Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

I wish all of my faithful readers a happy and prosperous 2006 and all of the years after that.


Slavery Is Not Just for Home

The murderers who run the most oppressive country in the world, North Korea, have figured out how to enslave their "citizens" even when they are outside of the DPRK. How? Sell your "citizens" as slaves, that's how.

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: North Korea exporting workers into lives of slavery
ZELEZNA, Czech Republic -— The old schoolhouse stands alone at the end of a quiet country road flanked by snow-flecked wheat fields. From behind the locked door, opaque with smoked glass, come the clatter of sewing machines and, improbably, the babble of young female voices speaking Korean.

The schoolhouse, which closed long ago for lack of students in this village of 200, is now a factory producing uniforms. Almost all the workers are North Korean, and the women initially looked delighted to see visitors. It gets lonely working out here, thousands of miles from home. They crowded around to chat.

"I'm not so happy here. There is nobody who speaks my language. I'm so far from home," volunteered a tentative young woman in a T-shirt and sweatpants who said she was from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

But as she spoke, an older woman with stern posture and an expressionless face - a North Korean security official - passed by in the corridor. The young women scattered wordlessly and disappeared into another room, closing and bolting the door behind them.

Hundreds of young North Korean women are working in garment and leather factories like this one, easing a labor shortage in small Czech towns. Their presence in this new member of the European Union is an echo of North Korea's former alliance with other Communist countries.

The North Korean government keeps most of the earnings, apparently one of the few legal sources of hard currency for an isolated and impoverished regime living off counterfeiting, drug trading and weapons sales.

Experts estimate 10,000 to 15,000 North Koreans are working abroad on behalf of their government in jobs ranging from nursing to construction work. North Korea has sent workers to Russia, Libya, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and Angola, in addition to the Czech Republic, defectors say.

Government account

Almost the entire monthly salaries of the women here, about $260, the Czech minimum wage, are deposited directly in an account controlled by the North Korean government, which gives them only a fraction of the money.

To the extent that they are allowed outside in this village 20 miles west of Prague, they go only in groups. Often they are accompanied by a guard from the North Korean Embassy who is referred to as their "interpreter." They live under strict surveillance in dormitories with photographs of North Korea's late founder Kim Il Sung and current leader Kim Jong Il gracing the walls. Their only entertainment is propaganda films and newspapers sent from North Korea, and occasional exercise in the yard outside.
Slaves living in a prison. The government of the Czech Republic has closed its eyes to the problem. According to them, all of the paperwork for these women is in order and no laws are being broken, so there is no problem.

And, it's not just the Czech Republic.
Many in Russia

By far the largest number of North Koreans working outside their country are in Russia, where they do mostly logging and construction in military-style camps run by the North Korean government.

When the camps were set up in the early 1970s, the workers were North Korean prisoners. But as the North Korean economy disintegrated in the late 1980s, doing hard labor in Siberia came to be seen as a reward because at least it meant getting adequate food.
That's right, the advantage of being a slave, for a North Korean, is the ability to get sufficient food.

Having just so recently experienced Communist slavery themselves, these governments should be ashamed.

Friday, December 30, 2005

USS Ohio Completes Sea Trials (Sort Of)

Here is the long awaited USS Ohio (SSGN 726) Sea Trials post.

First, in answer to bubblehead's question, I don't know. I was still busy wrapping up a test form and didn't even know they put that broom up until I read his post. I am guessing that his first initial is "C" and his last one is "O".

Were I crewmember I would be mighty embarassed. And, no, there was not a "clean sweep of the testing". Some tests remain outstanding. In fact, I think that I am either the only, or one of very few, test engineers who did complete all assigned tests.

For the most part everything works well. The boat itself is as safe as a submarine can be, having successfully completed all of the propulsion and hull integrity test (speed runs, crash backs, deep dives, etc.). Navigation systems work as advertised. The torpedo and sonar systems work too. Other weapons systems look good so far, but there is still a modernization period to get through.

Those racks in SOF berthing in Missile Compartment, 2nd platform, port, are terrible. The inboard racks are not too bad, but the outboard ones are completely closed off. To get into one you have to hoist yourself in the end feet first (if in the lower or middile racks), or head first (if in the top rack). There are no handholds to lift yourself up with. The middle rack guy has it the worst, not high enough to climb up to, to high to raise both feet into simultaneously. And then the coefficient of friction between clothing and bed linen (serious wedgie problem). Seeing a 250 - 300 pound Navy SEAL do this is going to be fun (need to get video).

