Which Presidential Candidate Would Be Better For The Submarine Force?

By this time, most people have decided who they're going to support for President on Tuesday. There are probably very few people who vote on the single issue of "Which candidate would be better for the Submarine Force and Submariners in general", but just in case there are some, I figured I'd list what I see as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Sen. McCain is the first career Navy officer to gain a major party nomination for President, so we can assume that he'll know more about how the Navy really works, including submarines. Of course, he was an airdale, so we don't know if his support for the Navy goes beyond supporting Naval aviation. I would think that he would have a special place in his heart for submarines, though, because his father commanded two submarines -- USS Gunnel (SS 253) and USS Dentuda (SS 355) -- during WWII, taking both on combat patrols. Sen. McCain has submarining in his blood. Plus, we know he supports Navy nuclear power. As someone who understands the military, he'll be more likely to let submarines do what they're capable of doing in support of the Global War on Terror.

Sen. Obama, on the other hand, hasn't really said anything about submarines -- other than refusing to comment about whether he thinks submarines should have been included in the recently announced arms sale to Taiwan. As a general rule, Democrats have been better during the Naughties about trying to get the SSN build rate increased to 2 submarines per year -- not because they love what submarines do, but because they're mostly built and maintained in states with strongly Democratic congressional delegations. I expect that Sen. Obama would, as President, be eager to show (at least during his first term) that he's not really anti-military, so he'll look for some areas where he can increase defense spending while helping his congressional allies, and submarines are a good place to start. Democrats have also made a big deal out of supporting veterans with increased money, because that's another way they can show "support" for the military without actually having to support what the people at the end of the spear are really doing; this would make life easier for those of us who get veteran's benefits.

As far as how Sen. Obama would react upon learning about what submarines really do, I worry that he'll have the same knee-jerk reaction shown by the newly-elected President Clinton after the 1993 collision between USS Grayling (SSN 646) and RFS Novomoskovsk (K 407). I'm afraid Sen. Obama, who has likely never had a briefing on what submarines are doing in the real world, will get all lawyer-y and peacenik-y and unilaterally remove some of our capabilities from the board once he finds out about them.

Overall, I think that Sen. McCain would be better from the point of view of the U.S. Submarine Force; as I said, though, I think there are very few people who are casting their vote based on this. I look forward to hearing your ideas on who you think would be the better President for the Sub Force -- hopefully without resorting to personal name-calling. After all, when it's all said and done, we really are all on the same side.

Bill Sali: Right And Wrong

Congressman Bill Sali continues to make news as he blunders towards the vote on Tuesday. First of all, I wanted to say that I agree with Congressman Sali that the Idaho Democratic Party was way out of bounds in failing to black out his and his wife's SSNs when they sent out a mailer about years-old delinquent bills. Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Jim Hansen should apologize to Congressman and Mrs. Sali.

That being said, Congressman Sali should apologize for a very misleading ad that takes a Walt Minnick answer on a questionaire from 1996 where he said he supported no changes in income tax levels and makes the claim that this means he supports higher taxes on the middle class now; in fact, Minnick supports a middle class tax cut.

And while he's at it, Mr. Sali should apologize for his staff's horrendous spelling. Check out this post on Sali's blog: remember, young Sali staffer, who almost certainly supports making English the "official" language: it's "Devastating Consequences", not "Devistating Consiquences". Also, the post is completely misleading anyway, because actually Walt Minnick doesn't support breaching the dams. That's probably why you didn't link to anything in the post; you didn't want people to know you were taking everything out of context.

Update 1558 30 October: I left a comment over at the blog post with the bad spelling; I knew they wouldn't post it, but I liked the young man who wrote the post when a met him a couple of weeks back, so I wanted to let him know so he could correct the spelling -- assuming that he'd so the right thing by the unspoken rules of the blogosphere and acknowledge a correction after it'd been brought to his attention. Well, the spellings were corrected, but no acknowledgement of the error was made. Just so people don't think I was making stuff up, here's a screenshot of the original post before editing:

Autumn Colors Are Pretty

The young maple tree in front of our house is looking especially beautiful this fall:

Oh, yeah... we also have our tacky Halloween yard inflatables up. Bubblehead: Driving down neighboring property values during the late year holiday seasons since 2004.

More Democrats for McCain?

Can't say whether this report is true or not but it feels right:
Tonight we spoke with a friend from Hillary Clinton’s campaign who is now working for McCain/Palin — and is specifically working with Democrats for McCain in Pennsylvania. We worked with her in Texas, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for Hillary and have spent many LONG hours with her in the trenches in all of those states. She’s smart, doesn’t BS, and never lies.

She says the same thing we do: John McCain will win Pennsylvania.

On November 4th, the news networks are going to be spinning and sputtering and playing catchup, but everything we see on the ground in PA is what we saw during the primaries: Obama has no shot of winning the Keystone State.

Here is specifically what we talked about tonight: never in any of our careers have any of us ever seen members of one party switching sides and voting for the other party as we see in this election with Democrats for McCain. There has never been anything like it. Not even the “Reagan Democrats” who voted for Reagan over Carter, for the simple fact that these “Reagan Democrats” weren’t identified and labeled until AFTER the election.

No, Democrats for McCain are real, are voting for McCain right now, and are open and organized, as well as self-identifying. Lynn Rothschild might be our poster gal, as one of the most prominent of our ranks, but it’s telling that everyone from Team Hillary that we know now works for McCain. ALL OF US. Whether they are open about it, like we are, or are working quietly behind the scenes, we can’t think of a single person we worked with on a daily basis for Hillary who is now working on behalf of Obama.

We all truly believe that John McCain will work more closely with Hillary Clinton in the Senate and make it a priority to team up with her on legislation than Obama ever would. We also believe Obama winning this election means his supporters would actively seek to eliminate all Clinton loyalists from the Democratic Party, to consolidate his power base and purge anyone who is not 100% loyal to him. For obvious reasons, those of us loyal to the Clintons will not let that happen without a fight.

But, this is all talking about leadership, and those of us who have invested two years of our lives in all of this — and have, in all honesty, spent every cent we had on this campaign. What about the regular voters?

Union members repeatedly tell all of us that they are lying to pollsters because the unions have been polling these people — and the unions will threaten people’s jobs if they don’t tow the union line. So, the people lie when asked whom they are supporting. But, the unions can’t control who they vote for on Election Day. And that’s when things are going to get interesting.

We do not believe Obama will carry Pittsburgh or Harrisburg in PA. He’ll win Philly, but not by the large margin he needs to take the state. You’ve heard Governor Ed Rendell is “worried” about Obama’s chances in Pennsylvania. That is an understatement. Obama will lose a state that hasn’t gone red in generations.

What’s happening here that’s not being reported is that “Reagan Democrats” who vote Republican whenever they feel that Democrats are out of touch, socialist, or too liberal are voting for McCain…and these people are being joined by PUMAs, DeMcCrats for McCain, Hillocrats, whatever you want to call them, who don’t like or trust Obama and who believe McCain/Palin would address the wants and needs of centrist Democrats much better than Obama ever would.

