Monday, August 31, 2015

LCS and MIW ... You Knew This Was Coming ...

The Navy had an opportunity last decade to regain its credibility and to save us all this waste by killing LCS when it had the chance, but no ... too many people had too much of their ego tied up with it. 

Better or worse, we are stuck with it and its wedontneedfrigatessowewillcallitafrigate spawn FF.

Too many people had no concept of sunk cost - both financial and political capital wise; they had to splite their eights and double down.

Too many people believed their own FITREPS, their own press releases ... or decided to hunker down until their PCS cycle was complete and it became someone else's problem.

So many cared not that we were building a huge percentage of our future fleet in the form of a platform that couldn't even defeat a WWII era destroyer ...  or even clear a WWI era minefield.

Still, with enough money, time, and a willingness to unnecessarily put Sailors in a sub-optimal ship to go in harm's way ... we'll have something to get underway in. 

Let us hope for a long peace.

Via our friend Chris, whose spies are better than mine;
“Recent developmental testing provides no statistical evidence that the system is demonstrating improved reliability, and instead indicates that reliability plateaued nearly a decade ago,” Michael Gilmore, director of the Office of Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), wrote in an Aug. 3 memo to Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.

A copy of the memo was obtained by Defense News.
This is Transformationalism made flesh;
“The reliability of existing systems is so poor that it poses a significant risk to both the upcoming operational test of the LCS Independence-variant equipped with the first increment of the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) mission package, and to the Navy’s plan to field and sustain a viable LCS-based minehunting and mine clearance capability prior to fiscal year 2020,”
The RMS system has been in development since the 1990s, and 11 RMMV vehicles have been produced. The Navy plans to restart production next year, and in February hopes to choose a producer for the next round of low-rate initial production RMMVs.
The problem-plagued program has routinely failed or delayed test and evaluation programs and encountered a Nunn-McCurdy breech in 2010. Gilmore noted that reliability has improved since then, but continues to fall far short of the threshold of 75 hours’ mean time between operational mission failure (MTBOMF).

But despite all the efforts to improve reliability, Gilmore assessed the RMS system’s current overall reliability at 18.8 hours between failure, and the RMMV vehicle at 25.0 hours.
In many cases and for a variety of reasons, the LCS was unable to recover the RMMV and it was towed back to base by support craft — an option, Gilmore pointed out, unlikely to be available to an operational LCS using the system in a real minefield. On several occasions, the ship requested support personnel to come aboard to fix an RMS problem.
As everyone knows here, I left active duty at the end of the last decade as a Commander. Well,
The RMS system has been in development since the 1990s, and 11 RMMV vehicles have been produced.
Yes ... RMMV has been in development since I was LT Salamander ... and still can't do squat.

That is way past, "first in class problems" or "normal part of the technology cycle" and other excuses.

I want to finish up this post with an example of the entire LCS program and its greatest fault; accountability.

Who is going to be held accountable for even this little bit? Who directed the fudge - who benefits?
He took consistent issue with Navy reliability data, pointing out that in some instances, “the Navy inflated operating time estimates for the MTBOMF calculations by assuming that post-mission analysis time (when the vehicle is not in the water and not operating) could be counted.”
Gilmore, in his memo to Kendall, urged against relying on Navy reliability data.

“I continue to recommend strongly that the Navy’s estimates of RMMV/RMS reliability not be reported to the Congress or used for any other purpose,” Gilmore wrote. “To do otherwise could lead many observers to incorrectly conclude that all significant RMS development and fielding challenges have been conquered.”
What is also not used for any purpose once discovered?

A lie. Is that what we have here, simple lies? It is either that or gross professional malpractice. One or the other - but both require someone to be held accountable.

H/T Jim.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

NATO Goes Back to Fundamentals - With Jorge Benitez, on Midrats

From the Balitic to the Black Sea, the last year has seen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) return to its roots - the defense of Europe from Russian aggression.

The names and players have changes significantly since a quarter century ago - but in many ways things look very familar.

