well save yourself the trouble of rallying against them and just burn them instead.
Again I ask, who's the one filled with hate?
You’re a disgusting and ignorant human being and it’s a shame you’ll never realize truly how evil and dangerous people like you are to the survival of this world and the different people in it. And with that, I will never visit your racist and offensive blog again. Cheers.
And when you do come back, and you will, I'll know, and I'll be laughing at you for your childish ranting!

And in the meantime, I'll be asking Jesus to save your poor bitter black little soul.

Sunt Mala Quae Libas; Ipse Venena Bibas!

A Target-Rich Environment

My earlier post of a good periscope photo of a destroyer in the crosshairs inspired an old college buddy of mine to send in a TOF shot from his boat during Rimpac '02. How'd you like to see this through the 'scope?

There was also a fifth ship in the formation that wouldn't fit into the field of vision. From the E-mail accompanying the photo:
BTW, the skimmer “judge” said it was a miss on all targets!!! (We were shooting the oiler, but figured “what the heck”, the mayhem of hitting any of the five was worth the lack of separation.)
Skimmer "judges" are funny. I remember during my first deployment, we were doing an "opposed unrep" against the Ranger Battle Group. We had the carrier, oiler, and a destroyer all sailing along tied up together, with us 4nm ahead of them, about 2000 yds off track. The carrier guys we had riding us said they'd been told that there was no way a submarine could ever get in that position because of the "protective ASW blanket" surrounding the carrier. We laughed and laughed, shot off our flares, and radioed in that we'd be back in 30 minutes to do it again.


In seven German cities yesterday, a secret coordinated resistance effort by the "Anonymous group for democratic and free thinking" was revealed. Overnight, they had shrouded in burkas fourteen prominent statues of women, and placed placards on them with the following messages:
Veiling of sculptures and statues in a Germany-wide campaign

On the 18 September 2007, several female statues and sculptures in the cities of Berlin, Braunschweig, Bremen, Hamburg, Cologne, Witten, and Wuppertal are veiled with a Burka and a headscarf.

The aim of this campaign is to point out that the European idea of “unity in variety” is valid in Germany and that democratic and liberal as well as secular thinking is one of the most precious values that is to be protected and to be advocated for.

In a religious system that promotes totalitarian ideas and demands submission of individuals, such an achievement can easily get under pressure. Therefore, there should be a public discussion on whether the European vocabulary and the vocabulary of certain religious systems share a common basis. For instance, the “house of peace” and the “house of war” have a different meaning in Islam and in our understanding. According to the Islamic view, the “house of peace” can only exist where Islam reigns.

To oppose these systems, we refer to the article of the German constitution about the right of an individual to develop individual freedom without violating the freedom of others. This is shown by printed signboard.

Even here in Europe, this value and other values of the German constitution are not accepted as the most precious value by certain continuously growing parallel societies.

With this campaign, we want to counter this development.

Anonymous group for democratic and free thinking
Not exactly the White Rose, but it's a fantastic start!

See their photos here.

An example from the town of Witten:

Open resistance has started!

Trip Report: Penny Arcade Expo, Seattle

During the last weekend in August, I went to Seattle with my two sons to attend the Penny Arcade Expo, a three day get together for "gamers" of various types. And believe me, there were many types of people there. Without further ado, here are some lessons learned and observations from my foray into the world of gamers and the people of Seattle:

1) Of most interest to bloggers and those who read them, we actually met and had lunch with the incomparable ninme!
The boys and I met ninme and her partner Peter for lunch; since they're locals, they knew a really good, non-touristy place in the bowels of the Pike Place Market. Good conversation and good food was had by all. While it's well known that ninme doesn't want to trade in on her good looks for increased blog traffic, I can report that she easily could if she wanted to. My oldest son rated her as "hot" -- and he's very selective when giving out that label.

2) There were probably over 30K people at the Expo, and while there were quite a few of the stereotypical "gamer" guys who would be recognized as "nerds" from miles away, there were a surprising number of "regular" people -- mostly, they seemed to be tech workers at various Seattle companies like Microsoft. The ratio of guys to girls seemed to be about 4:1; a good proportion of the girls seemed to be dressed in what I can only describe as a "goth schoolgirl" style. Short plaid skirts with dog collars made for an interesting visual.

