Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tech Support

As it was in the Middle Ages. I found this at a geezer's corner.

The Great VDH Nails It

There is a lot of noise about the political and military relationships between countries of the Democratic West and countries in the rest of the world. Liberals in Europe and the U.S. like to talk about "soft power" as a replacement for military strength. They like using diplomacy and sanctions (well... sanctions for a little while until they start to work) and taking the use of military force off of the table. Indeed, the liberals in Congress want to enact in law the removal of even the possibility of using force against Iran at any time in the future. Of course, such approaches mean that countries using them can be ignored (but we are not supposed to say that out loud).

It also means that the UN, NATO, and the EU are now powerless.

Victor Davis Hanson quite brilliantly makes it all clear.

In Houses of Straw-The EU’s delusions about the sufficiency of “soft” power are embarrassingly revealed. he concludes;
What does the future hold if Europe does not rearm and make it clear that attacks on Europeans and threats to the current globalized order have repercussions?

If Europeans recoil from a few Taliban hoodlums or Iranian jihadists, new mega-powers like nuclear India and China will simply ignore European protestations as the ankle-biting of tired moralists. Indeed, they do so already.

Why put European ships or planes outside of European territorial waters when that will only guarantee a crisis in which Europeans are kidnapped and held as hostages or used as bargaining chips to force political concessions?

Europe is just one major terrorist operation away from a disgrace that will not merely discredit the EU, but will do so to such a degree as to endanger its citizenry and interests worldwide and their very safety at home. Islamists must assume that an attack on a European icon — Big Ben, the Vatican, or the Eiffel Tower — could be pulled off with relative impunity and ipso facto shatter European confidence and influence. Each day that the Iranians renege on their promises to release the hostages, and then proceed to parade their captives, earning another “unacceptable” from embarrassed British officials, a little bit more of the prestige of the United Kingdom is chipped away.

In the future, smaller nations in dangerous neighborhoods must accept that in their crises ahead, their only salvation, even after the acrimonious Democratic furor over Iraq, is help from the United States.

America alone can guarantee the safety of the noble Kurds, should Turkey or Iran choose one day to invade. America alone will be willing or able to supply Israel with necessary help and weapons to ensure its survival.

Other small nations — a Greece, for example — with long records of vehement anti-Americanism should take note that the choice facing them in their rough neighborhoods is essentially solidarity with the United States or the embrace of Jimmy Carter diplomacy or Stanley Baldwin appeasement.

Quite simply, there is now no NATO, no EU, no U.N. that can or will do anything in anyone’s hour of need.
Go read the whole thing for the supporting arguments. They are devastatingly conclusive.

USS Sailfish (SSR-572)

As both of my regular readers know, I love my job at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. One of the things that I love most about it is the opportunity to look at history moored at the piers and moorings all around me. One cannot walk 50 yards in the Shipyard without seeing an important historical artifact.

I noted long ago, While still on active duty in the Navy, an old diesel submarine moored with the inactive ships. I got tired of being curious the other day and walked into the offices of Naval Sea Systems Command Inactive Ships On-site Maintenance Office (NISMO) and asked them. They have a map of all of the inactive ships moored at the facility. It turns out that the submarine in question is the ex-Sailfish.

She is the last American diesel submarine not sunk or used in a memorial. The guys at NISMO tell me that there has been some interest in taking her and using her as a museum or other kind of memorial, but sadly no one has been able to come up with the required money. She will likely be towed out into the ocean and sunk.

In the photograph above she is shown moored outboard ex-Midway. The Midway is now the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum. The Sailfish is now moored outboard ex-Constellation.

The photograph below shows USS Sailfish before she underwent conversion and received the PUFFS Sonar Ranging System (which is visible above).

What an amazing boat this was!

USS Sailfish (SSR-572).

See also;

USS Sailfish (SS572) Homepage

USS Sailfish (SSR-572) (SS-572) Photo Archive

North Korea Nuke Test Result = Failure

The atom bomb test executed by North Korea last October has been judged a failure. Some fission occurred, but the explosion was not what it should have been. It was large none the less. The fault is probably due to a faulty design aquired from Pakistan.