To discuss NATO's challenge in the East in the second decade of the 21st Century this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern for the full hour will be Dr. Jorge Benitez.

Jorge is the Director of NATOSource and a Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

He specializes in NATO, European politics, and US national security.,and previously served as Assistant for Alliance Issues to the Director of NATO Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has also served as a specialist in international security for the Department of State and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis.

Dr. Benitez received his BA from the University of Florida, his MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and his PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Join us live if you can with the usual suspects in the chat room and offer up your questions for our guest, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

Listen to internet radio with Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fullbore Friday

Time for the best of the Hairy Navy ... again.

More Vietnam War Navy! This time, USS Higbee (DD-806).

She is a great ship with a great history, but let's focus on one of her battles. In Vietnam she did a lot of what you see in the upper right corner, she pounded the hell out of the Communists. One day, they decided for some payback during the '72 Spring Offensive when we supported the South Vietnamese in their defeat of the Communist North Vietnamese invasion.
DA NANG, Vietnam (AP) - "MIG coming! MIG coming!" yelled the lookout and seconds later the after deck of the destroyer Higbee was aflame. The North Vietnamese jet dropped a 250 pound bomb onto the deck of the destroyer, wounding four seamen and destroying a gun mount that housed two 5 inch guns.
The U.S. Command said at least three enemy jets attacked an American task force in the Tonkin Gulf off the coast of North Vietnam late Wednesday afternoon. The command said one of the planes was shot down, two enemy torpedo boats were believed sunk and shrapnel from shore battery fire caused minor damage on the cruiser Oklahoma City, the flagship of the 7th Fleet.
Capt. Ronald Zuilkoski, skipper of the Higbee, said the MIG attacked his ship at least twice before the bomb hit the deck. "In the first two passes, bombs fell left and right of the ship," he said, "but on the third try one hit the deck and exploded under the mount. She flew so low over the deck that you could see everything."
Luckily the gun mount was empty, the 12 man gun crew having been ordered out while a round stuck in one of the barrels (hang fire) was being hosed down to keep it from exploding. But three men in the ammunition storage compartment under the mount were wounded. Other men pulled them out as the ammunition began to explode. The exploding ammunition ripped open a large section in the Higbee's left side. Flames and clouds of black smoke from leaking oil engulfed the deck as the crew fought the fire.
Another warning sounded: "Missile! Missile homing in!" "We heard the missile warning, but we had to stay with the fire or we would have lost the ship," said Hull Tender 2nd Class John J O'Brien, 40 of Camden, NJ "It was fantastic - everyone worked together. They did what they were trained to do even though too much happened at one time - flames were every where."
John T. Allardyce, 26, another Hull Tender 2nd Class, from Allentown, Pa., was up forward." I felt the bomb hit," he said. "It shook the boat forward and then I heard the call for help from O'Brien's section in the rear." Allardyce said the bomb explosion damaged the water (fire main) system, "but we managed some how to get the thing under control." "The guys really worked together," said Allardyce. "You'd call for one man to come and help and two would show up."
The Higbee entered DA Nang harbor early today. It's after deck looked like a junkyard floating in a pool of dirty oil. It tied up alongside the repair ship Hector and near the destroyer USS Buchanan DDG 14 which the U.S. Command said was damaged by shore fire Monday.
To see a map of the Battle Area click here.


A MIG 17 came out of the mountains, went "feet wet" and passed directly over the USS Sterett It then made a turn up the track of the strike force that included the USS Oklahoma City and Lloyd Thomas DD 764 and dropped two 250 pound iron bombs on the next ship in line the USS Higbee DD 806. Moments before this, the USS Higbee experienced a hot round in her after gun mount. This hang-fire condition forced evacuation of the mount as a precautionary measure. One of the MIG's bombs dropped on the vacated after mount and the other one dropped into the water along side her fantail. Just as the MIG pulled up from her bomb run and banked to starboard toward the safety of the mountains, The USS Sterett achieved a missile "lock-on" and fired two Terrier missiles, one of which downed the MIG. Higbee's steering gear had been damaged by the attack. She encountered no fatalities and damage control teams had the fires quickly under control. USS Sterett stood by, as Higbee fought her fires, completed her turn and proceeded out of the area, still with her rudder inoperative. USS Sterett continued to stand by Higbee. On her own power Higbee headed for DaNang, South Viet Nam, since DaNang was the closest friendly port.