3) The gamers themselves were divided into video gamers and table gamers; there were quite a few people clustered around tabletops with arcane symbols and playing pieces, with die of between 4 and 20 sides flying around everywhere. While I admit to having played "Dungeons and Dragons" back before I joined the Navy, I found myself hanging out more with the "video game" people (since my sons were in that category). Here I am kicking butt on Guitar Hero 2 -- (Level of Difficulty: Easy):

4) "Geek music" and "Nerdcore rap" are actually pretty good. One of the best parts of the expo for me was discovering a singer named Jonathan Coulton, an ex-computer programmer who now writes and performs songs about various things that interest geeks. Do yourself a favor -- if you ever see that Jonathan Coulton is coming to your town, go see him. He's coming to Austin tonight, so I'll be there. The various geek celebrities (including keynote speaker and celebrity gamer spokesman Wil Wheaton) made themselves available to their fans throughout the weekend. Here are the boys with nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot:

5) Despite what some on the right might say, the gamers I saw there were anything but anti-social. If your kids like video games, it's not a bad thing. If you like video games yourself, don't be ashamed. Just see if you can get your kids to take you on in some of the old games, and kick their butts.


[UPDATE: Even more comments were left below by Anonymous, so see further rebuttal of them here!]

I've been enjoying this dialogue, from the comments to this posting.

The standard talking points are useful to review here, and might get some people thinking:
Anonymous said...
It's a shame you're so racist and can't see the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. But then again, what else can one expect from someone who equates one of the world's three major religion with Satan-worship and holds another up as the model of justice and tolerance...I suppose bigotry and hatred come easy to people like you. Pity.

11:01 AM, September 13, 2007
My first reply:
RDS said...
Typical leftist tactic, to begin with charges of racism when nothing I've ever said has anything at all to do with race!

It's always the 'progressives' who are hyper race-conscious.

The differences between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism pale in comparison to their similarities, being motivated mainly by an irrational dislike of Jews.

Yes, hatred comes easily to me for things that are objectively evil; what's wrong with you that you excuse it?

You think it's ok to laud as the most perfect of all men a pedophile and rapist of a 9 year old girl (Aisha), who was "surprised" that the "prophet" came to her bed when she was "still with her dolls"? I don't care what society you're talking about, never at any time has it been "normal" to rape pre-pubescent girls -- unless your moon-god says it's ok.

You like pedophiles and their followers?

Shall we get into mohammed's banditry and multiple murders? How about torture -- real torture, not panties on the head? How about using his moon-god to justify breaking apart his family so he could have incestuous sex with his daughter in law?

I don't care what bad things anyone has done in spite of their religion, I care what they do because of it: really follow the words of Jesus and you get lives dedicated to helping the sick and the poor of all races and creeds.

But follow the words of mohammed and you get rape, slavery, and war against the infidel.

So yeah, hatred of that comes easily to me.

Why doesn't it for you?

Can't tell right from wrong? Too scared of being called a racist or bigot to speak the truth? Pity.

8:41 PM, September 13, 2007
Anonymous came back with the predictable litany, which I will respond to piecemeal:
Anonymous said...
Oh right, I forgot that the ethnic cleansing, genocide, and other assorted atrocities during the Inquisition, Crusades, and Holocaust were all unfortunate side-effects of the benevolent alms-giving of your Christ-living brethren.
Where to begin!

First, this ignores my point entirely, that a priori, the mere fat that people who happen to be nominally Christian, or muslim, or Hindu, or white, or purple, or whatever, do bad things, for whatever claimed reason, is entirely uninteresting because we know that from time immemorial man's capacity for evil is unlimited.

What, the world lived in peace and harmony until Christianity came along?

Now, even an atheist should concede that even if religion is hooey, it affects how people think and thus how they act and so religious beliefs have real world consequences. And the question is then: does any particular relgion, on balance, tend to dampen or amplify our worst impulses? And do they tend to encourage, or discourage, our better nature?

Whether or not religion exists at all, people would still find stupid ways to divide the world into "Us" versus "Them", so it's not very useful to simply point the finger at religion (throwing the baby out with the bathwater) and feel morally superior.

That ignores the impact, for example, Christianity had on reducing human sacrifice (more common than most people believe), since God's sacrifice of His own divine Son made all future human sacrifice unnecessary.

It's simple-minded to just assume that all religions are equally useless. Indeed, wouldn't that be highly improbable?

Furthermore, one must ignore that godless, atheistic, rational communism has 100 million corpses on its hands.

Yeah, you don't need religion to find excuses to oppress.

And one relgion encourages slavery, for example, and the other discourages it by preaching universal brotherhood -- whether or not fallible humans always adhere to the message. The most fervent abolitionists were Christians. Muslim arabs ran much of the bulk of the slave trade. Doesn't that make a difference?