North Korean Fizzle Bomb
March 30, 2007: The U.S. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) has concluded that last Octobers nuclear weapons test in North Korea was a failure. This came after analysis of air samples, seismic (using earthquake detectors) and spy satellite data. There was a nuclear explosion, of about one kiloton, but it was the result of a improperly constructed nuclear weapon. Sort of a very low grade nuclear weapon that vaporized, rather than detonated, most of its nuclear material. This sort of explosion is called a "fizzle" and was last seen in 1998, when a Pakistani nuclear weapons test produced a very similar result. What's interesting about this is that a group of Pakistani nuclear scientists (the Kahn group) were secretly peddling nuclear weapons technology during the 1990s. This was done for private gain, and one of the Khan groups customers was North Korea. So it may be that the North Koreans used a Pakistani weapons design that was not quite there yet.
Don't worry, the North Koreans will figure it out and get their bomb and no one will do anything to stop them.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007

USS John F. Kennedy Enters Into History

It was with a little surprise that I discovered that USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) was decommissioned on Friday, March 23rd.

"Big John" Decommissioned After 38 Years of Service

For more about "Big John";

USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)

NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

John F. Kennedy Strike Group

North Korea Increases Punishments

One may think that the title of this post is an impossibility, but when dealing with the sort of inhuman monsters as those that rule North Korea, it is not. In 2000 the North Korean government decreed that it would be lenient towards anyone who illegally left that country. Of course that means everyone because there are no legal ways to leave North Korea once one is imprisoned there. In late 2004 that decree was apparently rescinded.

North Korea's Cruelty
In an ominous reversal, North Korea has apparently scrapped its 2000 decree that it would be lenient toward citizens who "illegally" crossed the border -- in effect, almost everyone leaving the country -- to China to find food or earn money to feed their families. According to recent border-crossers interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Pyongyang has implemented harsher punishments for those repatriated.

The North Koreans interviewed recounted the chilling language officials use to describe the policies the North reinstated perhaps as long ago as late 2004: Those crossing the border without state permission "won't be forgiven," no matter why they went to China or what they did there, including first-time "offenders."

The hardening policy shows how Pyongyang is violating the obligations it undertook when it signed major human rights conventions in the 1990s.

North Korea is denying its citizens their fundamental rights by preventing them from freely leaving the country; arresting those who make such an attempt; and arbitrarily detaining, mistreating, torturing and sometimes even executing border-crossers who are repatriated. China, too, regularly flouts its obligations under the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention by labeling all North Koreans "illegal economic migrants" and sending them back.

Many of these North Koreans crossed the border because the state failed them. North Korea claims to have a socialist system under which all citizens receive free food, education, medical care and housing. But the reality is that only the country's elite enjoy such privileges. The rest of the population is left to fend for itself. Undertaking the dangerous and difficult journey to China is a form of self-defense. The North Korean government fails to feed its people but then persecutes them for trying to survive.
For the crime of wishing to eat, an inmate a citizen of North Korea faces horrific punishment that often results in death. Go read the whole piece to learn some individual stories like this one
A 42-year-old woman from Haeju said she was deported from China in December 2003 and served 18 months in a North Korean labor camp. "Every day, I saw someone dying. We were given a fistful of powdered corn stalk, three times a day, and people had trouble digesting it. Many people died after having diarrhea for a week," she said. "They left patients in the hallway outside toilets. So many people died, they wrapped bodies in plastic sheets and buried them in a mountain."
Kim Jong-il's death, when it comes, cannot possibly be painful enough.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Killing Terrorists

Here is a video of the crew of an AC130 Gunship attacking Taliban terrorists who are using a mosque in Afghanistan to build bombs. Note the large secondary explosions.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tour of Ex-Triton SS(R)N 586

Since I first began working in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as a Test Engineer for the Electric Boat Corporation (and now as I work for the Shipyard) I have been interested in getting onboard ex-Triton SS(R)N 586 to look at that great ship. She is of unique design, having twin propulsion plants and a nuclear reactor for each. She was designed as a radar picket ship and, when that function became obsolete, served as an SSN. Her maiden voyage was a submerged circumnavigation, a feat never before accomplished.

I finally had the opportunity and spent two hours inspecting all areas of the ship. There is a rumor that the reason that she has been moored for so long before recycling because she is hot (lots of radioactivity). That rumor is not true. I was able to walk through the entire ship including both reactor compartments. I stood on top of both reactor containment canisters and had my hands on both steam generators. And no, I was not wearing a TLD.