There are still a few rough edges to work out. The new variable ballast capability is not working quite as planned and will need adjustment. This is nothing like a show stopper. This fix will be plenty doable.

Other capabilities await testing as development continues. SACS technology will continue to advance. It works perfectly now. I was a crewmember of USS Georgia (SSGN 729) during Silent Hammer and have video of a SACS being successfully released. It hasn't been released from a post-conversion ship yet, but there will be no problem. These are released from flexible payload modules that are inserted into the missile tube and capable of carrying more than one SACS at a time. The tomahawks are in removable cannisters in many of the tubes. The result is a massively reconfigurable ship (yes, ship). The payloads for the SACS are still to be refined.

The time is coming soon when we will have this ship actually going out on missions. While there is still Trident weeniehood onboard, it will decline quickly under pressure of actual missions. How that will affect Trident weaniehood at Squadron is anybody's guess.

At $440 million per copy, you the taxpayer are getting what is probably the most important addition to our defense capability in several decades, and a good deal.

The ship has been delivered to the Navy.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Presbyterians Enable Jihadis

Cedarkirk Camp and Conference Center is a part of, and the responsibility of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Cedarkirk is a year round camp and conference center owned by the Presbyteries of Tampa Bay and Peace River. It is located on the Alafia River within 170 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and uplands. Cedarkirk is dedicated to providing a place for individuals and groups to have the opportunity for spiritual renewal and growth in a natural environment.
FrontPage Magazine has a little about the kind of "spiritual renewal and growth", being offered; A New Year’s Jihad Retreat
Watching the ball drop, twirling a noisemaker, kissing your sweetheart, and making a resolution that rarely comes to pass -- everyone looks forward to the memory of a new year. But one group will be ringing in the New Year a little differently…through a children’s jihad retreat, with a guest speaker who exalts terrorists and another who is linked to al-Qaeda.

The majority of Islamic organizations within the United States have, at one time or another, been cited for their connections to terrorism, whether by support of terror groups or through actual terrorist activity carried out by its members. Two of those organizations, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) have been working together putting on joint conferences. As stated in the New York Daily News (January 30, 2004), the organizations "have held conferences featuring speakers accused of terror ties and have published material supporting suicide bombings against Israel."

Both ICNA and MAS stress the need for providing forums for Muslim youth. ICNA, in order to address this "need," has created an apparatus called Young Muslims (YM). Likewise, MAS has established its own Youth Division. Through the two groups, children can learn the tenets of radical Islam by attending winter and summer camps.

Prior to 9/11, the camps would be referred to as "Jihad Camps," but given the greater meaning of the term (holy war), why attract more attention than what’s necessary? Today, though, while the name has changed, the same radical message is taught. In YM Newsletter Issue 3 (2002/2003), Young Muslims extols the virtues of the works of Osama bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam. According to YM Newsletter Issue 4 (2003), one of its goals is to assist in outreach "designed to call people to Islam, strengthen their belief in it, and organize them to work and to wage jihad in its cause."

From December 31st of this year through January 2nd, the Tampa chapter of MAS will be launching a new camp, or as they put it, an 'ILM & TARBIYAH RETREAT. Taking place in Lithia, Florida, at the Cedarkirk Camp & Conference Center, the theme of the event is "A Generation with a Mission." That title is a little more subdued than the YM August 2002 "Planning for Our Akhira (afterlife)," but make no mistake, the speakers are just as extreme.

Featured at the "retreat" is the former President of MAS-Chicago, Chantal Carnes. Carnes is well known in the radical Islamist American community; she has given speeches at such venues as ICNA, MAS and Muslim Students Association (MSA) conventions. In addition to being a lecturer, she has also hosted a radio program for the Islamic Broadcasting Network (IBN). Each half-hour program was spent reviewing a different book.

On the occasion of July 22, 2003, Carnes and a guest had reviewed the title 'Imam Shaheed Hassan Al-Banna - From Birth to Martyrdom.' During the show, she lathered Al-Banna, the founder of the violent Muslim Brotherhood, with praise. She stated, "Every movement I can think of – every organization I can think of – in a way or another, is tracing back to what he started." She said he had "inspired" her, and that "His life was captivating." She said she liked "the fact that he was a shaheed (martyr)," and that she was going to model Al-Banna’s "personal development" with that of her own.