We personally believe this here at HillBuzz. That’s why we are doing this. We do not believe Obama will put the best interests of Americans first — instead, Obama will do what is best for Obama, the way he has always done. We do not trust this man or his socialist Kool-Aid and want no part of him.

In Pennsylvania, we are not alone.

The same people who ran the board for us in the primary — who assured us daily that the polls the media was pushing were wrong in claiming Obama would beat Clinton in PA — tell us on a daily basis that McCain is going to win Pennsylvania. There’s a damn good chance this won’t even be close, if what people are seeing on the ground right now holds, and is indicative of the whole state.

DEMOCRATS are staffing McCain offices across the state. DEMOCRATS are phone banking and canvassing for McCain. DEMOCRATS are raising large sums to fund this last week of campaigning.


This has NEVER happened before — and the media is ignoring it. The media consistently claims that Obama enjoys the support of 85% of Democrats, versus only 80% of Republicans who supposedly are supporting McCain. We call BS on all of this — we’d say 90% of Republicans are supporting McCain, and 65-70% of Democrats are actually supporting Obama. At least that’s the case in Pennsylvania, and in Ohio too. Our mission this next week is to reach out to every Democrat we can and let them know it’s okay to vote Republican this year — because the Republican is the better choice.

There are two things Hillary Clinton and John McCain have in common that we’re thinking about right now: (1) both love America more than anything and truly want what’s best for the country, and not themselves and (2) Clinton has a framed photo of McCain in her office, while McCain has a similar photo of Clinton in his.

Clinton and McCain are friends for a reason — and we know they will work well together these next four years. We’re going to face some tough challenges in McCain’s administration, and we sincerely do pledge to all Republicans reading this that the bipartisan spirit we’ve fostered during this campaign working together with Republicans to elect McCain will continue in these next 4 years, because America needs us working together.

We are all Americans right now — working together to stop a socialist from becoming president and taking all of us down a very dangerous path. Hillary’s Army is strong and mobilized, and is working its hard out for McCain/Palin. If you Republicans can match our enthusiasm and dedication, we will win this, and not just in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but all across the country.

We have the potential to make this a crippling loss not just for Obama, but for the far-left liberal wing of the Democratic party and the liberal elite media itself. We have the potential to wipe all of these kooks and loons off the political landscape with a loud, resounding loss for all of them on November 4th.

What we have learned about the state of Pennsylvania tells us our continued efforts are paying off — and that we just need to stay focused and keep working hard the next 7 days to win this for McCain/Palin and, in all honesty, win this for AMERICA too.

It’s an honor to be in this fight with all of you — if we work hard, we will indeed win.

Obama "Redistribution" Comments Gone Viral

The Obama audio comments about "redistributing wealth" from a 2001 Chicago Public Radio program have gone viral.

Posted on YouTube on Sunday, in less than 48 hours it has received over 1.7 million views and garnered over 17,000 comments. UPDATE: Now over 2 million views and 25,000 comments!

It was the most-viewed video on YouTube yesterday by far, and #8 for the week.

Dick Morris just said on Hannity and Colmes he's "hemorrhaging votes" over this.

See here for a transcript.

Spread the word!

Ace summarizes:
Translation [ace]: As lefties are suggesting idiotic interpretations, and even some on the right are getting it wrong, here's what he's saying:

1. The Supreme Court never considered "redistribution of wealth" or "economic justice" among the guarantees provided to citizens.

2. Even the Warren Court was not "radical" enough to do so -- to impose real "redistributive change" on the nation.

3. The courts have generally provided negative constraints on the government rather than positive obligations the government owes to its citizens (specifically, here, such as economic justice and redistribution of wealth).

4. Therefore, it is a "tragedy" that the civil rights movement became so courts-focused, because it limited what redress they could actually obtain -- and it took attention away from the "community organizing" efforts which could assemble "coalitions of power" (political power, that is) to actually achieve "redistributive change." Such change simply could not be had in the courts, still laboring under the "constraints" imposed by the Founding Fathers.

5. "And in some ways we still suffer from that."

And do note that Obama is currently on the brink of achieving the ultimate "community organizing" position, the ultimate assembler of "coalitions of power," and the current top legislative position (and yes, the President is the most important legislator in the country, through proposing/advocating legislation and signing it into law) that will allow him to pursue the "redistributive change" the Warren Court was, tragically, insufficiently radical to contemplate.

Obama's SS

Here is Obama calling for a "Civilian National Security Force", as a parallel army "just as well funded" and "just as powerful" as our current military!

Because "we cannot continue to rely only on our military" to achieve his goals!

Obama needs a more reliable and pliant National Security Force? Did he just suggest that?

What in the world would somebody need a whole new parallel National Security Force for?!? What could possibly be its purpose?

This is exactly what Hitler did in creating the SS, as it would be more loyal than the regular army.

This is patently insane.

UPDATE: This clip is from a July 2, 2008 speech. Apparently Obama deviated from his prepared remarks to deliver these lines. Bloggers (but not the MSM) picked it up at the time, affirming that it needed further explanation. As Hot Air said,
Note to desperate Obama apologists: the Peace Corps is not a “national security force”.

Obama's Evil Communist Tactics

Report your parents for ThoughtCrimes, kids! Use emotional blackmail!

These are the tactics described at Obama Campaign Headquarters for kids to use, which cross the line into sheer evil:
The one thing most grandparents have in common is that they have the most wonderful grandchildren in the world - so clever, so handsome, so pretty, ever so precious. Even if you are still unsure of your path in life, and even if your parents and friends occasionally wonder about you, your grandma and grandpa love you and have faith in you.

That is your weapon! "Precious" needs to get on the phone and say, "Grandpa, Grandma, I am asking you to vote for Barack Obama. This is really important to me. It's about my future. It's about the world I will be living in. It's about the world I want for my future children. (They will love that one!) Please! Do it for me!"

...The really great part of this strategy is that everything you could possibly say to your grandparents about how important Barack's election is for you is one hundred percent true.

When it comes to your family, you are Barack's most effective advocate. There are less than two weeks left in this election. If you haven't already talked to your family, now is the time.

If you've already talked to your parents and grandparents about Barack and what's at stake in this election, let us know how it went, and what advice you would offer fellow supporters who are thinking about having the talk themselves.
Using children as emotional political weapons against their parents and grandparents!

And then REPORT BACK on how your parents will vote!

No, this isn't a "different kind of politics."

This is old-school communism. This is how the Maoist Cultural Revolution started.
One great irony of the Socialist Education Movement is that it called for grassroots action, yet was directed by Mao himself. This movement, aimed primarily at schoolchildren, did not have any immediate effect on Chinese politics, but it did influence a generation of youths, from whom Mao could draw support in the future.
It didn't end until a million people were murdered by the student Red Guards.

Marketing to children is generally restricted, but not when it comes to indoctrination by The One.

Here is the campaign's official page on how to have "the Talk" with your parents to Vote Barack:
Are you sure if your parents are voting for Obama?

If not, you may be the only person who can convince them. If you haven’t already, it’s time for you to have “The Talk” with your parents and other family members.

And tell all your friends to do the same!
By the way,
He [Barack Obama] supports measures that would make it easier for young people to vote, such as Election-Day registration and no-excuse absentee balloting.
Children and illegal aliens running the country.