One religion teaches we are all dearly beloved children of God, the other that we are allah's slaves. The word islam means "submission" for a reason. The name "Abd'allah" (Abdullah), meaning "slave of allah", is highly popular for a reason.

President John Quincy Adams noted that, of Jesus,
But of mohammed,

Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.”
None of that matters?

But to specifics, the Inquisition, though at times abused, actually was a reform that by injecting judicial proceedings actually exonerated many people from baseless charges of witchcraft and thus saved them from irrational mob justice!
...the inquisition was always more lenient than secular authorities and less likely to impose the death penalty. To common people this rather lessened the attraction of reporting neighbours for vindictive reasons. Also, the inquisition had higher standards of evidence which tended to disregard the confessions of witches incriminating each other and inquisitors were markedly sceptical about some of the more fantastic stories of broomsticks and devils. The most famous case involved the release of 1,500 alleged witches held by the Spanish inquisition after an investigation by an inquisitor uncovered massive flaws and inconsistencies in the evidence.

(Sources: pages 260 – 1, Rodney Stark For the Glory of God Princeton 2003; page 113, Peters; see also: Gustav Henningsen The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (1609-1614), 1980 and Brian P Levack The Witch-hunt in Early Modern Europe Harlow 1995)
The Crusades? A useful counterjihad gone awry, with nothing particularly surprising about it in the context of the times.

And the Holocaust? That old "Hitler was a Christian!" claim? Nazism had elements of pagan Teutonic mysticism, and Hitler rejected his family's Catholicism; indeed, he admired islam!
There are negative statements about Christianity reported by Hitler's intimates, Goebbels, Speer, and Bormann.[24] Joseph Goebbels, for example, notes in a diary entry in 1939: "The Führer is deeply religious, but deeply anti-Christian. He regards Christianity as a symptom of decay." Albert Speer reports a similar statement: “You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us [Nazis] than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"[25] ... He was reported to say that religion should die on its own accord.
I love how Anonymous has to retreat to know-nothingness all of a sudden in the face of uncomfortable revelations about islam:
Anonymous said...
I'm not really going to debate the attributes of Islam over any other religion because, well, I'm not a Muslim, and because religion as a whole is very dangerous to open-mindedness and hope, since it emphasizes fear and blind devotion to nonsense in the name of maintaining an insular, homogenous, and altogether irrational lifestyle. But it's good that you think Jesus loves you - congrats on that.
Such attempts at mockery would be more effective perhaps if I were a churchgoer.

And really, isn't that a simpleminded, strawman view of what religion is all about? Through a bigoted double standard, Anonymous found it easy to criticize Christianity specifically, but then refuses to look islam in the eye.

As for islam, by comparison with these terrible sins oddly attributed by Anonymous to Christianity rather than human nature,
More people are killed by Islamists [following the jihad demanded by their god and prophet] each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined.

Islamic terrorists murder more people every day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years.

More civilians were killed by Muslim extremists in two hours on September 11th than in the 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.
Jesus loves even you too, by the way; but that must rankle!

But now it's all about Israel and Iraq!
Anonymous said...
The lies you promote with regard to the political situation in Palestine are what really bother me - but it's really a waste of my time to try to educate a war-mongering facist like you who supports apartheid, racial supremacy, and the U.S.-aided slaughter of tnes of thousands of innocent people.
Lies? I present my honest understanding of the facts. If my facts are in error I'm happy to consider corrections. Evidence?

US-aided slaughter of tens of thousands? Please. The Lancet "study" is thoroughly discredited. What, nobody was slaughtered under kind old Uncle Saddam?

As a physicist I tell you that doctors are notoriously bad at statistical analysis. Indeed,
the Lancet authors “cannot reject the null hypothesis that mortality in Iraq is unchanged.”
And now, let's complete the standard "let's hate Western civ" story by bringing in the Native Americans!
Anonymous said...
But I assume that an Ann Coulter-loving "patriot" like yourself probably thinks that the Native Americans had it coming to them, too. I mean, hey, they didn't believe in Jesus either. Idiots.

6:43 PM, September 16, 2007
Oh, that's funny! Yes, they did indeed "have it coming", but not because they didn't believe in Jesus! I'm perfectly willing to accept in the spirit of ecumenicalism that the Great Spirit reflects some aspect or facet of Jehovah. In fact, the beatified Native American, the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, is one step away from becoming a Catholic Saint.

But the pagan moon-idol known as allah, in spite of deliberate lies to the contrary, is a completely different entity anthropologically, theologically, and psychohistorically.

But I digress.