For the more information about the USS Sterett actions on this April day visit the Sterett Home Page at

John Boyd, a Bureaucrat, and a Roundhead Walk in to a Bar ...

What could those three possibly talk about?

Head on over to USNIBlog and find out.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Diversity Thursday

For those who haven't had someone graduate from college in the last couple of decades, you've missed the increasing politization of everything. It was bad enough in the 80s - and the reports I get from the eldest Wee Salamander, it is even worse now.

When I read Brian Grasso's bit about what he had thrown in his face at Duke this summer, I thought about a few of the pods being shipped to Annapolis over the last year.

Fun. Harmless fun. Good people just trying to be helpful.
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2015 [redacted]
From: [redacted]@USNA.EDU
Subject: Are You Leaning In?
To: [redacted]@LISTS.USNA.EDU

USNA Officers,

Last spring I sent an email to the Brigade inviting the Midshipmen to participate in a Lean In circle starting this upcoming semester. 165 Midshipmen have signed up, and I anticipate the list growing as the brigade returns.

This past Academic year, we piloted 8 Lean In circles, 4 all-female circles and 4 co-ed circles, to include 80 midshipmen. By all accounts, the circles have been a resounding success.

Please consider moderating a Lean In circle this year. Circles meet a minimum of once every marking period and consist of 8-10 Midshipmen. You will not be required to be at every meeting as the Midshipmen are eager to participate in the moderating process. Meetings can be held at a mutually agreeable time for your circle (over the lunch hour with an excusal, between sports period and study hour, etc.). We will hold an information session and training the week before classes start (date TBD) and circles will commence NLT early September.

I promise this will be a rich experience for you as you motivate midshipmen to start talking about how gender plays a role in the way we lead our young sailors and marines and in the way we live our own lives.

If you are interested, please fill out the google form below, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call/email me.[redacted]

Thank you for your consideration.


CDR Deborah [redacted]
Sampson [redacted]
[redacted] Department [redacted]
U.S. Naval Academy
(410) [redacted]
OK folks, you know how this goes. Now for the rest of the story.

What is a "Lean In Circle?" Well, you can trace it back to neo-femist icon Sheryl Sandberg's book, Dianetics, errr ... Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

Poke around their website for a bit, that is where you can also look at who they partner with;
We offer a growing library of free online lectures on topics including leadership and communication. Produced in partnership with the Clayman Institute for Gender Studies at Stanford University
Ahhh, yes. Indoctronation. Feminist politcal theory. Wonderful. Very Maoist Self-Criticism with Hugish. Just what the world's greatest warfighting navy needs.

Please follow the link to the Clayman Institute. We don't have time for a full Fisking here, so let's just look at their fellowships;
All fellowship and prize recipients will contribute to the Clayman Institutes thematic focus, "Beyond the Stalled Revolution: Reinvigorating Gender Equality in the Twenty-first Century."

Beyond the Stalled Revolution: Description

Twenty years ago, Arlie Hochschild described the gender revolution as stalled, ...
Oh, it gets better. That is just a random taste, but makes the point. All "Lean In" is, well, is repackaged feminist indoctronization packaged as a self-help platform with Education Kits for Moderators and everything.

At least as an organization, they are inclusive - they even have areas for the Beta-Males to hang out.

Another way of looking at "Lean In" et al, is what some of the better critiques have outlined it to be - just another brand of feminism. What is also is - with all the self-help books, checklists, worksheets, and assorted organizational paperwork - is a feminist version of that creature of the 90s, T.Q.L. - Total Quality Leadership.