During my tour I noted that parts of the ship look as if the crew just parked her at the pier and walked away. Of course, that is not true for the entire ship, but I noted the occasional "new" part left in an open box in a work area as if it were about to be used. There are Danger tags still hanging here and there dated on various days in January of 1969. A couple of racks till had pillows on them. The teak decking in the bridge is still intact. There are even two seats for lookouts up there with teak on them. Wow. After 22 years in submarines, it was still one of the most interesting two hours of my life.

She is scheduled for a 15 year hull inspection in October and will probably be recycled then. Sad indeed, she was a beautiful ship.

USS Triton

An article on the history of the U.S. Navy's Submarine Radar Picket program, Radar Picket program SSR AND SSRN

Some excellent photographs and historical information is available at these sites.

USS TRITON SS(R)N 586 Home Page

NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

USS Triton (SSN 586)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I was reading a little Rudyard Kipling and rediscovered a favorite poem of mine. Although it was written many years ago in England, it still applies to us in the United States today.

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rudy Giuliani On the Non-Binding Resolution

I was just knocking around YouTube looking for something interesting and found the Politicians page. I decided to check out Rudy Giuliani's channel and found him talking about the Non-Binding Resolution recently passed by the House of Representatives. I think that, although he did not specifically criticize anyone, he points out something distressing about the new Democratic Party leadership.

BTW: I am not ready to endorse any candidate yet.

He has also said that he will appoint Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Scalia, Alito, and Roberts. That is very good.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

South Korea to Go It Alone

I have already made my feelings clear about whether or not we should continue to maintain American forces at the DMZ in South Korea here and here. It now looks as if we may finally leave South Korea to her fate.

This is a clear case of leftist moonbats in South Korea finally getting something that they want, and it is also clear that conservatives and non-partisan military professionals think that this is very dangerous. They are correct.

A Needless Gamble With Our Nation’s Fate
The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States have agreed to dismantle the Combined Forces Command (CFC) on April 17, 2012. On that day, wartime operational control will be handed over to South Korea. The world’s fastest, most-efficient and powerful system of war deterrent will disappear, while the fate of the Korean Peninsula will be put to the test for no reason. Last year, when the leaders of the two countries agreed in principle to dismantle the CFC, former defense minister Chun Yong-taek said, “The president has finally made a big mistake.” What else is one to call it now?

Former defense ministers, officers, generals, foreign ministers, heads of police and other officials implored the government to stop the move, pointing out the bad timing of the dismantling of the CFC, saying, “not now when North Korea has conducted a nuclear test.” But this administration simply ignored such calls. The first defense minister, foreign minister, ambassador to the United States and national security advisor of this administration all voiced their beliefs that the CFC should not be dismantled, but to no use. The defense committee of the National Assembly passed a resolution opposing the move, but the presidential office pushed through with the move anyway. Two out of three Koreans (66 percent of all respondents in a Gallup survey last September) opposed the move, but this administration paid no attention. President Roh Moo-hyun even criticized former high-ranking military officers for being “pompous.” He scorned the Korean public for “hiding behind America’s rear end” and for “trembling in fear like the leaves on a tree.”
If (when) North Korea crosses the DMZ to conquer South Korea and unify the peninsula under the murderous government of the monster Kim Jong-il, the United States will come back and reinforce the South Korean army, right?

The reason the CFC has prevented war was the prospect of the sheer volume of U.S. reinforcement troops that would be dispatched to the Korean Peninsula in case of an emergency. Former South Korean Defense Minister Chun estimated that deterrent effect to be worth 1,300 trillion won. The Korean public is concerned that if the CFC is dismantled, then this reinforcement would become uncertain. This administration said a guarantee on continued reinforcements would be achieved during the South Korea-U.S. defense ministerial talks. But in the joint statement following the meeting, there was not a single mention of reinforcements. Various types of joint military plans will also disappear. In the event of a North Korean emergency, all of our channels to utilize the assistance of U.S. troops could be blocked.
As I have said before, let them go. Let this be a demonstration project for the rest of the world. We have had the evils of every tyrant government from the old Soviet Union to Iran projected on us. From Stalin's condemnation of us as tyrannical and genocidal to Hugo Chavez accusing our diplomats of being professional assassins for the CIA and countries like Iran and Syria accusing us of exporting terrorism throughout the world we have been the canvas that other countries have painted their monstrosities onto. Many on the Left™ have called our presence in South Korea an occupation even though that accusation is laughable. In the next few years they may well see that we are a force for good, for security, and against the genocidal designs of maniacs like Kim or Ahmadinejad. Sadly it will take the loss of South Korea to do it, but they seem to have have made that decision for themselves.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Russia's Topol-M ICBM

Russia has been deploying this missile, the RT-2UTTH Topol-M.