No, the Native Americans had it coming to them because they were vicious cannibalistic stone-age savages; Thomas Jefferson himself wrote the following, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, as one of the colonial grievances against King George:
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
You know better than such an eyewitness?

[REMEMBER: please see here for followup and rebuttal to the further comments left below by Anonymous!]

Three Candles

It's my third blogiversary here at TSSBP; who woulda known it would make it this far? Over the three years I've been posting here I've generated almost 1800 entries (this one is #1795), and I've gotten over 478,000 visits with over 956,000 page views -- probably about half of those visits in the last year.

Thanks for sticking with me over the years, and I hope to be able to continue providing the submarine-and-snark content you're looking for.

Staying at PD...

Perpetual (E)Motion

Check out this article in a British newspaper about what some people are calling the next big science breakthrough -- a 12" tube that violates the First Law of Thermodynamics! Excerpts:
Even the makers of the device are at a loss to explain exactly how it works - but sceptical independent scientists carried out their own tests and discovered that the 12in x 2in tube really does produce far more heat energy than the electrical energy put in.
The device seems to break the fundamental physical law that energy cannot be created from nothing - but researchers believe it taps into a previously unrecognised source of energy, stored at a sub-atomic level within the hydrogen atoms in water.
The system - developed by scientists at a firm called Ecowatts in a nondescript laboratory on an industrial estate at Lancing, West Sussex - involves passing an electrical current through a mixture of water, potassium carbonate (otherwise known as potash) and a secret liquid catalyst, based on chrome.
This creates a reaction that releases an incredible amount of energy compared to that put in. If the reaction takes place in a unit surrounded by water, the liquid heats up, which could form the basis for a household heating system.
Normally, you'd figure that any reputable government would laugh and point if asked to back such a scheme, but not the British government. The onetime world leader in pure science is now being taken in by perpetual motion machine "inventors", providing government "backing" to the company. (If the thing really heated water without taking the energy from the irreversible breakdown of the "secret liquid catalyst" -- which takes more energy to make than it produces by breaking down -- one could convert the hotter water to electricity which could run the machine; hence, perpetual motion.)

I like that they are theorizing that the new force involved comes from the "sub-atomic level within the hydrogen atoms". Maybe it's those darned-elusive "fractional quantum states" I blogged about earlier!

I just wish there was some ethical way to make money from recognizing that there really is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine.


While chatting with my son today (the 'net is a wonderful thing) the subject of what I've always euphemistically called "PM D-1R" came up (guys say these things to each other). My son asked what "PM" stood for, so I figured I'd send him a link to an MRC card -- and, to make it potentially more humorous, I searched for one that had to do with a toilet. The one I found, clearly written by a submariner, had everything I was looking for and more. Excerpts:
1. Preliminary
a. Inform Work Center Supervisor of personnel’s desire to remove himself from an able status. Ensure permission is granted.
b. Ensure person performing D-1R is not on watch, maneuvering watch is not set, and decontamination station is not set (as denoted by copious amounts of yellow material).
c. Verify that Sanitaries are not pressurized as noted by signs hung stating, “WARNING! BLOWING SANITARIES.” If pressure exerted on lower abdominal region is too great, consider performing R-5 (Emergency Bowel Movement Using Plastic Bag)
WARNING: Entering stall before verifying stall is empty may be hazardous to continuation of life.
2. Verify stall empty
a. Knock three times on stall door and ask potential occupants of their presence.
b. If stall is occupied, move to next stall and repeat step 2.a.
c. If all three stalls are occupied, wait until an occupant has removed himself from the stall, and then continue to Step 3. Remove reading material and review while waiting.
NOTE: Stall #2 has shown signs of becoming clogged during performance of D-1R. If emergency, perform PM using stall #2. Otherwise, continue to wait until either stall #1 or #3 are clear.
d. If greater than 5 minutes have passed and all three stalls remain to be occupied,
reperform Step 2 in its entirety to verify occupants are awake. Use colorful language such as “Hey. You. Pinch it off. I need to drop a deuce.”
3. Entering stall
a. Open door to stall by moving handle either clockwise or counterclockwise from the centerline position.
b. Inspect stall for presence of toilet paper. If none, do not continue with maintenance action. Inform WCS.
WARNING: Do not substitute any other material such as kim-wipes, socks, and magazine pages for toilet paper. Your anus will thank you.
c. Open door 90 degrees until door rests flush with wall.
NOTE: Maintain positive control of head door. Releasing door will potentially cause a “noise transient” denoted by a loud banging noise. If “noise transient” is heard, back out of MR, inform the Chief of the Watch (COW), and proceed to Step 1.
d. Position yourself between toilet and door.
e. Move door 90 degrees back to original position and ensure Primary Locking Device(PLD) mates with Frame Locking Mechanism (FLM).
f. Slide Secondary Locking Device (SLD) until it mates with the FLM. The stall is now secure from unauthorized entry.
WARNING: Opening bowl flush valve while sanitaries are pressurized will cause loss of cleanliness, friends, and respect.
g. Open toilet drain valve. Verify that water exits the bowl with no “burping.” If burping exists, or water does not drain at all, inform A-Division LPO and proceed to Step 2.
WARNING: Performing bowel movement while having a waterless bowl will lead to “stinkbowling” the occupants of the FCML Head, and will cause your reputation to diminish.
h. Open toilet fill valve until proper level in the bowl is seen. Experience has shown that 3 – 4 inches above the bowl bottom is required.
4. Disrobe
a. Using Inventory Sheet (Table 2), take inventory of all items in port and starboard, forward and aft pockets (including breast pockets), belt, and all items attached to belt.
b. While maintaining positive control of belt buckle, unclasp belt buckle. If belt does not maintain it’s position while unclasped, remove all tools, articles, and TLD from belt, remove belt, replace all items removed back onto belt, clasp belt buckle and hang belt from a convenient location.
NOTE: Visually note that TLD is present throughout this step. If TLD is not present, exit stall and inform LELT/Corpsman.
The references to FCML and COW make it obvious that it comes from a submariner. Read the whole thing -- it's hilarious.