As Christina Hoff Somers puts over at The Atlantic;
But this otherwise likeable and inspirational self-help book has a serious flaw: It is mired in 1970s-style feminism. Nation magazine columnist Katha Pollitt compares Sandberg to "someone who's just taken Women's Studies 101 and wants to share it with her friends." What Pollitt intends as a compliment goes to the heart of what is wrong with Lean In.
Yes, a trendy new personality based fad - one that combines shop-worn 1970s feminism with 1990s Demingism - with networking sprinkles for that extra visual jazz.

One of the better critiques of Sandbergism is by Rosa Brooks over at WaPo. It made me laugh because Brooks make it sound like the Sandberg was a SWO;
Because, of course, I was miserable. I never saw my friends, because I was too busy building my network. I was too tired to do any creative, outside-the-box thinking. I was boxed in. I wondered if foreign-policy punditry was just too much for me. I wondered if I should move to Santa Fe and open a small gallery specializing in handicrafts made from recycled tires. I wondered if my husband and kids would want to go with me.

But then — after my I-hate-Sheryl epiphany — I came to a bold new conclusion.

Ladies, if we want to rule the world — or even just gain an equitable share of leadership positions — we need to stop leaning in. It’s killing us.
I leaned in some more. I ate protein bars and made important telephone calls during my morning commute. I stopped reading novels so I could write more articles and memos and make more handicrafts to contribute to the school auction. I put in extra hours at work. When I came home, I did radio interviews over Skype from my living room while supervising the children’s math homework.

And I realized that I hated Sheryl Sandberg.
It’s hard enough managing one 24/7 job. No one can survive two of them. And as long as women are the ones doing more of the housework and childcare, women will be disproportionately hurt when both workplace expectations and parenting expectations require ubiquity. They’ll continue to do what too many talented women already do: Just as they’re on the verge of achieving workplace leadership positions, they’ll start dropping out.
If we truly want gender equality, we need to challenge the assumption that more is always better, and the assumption that men don’t suffer as much as women when they’re exhausted and have no time for family or fun. And we need to challenge those assumptions wherever we find them, both in the workplace and in the family. Whether it’s one more meeting, one more memo, one more conference, one more play date, one more soccer game or one more flute lesson for the kids, sometimes we need to say, “Enough!”
Kate Losse's is good too;
Lean In posits that some women can be players, and its instructions will be valuable to those who perform the endless work and self-monitoring that Sandberg advises. I was one of those women, and after several years of nonstop work, unused vacation time, and shrewd self-positioning, I made it from the back of the rocket ship all the way to the front, where I sat next to Sandberg and Zuckerberg at the privileged center of Facebook’s operations. I was invited to Sandberg’s “Women of Silicon Valley” dinners, where high-powered women ate hors d’oeuvres and networked. These women were “in,” and Lean In suggests that if you work hard enough, you can be too. 
I decided to leave Facebook because I saw ahead of me, by Zuckerberg’s and Sandberg’s own hands, an unending race of pure ambition, where no amount of money or power is enough and work is forever. While I am not unambitious, this wasn’t my ambition. But Sandberg is betting that for some women, as for herself, the pursuit of corporate power is desirable, and that many women will ramp up their labor ever further in hopes that one day they, too, will be “in.” And whether or not those women make it, the companies they work for will profit by their unceasing labor. 
Will the the workplace be fairer as a result of some women being “in”? For all of its sincere encouragement of individual women, Sandberg’s book does not indicate that her leadership has created deep changes at Facebook, or how deep changes might occur at the companies that she hopes women will run. Since, like any boss, she focuses on pushing women to work harder, it’s hard to see why she would use her position to effect systemic change. 
And so, in the end, Lean In may be a book not about a social movement, but about Sandberg’s own movement from Harvard to Google to Facebook, and now into her self-appointed role as leader of Lean In. The book advocates “lean in” circles for women in corporate environments. The circles are now being advocated by the book’s corporate partners like American Express, Amazon, and Bain, with her book as their guide. As memoir, it is instructive regarding Sandberg’s successful career trajectory, and provides some helpful advice for young women in how to follow her. But as a manual for navigating the workplace, it teaches women more about how to serve their companies than it teaches companies about how to be fairer places for women to work.
If a bunch of female MIDN want to gather in little circles to ... well, yammer on about recycled feminist theory flavored with workaholicism, knock yourselves out. If some male MIDN who understands social game theory want to play around on the co-ed groups in order to find some place with a critical mass of females - then why not. That was a very successful ploy by a Reagan-voting TKE I knew in school who joined College Democrats, so maybe it will work here. Just know what you are supporting.