Not directly affiliated with the campaign is this group, TrueLoveWaitsForADemocrat, which takes a different approach to healing rifts in our society:

“Just Say No to Sex with Republicans.”

Breakthrough video from an award-winning team of top fashion and advertising creatives,
makes its debut on YouTube. The video takes a tongue in cheek look at the Republican led abstinence movement and turns it on it’s head. In on-camera statements, lovely, scantily-clad patriots, both men and women, pledge to ‘save themselves’ for people who vote Democrat.
Lovely how they mock the notion of abstinence and use sex as a political weapon.

One commenter however points out,
In other words vote conservative and avoid contracting crotch rot from one of these skanks at their next hot tub party! (Thanks for the warning)
These are classic totalitarian tactics.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Get out and fight!

Russian Akula-II On Sea Trials, Bound For India?

A Russian SSN originally laid down in 1991 is out on sea trials in the Sea of Japan, according to Russian media reports. Interestingly, it looks like the attack sub might be headed for India:
Indian media have reported on various occasions that the construction of the submarine was partially financed by the Indian government. India has reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton submarine.
According to Indian defense sources, Nerpa is expected to join the Indian navy under the designation INS Chakra in the second half of 2009.
The submarine will not be equipped with long-range cruise missiles due to international restrictions on missile technology proliferation, but India may later opt to fit it with domestically designed long-range nuclear-capable missiles.
However, a spokesman for the Amur shipyard earlier said that Nerpa differed considerably from the previous Akula-class submarines.
"Our Nerpa is fitted with more sophisticated navigation, sonar, and hydraulic systems," he said.
Russian state officials have categorically denied reports of a possible lease of a nuclear submarine to India.
Asked in late September to comment on media reports on alleged plans to export nuclear submarines, in particular to India, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said: "The press discusses lots of things. We do not export nuclear submarines."
India previously leased a Charlie I class nuclear submarine from the Soviet Union from 1988 to 1991.
I tend to believe Indian sources more than the Russian Defense Minister, so it's likely the sub is headed to India. This is especially interesting considering the recent report about the current troubles being faced by India's diesel submarine fleet. This brings up a good question for debate: is it better for a non-superpower to go for a smaller nuclear submarine fleet, or put their money into more diesel boats? My guess is that either is a good option for navies of limited means, but trying to go for both ends up with both the nuclear and non-nuclear sides of the sub fleet short-changed. Brazil also seems to be trying to "go nuclear" while still looking to increase her diesel fleet; of course, they have oil money to help in the funding. In all cases, I expect that any "third world" country that goes the nuclear route will have to rely on their supplier for specialized nuclear submarine maintenance requirements; this will continue to give the big powers significant input into how said SSNs are used -- if they don't like what they're going to do with it, they'll threaten to withhold support.

Political Desperation Is Funny

Now that all the "big" newspapers here in western Idaho have finished their endorsements in the race for the 1st District Congressional seat, I find myself amused to watch Bill Sali's attempt to get at least something out of the newspaper endorsement process -- considering he got no newspaper endorsements at all. He's reduced to picking selected quotes out of the Idaho Press-Tribune's non-endorsement of either candidate; not surprisingly, he doesn't include a link to the article in question, since it contains some interesting statements about Congressman Sali:
This editorial board tends to see eye-to-eye with Sali’s positions on matters of public policy. His desire for limited government and heavily controlled federal spending rings well in the western Treasure Valley. And as we made clear two years ago, a candidate with his views could easily win an endorsement in our conservative area.
On the other hand, his combative nature, personal conduct and character remain concerns even with nearly two years of service under his belt.
His ethically debatable decision to employ a full-time congressional office staffer as his campaign spokesman, his attempt to get third-party or independent candidates to step out of the U.S. Senate race, and his sloppy campaign finance filings are all reasons to think twice before casting a Sali vote.
Maybe his staff just doesn't know how to put hyperlinks into an article on a web page. Even this post that tells readers to "click here" twice somehow doesn't include actual links.

I guess that's why most voters here in the 1st District are leaning towards voting for Walt Minnick in 8 days.

Obama 2001 Bombshell on Redistributing Wealth

Here is a shocking audio interview with Barack Obama from 2001 on WBEZ-FM, Chicago Public Radio, in which Obama laments that in spite of the progress of the Civil Rights Movement,
the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.
He goes on to state the Warren Court was not radical enough in that it adhered to the notion of the Constitution restricting government power, instead of decreeing what government must provide to you!

He also says one of the "tragedies" of the Civil Rights Movement was it was too court-focused and did not succeed in creating the coalitions of power to legislatively seek what he then calls (twice!) "redistributive...change."

But, he doesn't think it's too late to make the "administrative" changes to do so legislatively.

He also says,
Any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts.
Is is clear: Obama is a radical Marxist.

His policies will ruin us all.

When he calls for "Change!" I'm sure many of his duped supporters don't realize he means "Redistributive Change."

As in, taking your money.

UPDATE: Here is a full transcript:
MODERATOR: Good morning and welcome to Odyssey on WBEZ Chicago 91.5 FM and we’re joined by Barack Obama who is Illinois State Senator from the 13th district and senior lecturer in the law school at the University of Chicago.

OBAMA: If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.

But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted. One of the I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that.

MODERATOR: Let’s talk with Karen. Good morning, Karen, you’re on Chicago Public Radio.

KAREN: Hi. The gentleman made the point that the Warren court wasn’t terribly radical with economic changes. My question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically and is that that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place – the court – or would it be legislation at this point?

OBAMA: Maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way.

You just look at very rare examples during the desegregation era the court was willing to for example order changes that cost money to a local school district. The court was very uncomfortable with it. It was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.

The court’s just not very good at it and politically it’s very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally. Any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts.

No Truer Words

At the U.N., Many Hope for an Obama Win

An informal survey of more than two dozen U.N. staff members and foreign delegates showed that the overwhelming majority would prefer that Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency, saying they think that the Democrat would usher in a new agenda of multilateralism after an era marked by Republican disdain for the world body.
Many U.N. rank and file are less circumspect, saying they see in Obama's multicultural background -- a Kenyan father, an Indonesian stepfather and a mother and grandparents from Kansas -- a reflection of themselves. "We do not consider him an African American," said Congo's U.N. ambassador, Atoki Ileka. "We consider him an African."
U.S. Presidents should be natural-born Americans not only in the technical sense required by the Constitution, but also in spirit. Clearly that is the intent of the requirement, as it would be meaningless otherwise.

As an aside, those left-leaning Obama-apologists at Snopes.com, the supposedly definitive source for urban legend debunking/verification, confidently declare the claims that Obama is not even technically qualified to be Presdident are false.

But as for McCain's technical qualification?

They call it "undetermined."