According to former federal prosecutor John Loftus, "Al Banna was a devout admirer of Adolph Hitler and wrote to him frequently. So persistent was he in his admiration of the new Nazi Party that in the 1930’s, Al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood became a secret arm of Nazi intelligence."
Liberal Protestant "Christianity" has gone completely off of the rails. After years of openly expressed Judenhass, now we have open support of Islamic jihad and the murder of Americans and Jews. Of course, the Presbyterians will not say those words, but if they think that they can permit the teaching of jihad without teaching the murder of innocents, they are very wrong.

Why is a suppossedly Christian Church (I am a FORMER member and now deny that they are indeed Christians) teaching Islamic jihad?

Liberal hatred of Americans and Jews, that's why.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

President Bush Caused Earthquake in Iran

Once again the liberals are on to us.

Could US have caused the Iran earthquake?

Read and enjoy.

Another Fundraiser?

The kidnapping of Giuliana Sgrena is now strongly believed to have been set up to raise money for Iraqi terrorists. Many at commenters at LGF believe the same about the four "Christian" hostages still in being "held".

The Great Michelle Malkin writes of German Moonbat Susanne Ostroff, who thanks her "kidnappers" and does not hold them to be criminal. Having been released after getting the terror-supporting German government to pay "ransom" she is returning to her "captors".

This was just another fundraiser for the terrorists.

Kim Jong Il Losing Control - News is Leaking In

The Murderer-Freak of North Korea and his misnamed Worker's Party seem to be having a little trouble keeping information out of the prison camp country. He and his equally murderous father have, for decades, been trying to convince the inmates that they are living in a prosperity that no other country in the world has, this while living in famine that has killed millions. Kim is now finding it difficult to maintain this lie.

North Korea fights to stop spread of outside influences
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Watching foreign movies clouds the mental and ideological health of the people.

Foreign hairstyles and clothing are signs of the "utterly rotten bourgeois lifestyle."

Shaking hands should be avoided in favor of bowing, as it is more hygienic and a part of the national culture.

It might sound like a cross between Miss Manners and a political screed, but this is the advice recently crafted by North Korea's ruling Workers' Party for indoctrination lectures at factories, collective farms and other workplaces.

For decades, North Koreans have been forced to attend such sessions to reinforce the national doctrine that they are lucky to live under the wise leadership of Kim Il Sung, the nation's founder, and his son, Kim Jong Il, who inherited power after his father's death in 1994.

More than 100 pages of written lectures smuggled out of North Korea this year reveal that the leadership is in a state of near-hysteria about outside influences seeping across the nation's once hermetically sealed borders. The spread of "unusual lifestyles," the lectures warn listeners, could render them "incapable of following revolutionary thoughts and sacrificing their lives" for Kim.
So, what has caused this crack in the wall?
But in the past several years, trade between North Korea and China has surged, much of it not approved by North Korea's leaders. Along with food and consumer goods, traders smuggle in DVDs, tapes, books and Bibles, radios and mobile phones. Once taboo, T-shirts with English lettering are pouring into North Korean markets from Chinese garment factories.

The regime fears not only material critical of the nation but depictions of other countries that would make North Koreans realize how poor they are in comparison.
The people are beginning to protest. The penalty for this is the firing squad. [includes a video link]

Monday, December 26, 2005

About "Munich"

The Israeli team lived in this building during the 20th Olympic games from 21st August until 5th September 1972. On 5th September the following were brutally killed...

David Berger, Seew Friedman, Josef Gutfreund, Elieser Halfin, Josef Romano, Amizur Shapira, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, Jaakow Springer, Mosche Weinberger

To their remembrance.

Judith Weiss has been collecting information and writing about Steven Spielberg's new movie. Her collection includes this Washington Post piece. The effort at moral equivalence could not be more clearly stated:
McCurry met with Spielberg in early 2004, and outlined the issues. "Anytime you're dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian question, it tends to be a zero-sum game. People believe if one side wins, the other side loses." The movie, he told producers, required "unique positioning and a nontraditional launch." [In order to avoid saying that the terrorists are bad and the Israelis are good, both must be good. - ed.]