For everyone else, as you read about the political indoctrinization of a captive audiance at universities, don't think that it doesn't happen at Annapolis. And just as college professors use their influence over their charges to push their agenda, don't underestimate the power of a Commander offering, "Please consider ... " to a Lieutenant to support a political movement.

Oh, one last note - simply because I cannot help myself;
Vonetta Young, meanwhile, thinks about her marriage differently since reading Lean In. Young, 29, is an investment associate in New York City who works in private equity. Her husband is an attorney.

"I had this assumption that his career is going to be more important than mine," she says. "Reading the book helped me see that obviously you have to make certain compromises in marriage, but the onus of that doesn't always have to fall to the woman."

Young has talked about her shift in mindset with her husband, who is supportive and plans to read the book himself.
So ... Vonetta ... you're 29 eh? (Usual Kristen warning)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Wages of Populism

When you reach a critical mass of a voting population that falls in love with populism, no nation can prosper.

Combined with the cult of personality, which by nature is based on emotion and feelings, with populism you get poor economic policy, and a civic culture driven by division and corrosive political philosophy.

Populism is a path that leads one of few ways:economic ruin, revolution, or the disappearance of that nation as it falls apart in to its factions, or is absorbed by a stronger nation who picks up the leftovers.

One of the first signs of a culture in collapse is when it mortgages its future, debases its currency to nothing, as eventually loses the ability to even defend itself - the third order effect of the populist's consuming previous generations capital for short term power.

Via UKDefenceJournal and IHS Janes, behold the wages of decades of populism; behold Argentina - and the results of decades of Peronism, dictatorship, and populism;
In August 2015, the Argentine air force retired its Mirage fighters, with only a handful of them even flyable.

Things don’t look any better for the other services, the depleted Argentine Navy rarely puts to sea, has almost no spare parts and for the most part, doesn’t actually have any ammunition. 2012 saw the training ship ARA Libertad seized in Ghana on the orders of a hedge fund seeking reparations from the Argentinian government. Shortly afterward, the corvette ARA Espora was stranded in South Africa for seventy-three days after the German company hired to repair a mechanical fault refused to carry out the work as a result of the Argentine government’s unpaid bills. 2013 saw the sinking of the decommissioned destroyer ARA Santísima Trinidad in port as a consequence of poor maintenance.
Even the submarine crews, despite benefitting from a recent upgrade, need at least 190 days of immersion practice and in 2014 only spent 19 hours submerged. A similar situation is faced by the four destroyers: Almirante Brown, Heroina, La Argentina and Sarandí, with engine problems and they need spares, plus they don’t have any weaponry.

The Argentine Army has deployed on operations without some of even the most basic equipment and rarely has the resources for training.
Good thing its neighbors desire nothing of or from that nation. Chile and Brazil could take it in a walk;
The Argentine Air Force is drastically cutting staff working hours and decommissioning its last fighter aircraft amid continuing budget issues.

A recently published daily agenda indicates that the service’s working hours have been significantly reduced, from 0800 to 1300; rationing of food, energy consumption, and office supplies has been directed headquarters staff and property residents; and only the minimum personnel required to staff headquarters, directorates, and commands are working.

These orders, issued on 11 August, take effect 18 August. A next step will cut Monday and Tuesday as working days. Moreover, air force officials said any aircraft taken out of service will not undergo maintenance for now.
Sad. Argentina should be a rich and prosperous country. Vast natural resources, a good population, and friendly geography. What is it lacking? Good governance.