I Must Be Racist

Just got a charming comment from an Obama supporter!
Erica has left a new comment on your post "Just Spreading the Wealth":

Do you seriously listen to yourself??? Anti-Christ???
Actually I said I didn't know. But Obama's comments about building a Kingdom on Earth are...interesting...and those votive candles with his likeness sure are cute !
Hey Bush has destroyed this country along with his cronies...how are people overlooking the last 8 years AT LEAST!!!
Even if true that Bush destroyed the country, which is ridiculous, he and his administration are not up for re-election.
In regards to your stupid act against that hard working waitress that SERVED you, YOU ARE DISGUSTING!
To anyone who can read it would be clear I was relating a story from someone else.

And a moment's thought would reveal it is likely an apocryphal story, meant as a metaphor.

Of course it's unfair! That's the point of showing how unfair Obama's plan of "spreading the wealth" is!
Obama may give that homeless man more job opportunities so he can provide for himself, but Obama is not going to "redistribute" anyone's wealth to give someone who is not working a free check
Giving further tax breaks to people already paying no income tax sounds like a free check to me.
Do you have a personal issue with an African-American as President? Be honest with yourself...maybe that explains why you will believe ANYTHING negative about him!
And there it is! I must oppose Obama because I'm a racist, rather than because he's a Marxist!


Is Obama the AntiChrist?

I don't know.

But the more he talks like this, the more I worry:
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) -- Republicans no longer have a firm grip on religion in political discourse, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama told Sunday worshippers.

He finished his brief remarks by saying, "We're going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."
Whoa, isn't that what Jesus is supposed to do?

From the mouth of Obama himself!
In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or anti-Christ means a person, office, or group recognized as fulfilling the Biblical prophecies about one who will oppose Christ and substitute himself in Christ's place.

'Antichrist' is translated from the combination of two ancient Greek words αντί + Χριστός (anti + Christos). In Greek, Χριστός means “anointed one” and Christians apply it to Jesus of Nazareth.[1] αντί means not only anti in the sense of “against” and “opposite of”, but also “in place of".[2] Therefore, an antichrist opposes Christ by substituting himself for Christ.
Paul writes that this Man of Sin (sometimes translated son of perdition) will possess a number of characteristics. These include "sitting in the temple", opposing himself against anything that is worshiped, claiming divine authority,[11] working all kinds of counterfeit miracles and signs,[12] and doing all kinds of evil.[13] Paul notes that "the mystery of lawlessness"[14] (though not the Man of Sin himself) was working in secret already during his day and will continue to function until being destroyed on the Last Day.[15] His identity is to be revealed after that which is restraining him is removed.[9][15]

The term is also often applied to prophecies regarding a "Little horn" power in Daniel 7,[16]. Daniel 9:27 mentions an "abomination that causes desolations" setting itself up in a "wing" or a "pinnacle" of the temple.[17].
A "wing"?

The West Wing, perhaps?
Some Futurists hold that sometime prior to the expected return of Jesus, there will be a period of "great tribulation"[40] during which the Antichrist, indwelt and controlled by Satan, will attempt to win supporters with false peace, supernatural signs.
This is not an original observation, of course:
The London Sunday Times Online ran a brilliant satire piece called "He ventured forth to bring light into the world."

A sample paragraph: "When he was 12 years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organization with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: 'Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?'"
The AntiChrist is also associated with deception, and the destruction of Jerusalem -- Iran, anyone?

As a final sign of the Apocalypse, check out these votary candles on sale in San Francisco:

Democrats for McCain

PCU New Hampshire Commissioning Tomorrow

PCU New Hampshire (SSN 778) will officially put on the "USS" tag with her commissioning Saturday at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Some logistics information is here for those planning to attend; for those who can't make it, you'll be able to view a simulcast here starting at 1000 EDT tomorrow (opens your media player).

As with all ceremonies of this nature, the crew has to practice. Here's a photo of the "manning the rails" walk-through:

Other photos of the lead-up to the ceremony can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Update 0900 26 October: The New London Day has a report on the commissioning that includes a photo gallery and a discussion of Virginia-class submarine construction timelines. They mention that this is the first year since 1996 that two SSNs were commissioned in the same year. [As you remember, USS North Carolina (SSN 777) was commissioned in May.]

Update 1332 28 October: Here's the Navy website report on the commissioning, with its own photo gallery and a link to a short video report on the commissioning ceremony.

New Walt Minnick YouTube Ad Features Local Retired Submarine Officer

Check this out:

Anyone other than me think their voice sounds a lot different when you hear it on a recording than it does when you hear yourself speaking?

Submarine Action Picture

Good "action" shots of submarines are fairly rare; usually, the best you'll see is a submarine pulling into port -- like this photo of PCU New Hampshire (SSN 778) pulling into PNSY ahead of her commissioning this weekend.

That's why I like this shot of USS Hampton (SSN 767), taken last week as she submerged following her departure on WestPac:

Looks like a good dive; the front two sets of MBT vents are already underwater. Do any of you have any stories about diving evolutions that didn't work out so well?

Just Spreading the Wealth

Obama says he wants to "spread the wealth around", for fairness reasons, whether or not it results in greater revenue for the government (lower taxes tend to promote growth and hence actually increase tax revenue).

An interesting experiment, found on a comment page attributed to a reader of the Eagle Tribune:
Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign the read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
Interestingly, Obama claims he'll give a tax break to "95% of Americans" when only about 60% pay income taxes.

That means the 40% who already pay no income taxes are going to be just handed cash.

Your cash.

That's welfare, not a tax cut!

Indeed, that 5% that would not get a tax cut is already paying HALF of all taxes collected!

Imagine suddenly everyone were given twice as much money as they had before, but no actual productive increase in goods or services had taken place -- that's what handing money to people is like.

Because the cash did not come from generating wealth in the form of new goods or services, prices of everything will quickly double to absorb the extra money (because things are just as scarce as they were before), and nobody gets ahead!

Indeed, the disincentive to work will cause a contraction of living standards for all.

That's Obama's socialism.

They argue people pay other taxes, however; as the Wall Street Journal points out, giving someone a Social Security tax refund out of Income Tax revenue is a shell game.

Another complaint is "tax cuts benefit the rich" -- well if they benefit you too, why not? The rich are paying much more to start with anyway. This explanation of unknown origin is actually close to correct numerically:
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'? They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before and the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. 'I only got a dollar out of the $20', declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, 'but he got $10!' 'Yeah, that's right', exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I'. 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

New "Hey, Shipwreck" Episode

Is it a good deal or a bad deal to pull duty the day you get back from deployment? And what's the best combination of junk food and drink to use to stay awake through the midwatch? Ponder those questions and more as you check out the long-awaited third episode of the 2nd season of "Hey, Shipwreck":

For those wondering why it's been taking so long between episodes this season, series creator Pat Hrabe explains why in his blog.

Media Smears Average Americans

All pretense of objective journalism is gone.

This has gone from "too far" to total war: the media is now smearing half the country as racists...unless they vote Obama:

Hate-filled attacks on Obama have many roots
WASHINGTON — An ugly line has been crossed in this presidential campaign, one in which some people don't mind calling Barack Obama a dangerous Muslim, a terrorist and worse.


Experts agree on the reasons: Obama, the Democratic nominee, is different from any other major presidential candidate in history in many ways, and people often don't accept such change gracefully.
The implication is this rejection is because he's black.

No, it's because he's socialist!