To that end, McCurry recruited Middle East peace negotiator Dennis Ross for a series of high-brow advance screenings and panel discussions in New York and Washington for leading policy experts, academics, diplomats, politicians and press. The goal: to drive home the point that Spielberg didn't try to spin the story in favor of one side or the other, and to inject the film into the current debate about the appropriate response to terrorism.
There is hope that Spielberg's Leftism™™ will produce a beneficial reaction as people begin to look into it themselves. Judith writes:
What I do hope is that the film will be a catalyst for the kind of fact-gathering I've tried to do here, so that more people will learn the true story, how reprehensible the Palestinian terrorists and their European enablers were and are, and how the decades of global rationalizing of terrorism set the stage for 9-11 and Iran's nuclear threat.
I hope so too. Go read Judith's piece.

Also, I would surely hate to see any of my hard-earned money contribute to Mr. Spielberg's inability to see the difference between killing athletes and killing terrorists, so I don't think I'll be wasting any on this self-aggandizement movie.

Happy Hanukkah

For all of my Jewish friends, I hope that you have a blessed Hanukkah.

For all of my friends who know nothing of Hanukkah, it started last night. Here are some links that explain the holiday.

How We Celebrate Hanukkah (remember to click the links in the sidebar)

The History of Hanukkah from The History Channel

Or search Google with Hanukkah

Sunday, December 25, 2005

For Unto Us a Child is Born...

1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'ius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"

15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; 18and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
19But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for the Feast of the Nativity 2005

To all of my dear and faithful readers, I wish you a very merry Christmas and the happiest and most prosperous of new years.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Universal Greetings

I promised a submarine sea trials post, and you shall have one. But first I wanted to share this delightful holiday greeting that I received in my email at work.
For Our Liberal Friends:

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.

This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."


For Our Conservative Friends:

Here's wishing all of You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

To all of you, my faithful readers, I wish you only the merriest of Christmasses and the happiest of holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sea Trials Are Done

Thank you for stopping by and reading while I was away. As you can see, I have returned home. I will post an unclassified report soon. All of you submariners out there know already that that means that I will not be able to say too much about the status of some of the news systems, but I'll give you what I am able.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Business Takes Me Away Again

I will be gone for a little over a week to complete USS Ohio's sea trials. I cannot tell you when exactly I am coming or going, but when I get back I will post an unclassified report.

In the meanwhile, remember those who love you and take care of them. You will not have them forever. See my previous post.

God bless all of you.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Man and His Dog

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that his faithful dog had been dead for many years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. As he reached the wall, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch, and the street that led to the gate made from pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water? We have traveled far," the man said.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment, remembering all the years this dog remained loyal to him and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk he came to a plain dirt road, which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water? We have traveled far."

"Yes, sure, there's a faucet over there." The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in and help yourself."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to his dog.

"There should be a bowl by the faucet; he is welcome to share."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned faucet with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. We're just happy that they screen out the folks who'd leave their best friends behind in exchange for material things."

Author Unknown


My best friend preceded me to Heaven this morning. Her name is Cocoa, and she was God's most perfect creature. She tried to be human and for the most part succeeded, I'll write some stories about that later. The first thing that comes to mind is her efforts to speak as a human speaks. I have never heard a dog do that before. Of course she couldn't do it, but her efforts were unmistakable.

During one of my deployments my wife became seriously ill. Cocoa knew this and took care of her while I was gone. I am convinced that she save my wife's life. Every morning she would ensure that my wife would wake up during a time when that may well have not happened. She was aggressive and would not let up until my wife was awake.

Everyone who ever met her loved her immediately. Even the emergency animal hospital, on one night two weeks ago when we had to rush her there stopped in the middle of the night to take a group picture with her. They had never seen her before and normally an animal's presence would have been just business. Not with Cocoa.

She was truly extraordinary.

As I write this we are having a wake for her at home while we wait to take her to the crematory. Our other dog, Niko, needs to know why she is now gone. This is not as silly as it may seem. Canine societies are well structured and dogs know, and, to some extent, mourn, when one of their members passes on. This according to the most recent animal psychological research.

Her body is in her bed at my feet, and I am weeping. She was God's most perfect creature and she was my daughter.

It was a privilege to have her live in my house for 11 years, since she was 8 weeks old, and proof that God loves me.