Chilean Submarine In San Diego

Navy NewsStand has a couple of pictures of the newest participant in the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) as she arrived in Point Loma -- the Chilean Type 209 CS Simpson (SS 21):

CS Simpson seems to be replacing the Swedish submarine HMS Gotland as the U.S.-based allied DESI participant. According to the article accompanying the pictures, the Chileans will be at Subase Point Loma for three months. From what I've heard, the Chileans are either the 2nd or 3rd best submariners in the Western Hemisphere (it's between them and the Canadians for 2nd place, and I wouldn't bet against the Chileans), so they should provide a high level of training for our Navy. I'm sure the American submariners in San Diego are giving their Chileans brothers a good primer on the places to go and things to see while they're in town!

Angles And Dangles

Remember those 30 degree up and down angles, and how you'd never quite be able to lean over far enough to touch the floor while keeping an erect posture? And remember how crap would fly out of the damn'dest places after an upkeep? And remember how you never ever slid down some long straightaway on a grey blanket, like the Missile Compartment on a boomer or past the starboard side of Maneuvering in a 688? Ever wanted video proof that, yes, you did lean that far over? Check out these guys from what looks like a Trident (bad word warning!) doing a 29° up-angle:

Good times...

Update 0100 12 Sep: Here's another one -- not quite so dramatic -- that looks like it was taken in Crew's Mess on USS Alaska (SSBN 732).

Stop the Madrassa

There's a Saudi-backed publically-funded (by your taxes) islamic school, or madrassa, being set up in New York City.

American Values For Kids wants to stop it. They have such luminaries as Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes on the board.

Their goal:
Islamist organizations have worked systematically for years, backed by Saudi wealth, to impose extremist, anti-American, intolerant values in our children's history textbooks, teacher training programs, and now charter schools and Arabic language programs.

Citizens for American Values in Public Education will develop resources and educational materials to help parents and teachers investigate, expose and eliminate that Islamist influence on textbooks, curricula and courses.
Here you can get the Citizen's Guide to Islamist Curricula in Our Public Schools. The Table of Contents:
Why do we need a Citizen’s Guide to Islamist Curricula?
The Problem
“Politically Correct” Myths about Muslim Americans and Arab Americans
The Facts about Arab Americans
The Facts about Muslim Americans
The Facts about Discrimination against Muslim Americans
Teacher Training
Charter Schools
Khalil Gibran International Academy
Title VI Reform: More Actual Language Training Is Needed
What can a parent do?
Islamist Curricula Organizations
Organizations Investigating and Exposing Islamist Curricula
Also on board is the Catholic League:
Purpose: To raise serious questions regarding the propriety of opening Khalil Gibran International Academy

Participants: Coalition of New Yorkers across faith communities

When: 12:15 p.m., September 4, 2007

Where: Steps of New York City Hall

Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains why he is joining the rally:

“There are several reasons why the Catholic League is concerned about the founding of Khalil Gibran International Academy. They include:

· The pedagogical necessity of establishing this school.

· The stonewalling by the New York City Department of Education whenever we have sought information about the curriculum, textbooks, school’s advisors, etc.