"A great many people think they're about to lose power. The world is changing around them, and they can't stop that change. So their anger is boiling over," said Mark Potok , the director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center , which tracks hate groups.

The nonstop bile flowing toward Obama has been expressed in many ways:

Racism. People for the American Way has found that since the McCain campaign very publicly has accused ACORN, a grass-roots community group with strong ties to liberal politicians, of widespread voter-registration fraud, "ACORN offices across the nation have been subjected to an onslaught of racist and threatening voice mails and e-mails."
The fraud is pretty clear-cut; notice how ACORN's illegal activities and Obama's ties to ACORN are deflected by charging the critics are racists.

In addition, Pier said, many older voters grew up when racial segregation was still legal, haven't necessarily accepted blacks in positions of power and are afraid of having a black president.

"Everything these people have stood for is sort of being questioned and to some degree eliminated by Obama," said David Bositis, a senior research associate at Washington's Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies , which studies African-American voting trends.

The angry voters have a 21st-century way to come together instantly and share misinformation. No longer do most people get news from newspapers or major television networks; instead they can access talk shows or Internet sites that are sympathetic to their own views.
So being against Obama is, a priori, racism.

And the internet will have to be regulated for hate speech to correct the misinformation by the Ministry of Truth.

This is the last straw in a rapid series of ever-more outrageous partisanship by the media:

Orson Scott Card lays out a laundry list of one-sided reporting, including the role of Democrats in the Mortgage Crisis, in an open letter to the media:
If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats — including Barack Obama — and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans — then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.
A vile non-newsworthy attack piece on Cindy McCain makes the front page of the New York Times...but where is any such scrutiny of Michelle Obama?

Numerous questions about Obama go unasked by the media, such as Obama's apparently illegal acceptance of speaking fees while in state government, or his associations with self-proclaimed anti-Americans like Rev. "God damn Amerikkka" Wright and William "We set bombs" Ayers, or shady characters like slumlord Tony Rezko and Saddam Hussein's financier and international criminal Nadhmi Auchi, or his membership in the socialist New Party...

...yet "Joe the Plumber" gets reamed with an in-depth media probe for the audacity of asking Obama a question when picked out at random for a photo-op!

Which resulted in the unguarded comment that Obama wished to "spread the wealth around."

So Obama then had to mock the plumber. Mocking an average working American at a public campaign rally!

Not to mention the disproportionate scrutiny, e-mail-hacking, and social savaging of Sarah Palin.

But no, it's poor Obama who is the victim...

And yet, all the real violence and thuggery is coming from the Left:

Item: McCain's Straight Talk Express bus was reported to have been hit with paint pellets and a window broken by a .22 rifle bullet this weekend in New Mexico.

Item: intimidation directed at McCain supporters by Obamatrons who were exhorted to "get in their faces" by Barack himself. Just following Dear Leader's orders...

Item: A woman with a McCain sign in New York City has the sign torn away by an enraged Obama-supporting man who then beats her with it.

Oh, and those supposed shouts of "Kill him!" at a McCain rally that Obama complained about at the last debate?

Never happened! The Secret Service investigated and nobody could corroborate the reporter's story -- he was the only witness who heard that said. Everyone else thought it was "Tell them!"

Here is the Real Barack Obama.

Find out all about his friends here.

Here is Obama's Rhetoric vs Record.

Vote accordingly.

Absurdity In Poster Form

Like all guys, I really like Demotivational Posters with funny pictures and sayings highlighting some absurdity of the human condition. (Many examples can be found here.) This one is my current favorite:

A reader sent in a new one making the rounds that reminds me of the carrier deployment I did in 2000 when we were on the great circle route from San Diego to Japan that takes you a couple hundred miles south of the Aleutians:

On that deployment with the Stennis Battle Group, I remember the carrier shuddering from the waves crashing against the bow, and just imagined how the guys on the frigate accompanying us were doing. The submarine that was transiting with us sent a message to the Admiral in command of the battle group that the waters were nice and calm at 400 ft, and wondered if he wanted to transfer his flag...

Obama's Terrorist Pal

Obama says unrepentant terrorist William Ayers was "just a guy in the neighborhood."

Seems there's more to their associations.

Ayers also mentions Obama by name in his book (page 82!).

And a few weeks before Obama's review was published, on Nov 20 1997, Obama and Ayers were both on a panel organized by Michelle Obama:
Children who kill are called "super predators," "people with no conscience," "feral pre-social beings" -- and "adults."

William Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court (Beacon Press, 1997), says "We should call a child a child. A 13-year-old who picks up a gun isn't suddenly an adult. We have to ask other questions: How did he get the gun? Where did it come from?"

Ayers, who spent a year observing the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, is one of four panelists who will speak on juvenile justice at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in the C-Shop. The panel, which marks the 100th anniversary of the juvenile justice system in the United States, is part of the Community Service Center's monthly discussion series on issues affecting the city of Chicago. The event is free and open to the public.

Ayers will be joined by Sen. Barack Obama, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, who is working to combat legislation that would put more juvenile offenders into the adult system...

... the system is "overcrowded, under-funded, over-centralized and racist," Ayers said.

Michelle Obama, Associate Dean of Student Services and Director of the University Community Service Center, hopes bringing issues like this to campus will open a dialogue between members of the University community and the broader community.
Not to mention the fundraiser for Obama in the living room of Ayers and the even more loathesome terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, which during the last debate Obama simply dismissed as "untrue" -- which can only be accurate if he's splitting hairs over the claim it "launched his political career" or not, as the event surely happened.

And not to mention Ayers getting Obama a position on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge board where they gave out money to support educational "reform."

Reform, as viewed by an unrepentant Marxist-Leninist domestic bomber who likes to say "guilty as hell, free as a bird!"

Educational reform, from this person:
The Weatherman leadership, including Bill Ayers, pushed for a radical reformulation of sexual relations under the slogan "Smash Monogamy"
Why does Obama not only associate with such terrorists, but then tries to deny it?

Why the ridiculous counter-claim that Obama was "only 8 years old" when the Weathermen were bombing things? That's not the point.

The point is lefties see Ayers as an acceptable member of society, but not Sarah Palin.

Note the odious defense of Ayers by the token leftie at the Wall Street Journal in which the author expresses astonishment at the vilification of Ayers, because he himself is a friend of Ayers just like Obama, and Ayers is some kind of inspiring humanitarian, and a "model citizen"!!!
He volunteers for everything. He may once have been wanted by the FBI, but in the intervening years the man has become such a good citizen he ought to be an honorary Eagle Scout.
No, he ought to be in prison.

Now, factcheck.org makes light of the Obama-Ayers associations.

Interestingly, factcheck.org is funded by the Annenberg Foundation -- yeah, the same foundation that funded Ayers and Obama to give out money for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Worth Another Look

Liked this video lecture before, well worth another look now:

How Modern Liberals Think

"Good is Evil, and Evil is the victim of Good."