More about the Topol-M here.

UPDATE: The video at the link above was removed from YouTube for a "terms of use violation". It has been replaced by another link to the same video.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Atomic Explosions

UPDATE: The above video has been removed from YouTube for a "terms of use violation". Here is a video of the Castle Bravo test, the largest thermonuclear bomb exploded by the U.S.

Room, Board, and Clothing for Life

I have often thought that, here in Washington State where we do not have a death penalty that ever gets used (three out of the four people who have been put to death in Washington since capitol punishment became legal were volunteers), one can get a place to live, food, clothing, recreation facilities, and medical care all for free. If someone cannot find a job and cannot make ends met, why wouldn't they commit a heinous crime?

There is no reason not to commit a heinous crime.

At a lower level, Car thief chooses jail for health benefits.
TACOMA – A Pierce County car thief has decided to stay in jail for the medical benefits.

Melissa Matthews, a 20-year-old woman who has been convicted many times, sits in Pierce County Jail, where she's getting her cancer treatment paid for.

Some see that as a problem with the jail system, others say it demonstrates a problem with our medical system.

"I've been selling drugs since I was 15 years old," said Matthews, who already knows the court system like a seasoned criminal. "I thought it was fun. I was high on meth and I started stealing cars."

Matthews says her parents started her on this path.

"I've been doing meth since I was 12," she said. "My mom gave me my first line of meth at 12 years old."

But if it seems like Matthews never got a break, consider this: On Tuesday she pleaded guilty to her latest crimes: identity theft and possession of a stolen car. She could have gotten out of jail to pursue drug treatment, but she didn't want to because she was diagnosed with cancer.

"If I'm in here in custody, then my procedure at the jail would be paid for," she said.
Matthew's story prompted outrage from many KING 5 viewers, among them Karen King, who has since written a letter to Senator Patty Murray.

"I was very angry," said King.

Four months ago, King was diagnosed with a syndrome that restricts her ability to breathe. Because of her illness, she finds herself in a vicious cycle unable to work and unable to afford medication.

"I've never broken the law, I pay my taxes," said King. "I've worked since I was like 13."

A friend had told me, go commit a crime and I'll get all the help I needed. But I'm not going to," added King.

Another person to express outrage was the victim of Matthew's latest crime, a struggling single mother who says the theft of her car brought her to the brink of homelessness.

"She goes and steals my vehicle and gets the royal treatment for being in prison," said Kimberly Wilson, car theft victim.
Liberals love criminals and things are getting out-of-hand here in Washington.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What Abortion Is

Earliest surviving preemie to remain in hospital
MIAMI - A girl born after just under 22 weeks in the womb — among the shortest gestation periods known for a live birth — will remain in a hospital a few extra days as a precaution, officials said Tuesday.

Amillia Sonja Taylor, born Oct. 24 after just under 22 weeks in the womb, had been expected to be sent home from Baptist Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.
Just a clump of cells, eh?

I pray that this child will be well.

North Korea's Missile Threat

This should not come as a surprise to anyone, we have covered this missile before. I wrote on the test failure of the Taep'o dong-2 when it occurred. At the time I said "this is not a long term setback for the North Koreans".

NKorea capable of building a missile that can hit the US: US intel
North Korea is technically capable of building a long-range missile that can hit the United States despite a test failure last year, a senior US military intelligence official said Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said North Korea has probably learned from the failure of its Taepodong-2 missile during a test in July, and made changes to its other missiles.

"I believe they have the technical capability, as we saw by the Taepodong, but they have not successfully tested it yet," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Asked how long before North Korea would have a missile capable of reaching the United States, he said, "I would probably estimate it's not a matter of years."
They do not yet have the technology to reduce the size of a nuclear warhead sufficiently to put it on a missile, but they will figure that out as well.