· The paucity of information about the Association of Muslim American Lawyers, a group that is slated to play an integral role.

· The incredible disparity in the way the New York City Department of Education treats Muslims and Catholics: Arab Muslims not only have a taxpayer-funded school, but the Islamic religious symbol, namely the crescent and star, is permitted in all New York City public schools. However, the Department of Education bars the display of nativity scenes.

· The entire pro-terrorist T-shirt controversy and the initial selection of Debbie Almontaser as the school’s principal.
Do it for the children.

Eager Accomplices

[UPDATE: The Office of Dr. Walid Phares notes an error in the quoted text below; he is an American scholar of Lebanese descent, not a "Lebanese scholar."]

The connections between the left-wing and the jihad are coming into richer focus.

Make a list, prepare a rope:
Without the internet skills and the service of hundreds of Western writers and intellectuals, the Islamists would have much greater difficulty spreading their propaganda to gain the submission of American and European leftist audiences. How important is the left’s servitude to radical Islam?

Jihad vs. McWorld is the name of a March, 1992 essay and a 1996 book published by Benjamin Barber. Barber, a social democratic “third-roader”, argues that both tribal warfare “jihad”, and what he sees as the “threat” of globalism, equally endanger democracy in the post-cold war world. Now, nearly a decade and a half after Barber’s essay appeared in Atlantic Monthly, it appears that leading anti-globalization activists worldwide have stopped equivocating and decided that globalism is the greater threat. They have teamed up with jihad.

Unlike visits to 1980s Sandinista Nicaragua, in-person displays of “solidarity” with Islamists are problematic. As the cases of Nick Berg and Danny Pearl show, Americans who fall into militant Islamist hands are routinely tortured and beheaded. But in the internet age liberals can proffer their rhetorical services to the logos-challenged Islamists on line without ever getting close enough for a scimitar swipe. Dozens of Islamist websites and newspapers now feature a harem of western liberals eagerly displaying their rhetorical skills on behalf of their Muslim masters.

Saudi-owned, Lebanese based Dar al-Hayat is an Arabic newspaper of record. Due to the Arab world’s massive illiteracy and dictatorial regimes, its circulation is only about 110,000. In an August 14 article, writer Jihad el-Khazen explains how they make up for the Islamic world’s literary failings, “…we are not lacking in friends. Our friends around the world have better personal and intellectual reputations than the Israeli 'gang of evil'. I would like to introduce the reader to some names, such as Tariq Ali, John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, José Saramago and Howard Zinn.” For readers unfamiliar, these are the leading intellectual lights if the international anti-globalization left.

Jihad continues, “Chomsky and his colleagues issued a statement called: 'Israel, Lebanon and Palestine', in which they held Israel fully responsible for the fighting and killings in Palestinian territories. They said that the recent conflict began after Israeli forces abducted two civilians….”

Chomsky’s statement in support of Iran’s ally Hezbollah came in an interview with Kaveh Afrasiabi a former political science professor at Tehran University and a Harvard PhD who serves as the Iranian Shia interlocutor to western liberals and leftists. As such Afrasiabi has been given column space in numerous western publications and a position at the UN. Afrasiabi founded a Massachusetts-based organization called “Global Interfaith Peace” which in 2002 encouraged useful idiots to serve as human shields in Iraq. CNN describes Afrasiabi as, “…a specialist in Iran`s foreign affairs, having done research all over the world, including Harvard and the Center for Strategic Research in Tehran. He is also a friend of (former Iranian) President Khatami.”

At the bottom of the column is a link to Jihad’s blogsite where he explains the interrelationship between action and propaganda: “Following the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Denmark, I embarked on an effort, parallel to my daily work, to collect additional information about Israel’s cabal in the US.”

According to the list of articles posted on his website,, Chomsky now writes for Dubai’s Khaleej Times, and Cairo’s al-Ahram Weekly and al-Adab. Since August, 2004 more than half of the Chomsky articles posted on his website were published in Arab newspapers or magazines. Chomsky in 2005 was named “the world’s leading living intellectual” after a poll conducted by the British magazine Prospect. He serves Islam. [and, thus, Satan. -- ed.]

A leading pro-jihad site, Jihad US, (US supposedly stands for “UnSpun”) features predictable jihadi “dispatches from the front” informing readers that, “Every Inch Of Iraq Will Be Covered With US Bodies”, but also the ramblings of Cindy Sheehan and, the “informed comment” of Juan Cole both of which require purchase of a $29.95 Jihad US subscription to read. Asked about the column, Cole replied, “(This is the) first I heard of it. I prefer that sites ask me before mirroring material.” He did not seem particularly upset to find his writings being used to raise money for a pro-decapitation website nor did he indicate he would be taking any steps to have the column removed. Sheehan’s publicist did not respond to a reporter’s emailed query.