Bill Sali Tells Untruths About Idaho's Military Heritage

In a profile of Congressman Bill Sali in the Idaho Statesman today I was surprised to read this little tidbit:
Sali was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, where his father, Gregory, a nuclear physicist, was working on nuclear defense projects. The Salis soon moved to Windsor Locks, Conn., where his father worked on the first nuclear submarine prototype.
Concerned the Soviets were stealing his designs, the Canadian immigrant decided to give up his trade and start over in Idaho in 1962, when the future congressman was 8, Sali said. Even though his father spoke German as a child, he learned English, one of the reasons Sali wants to make English the official language of the nation.
I would have to assume that the reporter who wrote the story didn't make up the part about Windsor Locks having the "first" nuclear submarine prototype, so one could reasonably assume that he heard that from Mr. Sali. Unless his father was commuting from Connecticut to Idaho Falls, there's no way he could have worked on the "first" submarine prototype, since that is right here in Idaho -- the S1W land-based prototype for the USS Nautilus (SSN 571), which reached criticality before Bill Sali was born (and therefore before his family moved from Ohio to Connecticut). The only prototype in Windsor Falls, CT, was the S1C reactor for the electric-drive USS Tullibee (SSN 597).

I'm sure Bill Sali "remembers" his father telling him he worked at the first submarine prototype, and I know people are eager to believe everything their father tells them. After a while, though, people need to look for actual facts, and it seems like a Congressman from Idaho should be aware that the first land-based submarine prototype is in this great state. Of course, most Congressman are probably a lot more interested in at least trying to understand the military than Bill Sali apparently is. Since Sali's opponent, Walt Minnick, actually served in the military, western Idahoans have a chance to actually elect a Congressman next month who does know the military and its culture.

Update 0821 20 October: The error's been corrected in the online version of the story.

USS Ohio Visits Yokosuka

USS Ohio (SSGN 726) pulled into Yokosuka yesterday for a port visit, just over a year after she left Bangor on her maiden SSGN deployment. Here's a picture of her piloting into Yoko:

Anyone know if the officer Sanctuary is still open at the base?

Earlier this month, the crew of USS Ohio did a burial at sea in the Philippine Sea (here and here). Here's some more information on the Dry Deck Shelters you see aft of her sail, and Galrahn had some comments on her capabilities when she deployed last year.

Based on the fact that the Ohio is quite a ways from the Arabian Sea, it looks like we won't be attacking Iran before the election. I know all the conspiracy theorists out there will be bummed...

Messin' With Drill Monitors

I had this great idea for a post about the never-ending battle between Drill Monitors and watchstanders aboard submarines. Whenever I come up with an idea for a post, I do a quick search of my blog to see if I've already done it (my memory's not quite what it used to be, and, to be honest, I've just about run out of humorous sea stories that aren't classified); in this case, I already had written this post, back in 2005. It's still a good concept, though, so I'm reposting most of it:

-- On the last planned drill before ORSE on the good ship Topeka, we decided to get back at the drill monitors. We got ahold of a drill radio, set it to "VOX", and stuck it on a running HPAC. They ended up securing from the drill because none of the monitors could talk to each other. A win for the little guys! The EDEA was not amused...

-- I was hanging around in the wardroom with another JO, waiting for some forward drills to start. We had a couple of the rotating flashing lights that we use for fire simulation in the pantry for some reason, so my buddy puts them on the wardroom table and turns them on; we think it looks like the top of a police car (it seemed really funny at the time). Suddenly, we hear over the wardroom 4MC white rat: "Fire in the wardroom", and we had to run up to control to get them to secure from the "drill". The XO was not amused...

-- Back aft during a fire drill from hell, we had a huge cluster of people gathered in ERML. Not many EAB connections there, so there were about five guys in a row buddy-clipped onto this one fairly new guy. (For those not familiar with EABS, here's a picture of some being worn. They're "Emergency Air Breathing" masks that you hook up to connections that run fresh breathing air under pressure throughout the ship -- a necessity in case of a fire. When you're wearing one correctly, the only way you breathe is if you're plugged in; you hold your breath going from plug to plug. Each hose has a "buddy-clip" that someone else can plug into near the regulator.)
Anyway, this new guy decided to head up into upper level (this is on an LA-class boat) and doesn't realize he's got all these people plugged into him. He unplugs, starts to head up the ladder, and gets tugged back by the person connected to him. He realizes what's happening, and goes to plug back in, but a new arrival has taken the EAB plug he just abandoned. He looks around for a buddy-clip, and sees one; plugs in, tries to take a deep breath, and... you guessed it. He had plugged into the last guy in the row of people plugged into him. (It's a phenomenon known as "recircing your breathing air"). I laughed my ass off. The five victims were not amused...

-- One day, as Engineer, I found in my inbox a proposed drill guide from the off-going duty section. Apparently they had a shoot-the-sh*t in Maneuvering about spontaneous combustion, and one of them came up with an idea for the ultimate "Screaming Alpha" fire drill. The drill guide was in the correct format, and was titled "Fire in the Reactor Operator". It had possible alternate courses of action like "If desired, the fire may spread to the Throttleman". I pretended not to be amused...

-- Standing EOOW, I had the following 2JV exchange with an off-watch EM:
"Request permission to run a drill in Engine Room Middle Level"
"What kind of drill?"
"An electrical drill"
"Report to Maneuvering"

Thirty seconds later, he ''Christmas-dinner''ed, a power drill in hand...

Let's hear some of your favorite drill memories...


Nation could face short Election Night

Network news executives said they are preparing for an unusual Election Night challenge: How to be honest with the audience, and still keep them tuned in, if the race between John McCain and Barack Obama is effectively decided before most Americans have finished dinner.

After two elections in which the suspense went far into the evening (and, in the case of 2000, for 36 days afterward), the executives said they are contemplating how to manage their newscasts in the event of an Obama blowout — in which the Democrat’s victory would be obvious while polls are still open in most of the country.
Effectively decided?

They mean, as the article makes clear, that if they can "call" Virginia for Obama the moment the polls close at 7 pm, the race is "effectively" over.

If it is clear on Nov. 4 that Obama has won in Virginia by the time polls there close at 7 p.m. — it will still be daylight west of the Mississippi — the obvious conclusion will be that Obama is headed to the White House.
Of course, calling a state the moment polls close relies on unreliable exit polling data.

Or so we're told.

In "effect", it relies on simply the media's "declaration" of an Obama victory the moment polls close, which the 2004 election showed us can be in error.

What they will in "effect" be doing is attempting to influence voting in western states where polls are still open, to discourage turnout by McCain supporters by declaring an early 7 pm victory for Senator Government, whether it's true or not.

That's the cynical way of looking at it. At the very least, this eagerness to view the outcome as simply a question of the size of Obama's victory is a sign of uncontrolled hubris.

One wonders why they're even waiting until Nov. 4.

Submariners Taking Over Royal Navy

With the promotion of Admiral Mark Stanhope to First Sea Lord and Vice Admiral Trevor Soar to Stanhope's previous position of CinC Fleet, Submariners will have completed their takeover of the top spots in the Royal Navy as of next July.

We're expecting great things from the Royal Navy.

Bubblehead The (Politicial) Journalist

Fresh on the heels of my widely-praised first foray into citizen-journalism (when I covered the opening of the Locust Grove overpass over I-84 last year), I decided to expand my horizons and join the monolithic and impersonal MSM in covering a local political event. Here's a timeline of what happened next:

- 2300, 15 October: I noticed a post over at submariner Dale's blog that said that the Veterans for Sali (who I blogged about last week) would be having a press conference in Garden City at 1000 the next day. I checked out the link to the videos the Sali campaign had posted about the group, and found a questionable statement about 40 seconds into one of them:

For those who didn't watch it, 14-year Army veteran Mark says that he "served eight years of the time under Bill Clinton without one pay raise...". Since I distinctly remember getting annual raises during the Clinton years, along with fogeys (longevity pay increases) every two years, my keen journalistic insights convinced me that this statement was demonstrably untrue. I also knew that the Sali camp loves joking around with people from the opposing campaign, so I knew they wouldn't mind a little good-natured ribbing by me of some of their supporters. So as to be well-rested for my new role as a Political Journalist, I went to bed about midnight.

- 0900, 16 October: "Hey, are you going to sleep the whole day?" I hear from my wife. Oops! (In my defense, I'm just coming off of night shift where I sleep only 3-4 hours a day during the work week, and I needed an equalizer.) A quick shower and a review of directions to the press conference, and I'm out the door. Forgot to bring any paper to write stuff down on, but I have a keyboard on my phone, so I'm covered.

- 1000, 16 October: I arrived at the site of the press conference -- Pastry Perfection on Glenwood Street. Undistracted by the really good smell, I looked around for my fellow journalists; Unfortunately, I was the first one there, so I had no idea what to do. Some of the members of the Veterans for Sali group came up to check me out; I was in my "Retired Navy" hat, so they thought I might be one of them. No, I told them, I'm a Citizen-Journalist in the Noble Traditions of the Pamphleteers of the American Revolution. (It sounds a lot better than "blogger".) They seemed confused, but welcomed me anyway. I stood around until the rest of the press arrived: Ysabel Bilbao from Channel 7, and Lincoln Graves from Channel 6 were to be my peers today! (Actually, they were both way more professional and personable than me, in addition to being a lot more attractive. Neither looks like they've ever had a pimple in their life; I, on the other hand, look like some sort of toad. Not that I was intimidated -- I can Speak Truth to Power since I wasn't a pawn of the Corporate Media like they were!)

The camera got set up, and the co-chair of Veterans for Sali, retired Major General Ben Doty, made some remarks, followed by Ada County Republican Chair Marcel Bujarkski. Everyone sat down and the TV reporter went to talk to some of the members, but the Press wasn't done yet! I raised my hand, and began my hard-hitting journalism. I told General Doty about the video mentioned above (he is in it, and was there during the filming), and asked him if it's true that the military got no raises during the Clinton Administration. He admitted that this isn't the case; another Veteran says that it was only the Republican Congress that made Clinton give out raises. I mentioned that we always got a raise of at least 2.2% during the 90s, even before the Republicans took over Congress in 1994. I then asked about all the Veterans listed on the website who were said to be "Retired", when clearly many of them weren't. General Doty once again admitted that there were several who weren't technically "retired".

As a Citizen Journalist, I know that "attack journalism" is an important part of the game, so I asked General Doty if he personally was going to vote for Bill Sali. (By the Investigative Journalistic technique of typing his name plus "boise, idaho" into Google, I figured out that he lived a couple of blocks outside of the 1st Congressional District; the district line essentially divides the Boise/Meridian metroplex in half.) Here's a transcript of what I remember happened next:

BH: "General Doty, will you personally vote for Bill Sali?"
GD: "I've already voted."
BH: "But did you vote for Bill Sali?"
GD: (voice rising, understandably, since I'm being a jerk) "I don't have to say who I voted for!"
BH: "Fair enough, since I know you live in the 2nd District. Show of hands, please -- how many people here actually live in the 1st District?"
(Several hands went up; one person says, "I used to live in the First District.")

As this is going on, one of the reporters was trying to get a mic back onto someone so they could pick up the exchange, but it ended before they were successful. After that, I sat down and talked to some of the Veterans while the camera crews got some crowd shots. Some said that what we got in the Clinton years weren't really "pay raises" since they were already required by law. Others said that anyone who had finished up their enlistment should be considered "retired".

The Sali campaign had a representative there, Noah Wall. He handled the unexpected intrusion of a Citizen Journalist well, and even gave me a copy of the press release. Afterwards, he made an official statement to the effect of: "The statements made by Veterans in the video in question were unscripted, and are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the Sali campaign. Also, any errors on the website (with respect to the "Retired" status of the members of Veterans for Sali) will be corrected as soon as possible."

Since I know that journalists traditionally print portions of press releases to get them up to their required word count, here's part of what the Veterans for Sali press release says:

A far-left group called “Patriot Majority West,” has launched misleading and dishonest attack-ad against Idaho Congressman Bill Sali. Patriot Majority West is attempting to deceive Idaho’s veterans and their families by blaming Sali for voting against flawed legislation.
“Bill Sali would never vote against our veterans – he voted against flawed legislation which would have in fact caused great harm to our troops,” said Major General Ben Doty (ret.).
Doty added, “this group calls itself the Patriot Majority but is criticizing Sali, a man who has always sided with us. They are trying to discredit an effective ally of those who have served our country.”
Matt Salisbury, Sali’s opponent in the primary is a member of Veterans for Sali. When asked about the attack-ad he responded in saying, “Bill Sali has been a firm supporter of our veterans. In Congress he has made the right votes and always made sure America’s heroes have received the help they need.”
The rest of the press release can be found here. Interestingly, the Minnick campaign put out a press release today where they point out that Salisbury was correct in questioning Sali's failure to vote for funding into research for traumatic brain injuries for servicepeople and veterans, so I guess Sali didn't always "make the right votes".

- 1045, 16 October: The intrepid Citizen Journalist leaves the press conference and drives south, following the Congressional District dividing line. He needs to pick up bananas and milk at Costco.

Update 2043 16 October: I just realized that I have a typo on "Political" in the title of this post; I guess that's why I'm only an amateur journalist. Some people have already linked to this post, however, so I can't change it without breaking their links. Feel free to give me crap in the comments.

"New" Submarine Blogger

I just found out that Tom at dare2believe.com is a retired Submariner; as such, he's been added to my blogroll on the right, alongside many other fine bloggers, submarine and otherwise. Check out Tom's blog if you get a chance; here are some of his posts that mention submarines.

It's Campaign Finance Report Time!

It's that time of year again... time for the next-to-last FEC filings before the election! OK, I know that, in most parts of the country, even thinking about this would put people to sleep. Here in Idaho's 1st Congressional District, though, it's a source of endless amusement as people ask, "Will Congressman Bill Sali's crack staff be able to file a complete, accurate, and timely report even one time before their jobs go away?"

Sali's opponent, Walt Minnick, is one of those people with a competent staff -- not much drama there; he got his report in yesterday. Congressman Bill Sali, though, has significant problems with following campaign "rules" and whatnot. His July 2008 report was 10 days late; the filing deadline for the October report is tonight at midnight. His report isn't in yet; the big question here is if he'll get the report that's due 10/15 accurately submitted before the next report is due on October 23rd.