A speech, “Our Founders and the unbalance of power” delivered in 2004 by Democrat Vice-President Al Gore to an audience at Georgetown University can also be found buried below links to an article by Osama bin-Laden, a fluff piece honoring, “Prominent Martyrs of Iraq” and an interview with Cheryfa Jamal, wife of a “Toronto 17” terror suspect. Gore’s publicist also did not respond to a reporter’s emailed query.

Under the Jihad US masthead, one side contains “mainstream news” consisting of Western media reports and opinion useful to the jihadi cause. On the other side is “uncensored news” consisting of reports such as, “The Islamic State Of Iraq News Report For The City Of Baghdad” –fifty after action reports on operations allegedly carried out against US forces and Shia civilians in Iraq. Other jihadi after action reports come from Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan and Chechnya. A report titled, “Al-Qaeda Fighters Versus The Soldiers Of “Freedom And Democracy” features New Yorker magazine writer Seymour Hersh claiming Iraqi prisoners were sodomized at Abu-Ghraib. An article condemns Hamas for considering the possibility of peace talks with Israel. Jihad US also promulgates the false story of “Fatima” an imaginary female Iraqi prisoner at Abu-Ghraib. Her fake story is a key propaganda device in recruiting assistance for foreign jihadis in Iraq.

American leftists including Cindy Sheehan in August met in Jordan with Iraqi leaders of minor parties some affiliated with the armed resistance. This was their second such meeting.

It is not only left-wing pro-surrender activists who are featured stars of the Islamist propaganda war on the West. Former Reform Party presidential candidate and current CNN commentator Pat Buchanan’s article, “Whose War?” (his answer: the Jews’) is front and center setting the tone on the anti-Semitic, pro-terror website . There it fits perfectly alongside links to articles from the Holocaust-deniers of the mis-named Institute of Historical Review, and propaganda pieces from “electronic intifada”, JihadUS, the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency, and numerous articles asserting that Israeli agents conducted the 9-11 attacks, not those poor misunderstood Muslims from al-Qaeda.

Another site, Islam Daily is almost entirely constructed of articles by non-Muslim westerners making the arguments which serve the current needs of Islamism. Islam Daily features dozens of western media commentaries including:
• Bush as Bad as bin Laden? In Some Ways, Worse,
• the latest anti-Semitic ramblings of Justin Raimondo (Israel is more dangerous than Iran) from,
• analysis of the “Angus Reid World Poll” which announces that “People in 13 countries believe the United States is the greatest threat to global stability, and residents of eight countries consider American foreign policy as the most menacing issue to the world…”
• An article by Kay Guinane of “OMB Watch” who shares this piece of genius: “Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S.-based (Muslim) charities have become targets in the government’s war on terror financing. This development makes little sense. U.S. charities support efforts to stop the violence of terrorism, and financing terror is contrary to the sector’s mission of promoting the public good, providing humanitarian relief, protecting human rights and assisting with conflict resolution around the world.”

The pro-terror website in between articles celebrating the terrorist ‘resistance’ in Fallujah features photo essays from “Information Clearing House”, an AP article on an alleged US attack on a wedding, an article from the UK Sun and another photo essay by “The March for Justice.” Al Basra dedicates an entire page to “GI Special” propaganda aimed at demoralizing American soldiers and sailors. Most of the propaganda consists of carefully selected news clippings from the American media.

The pro-Saddam Baathist website is operated by Italian Orientalist professor Claudio Moffa. It features a series of articles condemning the “lynching of Saddam” (an American term perhaps learned from Saddam’s Democrat attorney, Ramsey Clark, formerly the US Attorney General to President Lyndon Johnson). While most of Saddam’s semi-literate followers could barely put two words together, Italian “documentary” filmmaker Gabrielle Zampani created the eight-part series from her postings on her delicately-named blogsite Does she think the head-choppers are going to be interested in feline dream interpretation?

Explaining Zampani’s movie and related book, “American Voices of Dissent” British left Laborite leader Tony Benn says, “…the American left gets no coverage in the press yet remains the hope for America and the world.” Another Saddam lawyer is dual US-Dutch citizen and alleged pacifist Curtis Doebbler whose website announces a course in “Human Rights Law” he is teaching this January at An-Najah National University in the West Bank town of Nablus.