Update 1548 15 Oct: I've gotta say I'm impressed; the Sali campaign turned their report in on time, with hours to spare. Now we'll have to see how it rates for "accuracy". Two minutes of searching found one error -- a minor typo where the "Rely on Your Beliefs Fund" is called the "Rely of Your Beliefs Fund". I picked it up because it doesn't make any sense, grammatically, the way the Sali campaign typed it. (And I don't even support making English the official language!) I'm sure you've heard of the Fund -- it's one that took contributions from a Jack Abramoff client at his request a while back.

Topic For Debate

Resolved: While I will give soon-to-be President Obama the respect due to the office as Commander-in-Chief after his inauguration, I reserve the right to disagree with certain of his policies without being considered a "racist".


Submariners Are Famous!

We're so famous, we got mentioned in today's Pearls Before Swine, an excellent comic strip that runs in my daily paper. (Of course, it took an alert reader to turn me on to the strip, because I didn't make it to reading the funnies yet.) Here it is:

For those who are wondering what a different type of "controlled sub stance" might look like, here's a good video of it (bad word warning!) that I posted last year.

Silver Lining

Economic woes chill effort to stop global warming

Only months ago, the prospect of climate legislation passing in the next Congress and becoming law looked promising. Both presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain support mandatory emission cuts and a Democratic majority vowed to act on the problem early in the new year.

But the most popular remedy for slowing global warming, a mechanism known as cap-and-trade, could put further stress on a teetering economy by raising energy prices.

Democrats in both the House and Senate have unveiled draft climate bills. But their supporters acknowledge that the bills may have to be changed, given the economic situation. For example, a proposal to auction off emission permits — a source of money to help refocus the nation's use of energy away from fossil fuels — may have to be abandoned with permits distributed for free.

But some Republicans argue the whole idea of a climate bill ought to be scrapped for the time being. Limits of carbon dioxide would increase energy costs and lead the country "off the economic cliff," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.
Frivolity being put aside when it collides with reality, what a quaint notion!

Not Sure If This Is Scary Or Amusing...

Check out this website for the "Idaho Citizens' Constitutional Militia"; it seems to be some guy trying to start up a black helicopter-opposing "militia" next year. Here are some excerpts from the site:
The Militia is in nature a purely defensive force and will take no aggressive action or recklessly plunge Idaho into war, but if events similar to Ruby Ridge should ever again occur in Idaho, our resolve to respond with force in kind cannot be doubted. We are the Army of the Lord, visiting His wrath on all those who would aggress the people of Idaho. By the grace of God, the ICCM will be a catalyst for peace by our commitment to oppose tyranny in all forms.
The ICCM may not be disarmed at any time, as the existance and maintenance of a fully armed militia is authorized by the Constitution and U.S. Code. The militia is therefore fully authorized to meet any attempt to disarm them with forceful resistance. All government agencies beware that the moment you attempt to disarm the Militia, you will be considered, and treated as, a lawless and illicit element.
The website goes on to say that the Militia is opposed to "hateful ideologies, racism, anti-zionism, or ideologies that seek to overthrow the government or use explosives or terrorist tactics to further a political objective", so that's something. On the other hand, it seems that they aren't interested in having any Muslims or Wiccans joining up.

So far the "Commanding Officer" is still looking for things like an XO, 1st Sergeant, and Lawyer, so it appears to just be in the planning stages right now. Maybe this commenter from over at "Free In Idaho" will be joining up.

Seriously, though, with the political divisions we're seeing in our country, I'm afraid this sort of thing is on the upswing. A lot of people I really respect believe that the government is going too far, and believe that a person is within their rights to violently oppose law officers coming onto their property to serve warrants. (Needless to say, I strongly disagree with this philosophy.) I just hope Idaho won't again become a gathering-place for those willing to put that belief into action.

A Submariner's Video "Scrapbook"

Submariner "herrwest" put up a nice 6 1/2 7 1/2 minute video that's a compilation of his career in submarines, with both still pictures and short video clips:

I think this kind of 21st-century scrapbook is a great way to personalize your career for family and friends. Has anyone else done something like this they'd be willing to share?

Update 1228 12 Oct: The video was lengthened slightly and re-posted with a new URL; the new link is included above.

Update 0808 13 Oct: The video was lengthened slightly again and re-posted (again) with a new URL; I updated the video link so it should still be watchable, but I'm not gonna chase it around anymore if he changes it again. What you'll hopefully get from this post is that making a video of your career could be a fun activity.

Not All Missile Launches Go As Planned

An oldie but a goodie...

I think this video is from back in 1989. While we've now had over 120 consecutive successful test launches of Trident D-5 missiles, we tend to forget that these are highly complex machines where things can go badly wrong if they're not designed and maintained almost flawlessly -- as the Russians have relearned with their new Bulava missile.

Do any of you have any stories of missile launches that didn't work out as planned?

"Veterans For Sali" Group Seems To Underscore Bill Sali's Failure To Understand The Military

My Congressman, Bill Sali, recently announced the formation of a group called "Veterans For Sali", as a counterweight to the fact that his opponent, Walt Minnick, is an actual veteran himself. I'm all for Veterans speaking out in favor of the candidate of their choice, and I'm glad whenever I see a politically-active Veteran. What I find discouraging about this announcement, however, is that the press release listing the members of the new group once again displays Bill Sali and his staff's complete obliviousness to military culture.

In almost all cases, the press release (mirrored over at Right Mind, run by submariner Dale up in Northern Idaho) lists the members as "Retired". In common military usage, when you say someone is "Retired", it means that they're drawing either a retainer or retired pay, usually after completing at least 20 years of active service (or less during drawdowns), or are medically retired due to injury. It seemed surprising to me that such a large majority of the Sali supporters should have been "Retired", vice the equally honorable title "Veteran", that I checked into a few of them. One, Idaho Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney, is listed here as serving only 2 years in the Army -- granted, he may have been medically retired. Another, Jesse Dollemore, is only about 33 years old. If they're not actually "Retired" in the most commonly-used sense of the word, that doesn't make their endorsement any less important. It does, however, call into question the suitability of Bill Sali to continue serving in the U.S. Congress when he doesn't understand this important distinction in terminology.

Update 1230 10 Oct: I E-mailed Congressman Sali's spokesman to see if he wanted to comment, and also placed a call to General Doty, one of the group's co-chairs (who, like a lot of Bill Sali's most outspoken supporters, doesn't seem to actually live in the 1st District); I'll let you know if they respond. I also noticed that Commssioner Fred Tilman, listed as "Retired" on the list, actually served for three years in the Army. Once again, he may have been medically retired, but I'm thinking that it's fairly unlikely that two prominent Idaho politicians would have the same story.

Update 1456 10 Oct: I got a call back from General Doty and we had a very pleasant conversation. As I expected, he had not seen the actual list of the members of the group (he's been out enjoying Idaho's great outdoors), because otherwise I'm sure he would have caught the discrepancy. He did confirm that many of the group's members are, in fact, not retired, but served honorably as Veterans without having enough Time In Service to officially "Retire". Therefore, it appears to be simply a case of the Sali staff once again demonstrating their ineptitude.