The Chechen Kavkaz Center, when not employing the services of Boris Stomakhin, editor of the monthly Russian newspaper Radikalnaya Politika (Radical Politics), to come up with excuses for the Beslan baby killers, makes room for articles from the UK Guardian (“Victory still Bush’s Iraq Goal” featuring a photo of President Bush sending an appropriate message to the Islamists) and an article on Israeli plans to cleanse Iran of nuclear facilities by UK journalist Jonathan Cook. Kavkaz also features articles by:
• Ousted Democrat Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising and a failed Green-Libertarian-Populist candidate for US Senate from Maryland
Ted Rall, a political cartoonist and columnist who is infamous for calling Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice a “house niggah”, referring to US troops in Iraq as “An Army of Scum” and calling Army Ranger Pat Tillman “idiot” and “sap” after he was killed in Afghanistan. Rall is also a contributor to In an article, “Why America needs Hezbollah” he praises Hezbollah’s clean-up efforts after the latest upsurge in Israeli-Hezbollah fighting writing,” The citizens of New Orleans desperately need Hezbollah's can-do terrorist spirit.”
Noam Chomsky, in an interesting choice for an Islamist baby-killer website, is given space to (falsely) denounce the UK Guardian for (accurately) reporting that Chomsky asserted that the 1995 Serbian massacre of Muslims at Srebrenica Bosnia was “overstated.” Another article praises Chomsky’s assertion that the US is “the world’s leading terrorist state.” It is lifted from, a site which is in turn littered with more western leftist servants of Islam.
[American] Lebanese scholar Walid Phares, after listening to al-Muhajir’s entire message in the original Arabic writes on Counter Terrorism Blog of, “al Qaeda's penetration of American politics.” Says Phares, “Interestingly, the message asks (American) politicians if they will implement their electoral promises to withdraw from Iraq. Al-Muhajir (who is also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri) praises the choices by the voters of the enemy to ‘defeat Bush.’ More interestingly, he uses and American vocabulary by calling the War ‘stupid.’ Usually Jihadists call it evil or infidel and rarely qualify it in secular ‘electoral’ terms. But the most striking words used by a Jihadi commander is ‘lame duck.’ When I heard him uttering the words ‘al-batta al arjaa’ I realized he was off the classical Jihadi speech.” The Islamic website features UK Respect Party politician and al-Jazeera correspondent Yvonne Ridley warning Muslims to, “Beware of the Happy Clappies (who)… promote an Islam devoid of jihad, shari'ah and khilafah.” The British ex-wife of a PLO Colonel, Ridley was captured by the Taliban while covering the Afghan war in September 2001. She was released days later after promising to read the Koran. She converted to Islam in 2003 and now says, "I was horrible to (my) captors. I spat at them and was rude and refused to eat.”

Another Muslim convert, Seattle-based Al-Muhajabah, the former Laura Poyneer who converted in the late 1990s, operates the website Muslims for Kucinich and the “Clark Blog” she also posts the quaint and formerly de-rigueur statement: “Muslims condemn terrorism”. This makes her propaganda efforts on behalf of surrender-minded Democrats all the more effective, but many Islamic websites have moved beyond that fig-leaf.

Ridley and Poyneer are not the only leftists who have converted to Islam in the wake of terror attacks. Jihad US is operated by Khadija Abdul Qahaar who in a lengthy personal statement describes herself as, “the former Bev Giesbrecht, Canadian publishing entrepreneur and in later years, also web developer…” Her response to the 9-11 attacks was to convert in early 2002 from being a leftist Canadian Bush-hater to Islam. Her website celebrates al-Qaeda and violent jihadists worldwide.

Without the internet skills and the service of hundreds of Western writers and intellectuals, the Islamists would have much greater difficulty spreading their propaganda to gain the submission of American and European leftist audiences. How important is the left’s servitude to radical Islam? Osama bin-Laden explains it best in an intercepted letter to Taliban chief Mullah Omar: “It is obvious that the media war in this century is one of the strongest methods (of struggle). In fact, its ratio may reach 90% of the total preparation for battles.”

While these left-wing writers and intellectuals now openly serve the jihadis, Benjamin Barber confines himself to arguing for American paralysis. In his most recent 2003 book, “Fear’s Empire: War, Terrorism and Democracy in an age of Interdependence”, Barber, still the third-roader, strikes the familiar liberal refrain: fighting terrorists creates terrorism. Wisely he confines himself to normal Democrat Party surrender rhetoric. This keeps him clean enough to serve in a future Democrat Presidential administration while others more completely follow the logic of his positions.
Tip o' the iceberg.