If you want your nation defended - economic policy matters. Politics matters. The people elected in to power matter.

Monday, August 24, 2015

In that moment ...

One of the best observations I heard over the weekend was this; one nagging question in every man's mind is a simple one - when the moment comes, how will you react?

What is your real nature? Will you act like you hope you will? Will you act like your self-doubt whispers in your ear you will? Or, will do you what you should do?

Men will do many things in life to find the answer to that question - to prove something not so much to others, but to themselves.

Three Americans; Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, Specialist Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Briton Chris Norman, and the Franco-American academic Mark Moogalian will no longer have to search for that answer.

They have it.

Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone sat down with us yesterday for the first time, describing events from his point of view. Check out his incredible story below:United States Air Force U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Lajes Field, Azores AFN Europe
Posted by Ramstein Air Base, Germany on Monday, August 24, 2015

The Jew: Eternal

Jews are at best 0.2% of the world population. Yes, 2/10th of 1%. ~14 million world wide. If you put them in one nation, it would be somewhere between Belgium and The Netherlands.

Read your Old Testament; Sumerians, Assyrians, Hittites, Amorites, Phoenicians, Philistines, Moabites, and Edomites - they are all gone. Some such as Egyptians and Persians are still here, but their religion and culture are gone with time.

The Jewish people remain. Also from recorded history we know that they have never been able to find peace, and their security has never been firm. Suppressed, Dhimmi'd, purged, pogrom'd, and liquidated - or at best, vilified, hated, loathed - and envied.

The Jewish people already had a set culture, written tradition, and an organized civil society when my ancestors were barely out of the stone age.

Yet the Jews remain. Over and over, tyrants destroyed their temples, scattered their people, and conducted wholesale murder.  Yet they remain. 

What also remains is that base hatred of Jews that I have never understood. I recognize and can hear the excuses, but I will never understand it. There is no logic - there is only the most base emotion. 

Perhaps envy has a bit to do with it. If you are religious of certain persuasions, you know they are God's chosen people - for reasons and purposes best known to God. If you are not, then all you have is a people who survive when others do not. They prosper under oppression when others fail enjoying liberty. They make deserts bloom when others existed in dusty squalor. Perhaps it is that, perhaps that is only part of it.

Jew hatred; I find anti-Antisemitism a bit too antiseptic. It waxes and wanes through time. Especially in Europe after a few decades rest, it is back.

It is fueled in no small measure by Europe's import of masses of Muslims - giving fuel to an already present vibe in the host population.

Like SJW in the USA, those who hate Jews will find any excuse, any veneer, any area of culture to bring their hate out if they can. Even, music. Even Reggae.
After failing in an attempt to have Jewish-American singer Matisyahu banned from a Spanish music festival, the BDS bigots had yet another trick to unveil as the star ascended to the stage on Saturday night.
Far from boycotting the reggae artist’s gig, the “hate Israel” crowd showed up en masse. And they came bearing flags, immense Palestinian flags, which they waved with gusto from every corner of the 20,000-strong crowd.

As Matisyahu took the mike and looked out to the audience, he was presented with an unmistakably hostile message. It was clear that those who sought to have him banished stood before him in protest. Then the catcalls started, with some chanting, “out, out.” It might easily have been unnerving, disorienting.
Some media are calling this "anti-Israel" protests. No, they are not protesting Israel. Matisyahu, AKA Matthew Paul Miller, is an American. An American Jew from New York. They are protesting the presence of a Jew.

Same as the "anti-Israel" riots in France last year. Did they attack the Israeli embassy? No, they attacked Synagogues. That is not anti-Israel - that is Jew hatred. We should call it what it is. Enough of fuzzy words. We should call it what it is.

What does one do in the face of such constant hate - simply because of your small, persecuted religion's refusal to die? What does a civilized person do? How does one stand their ground without degrading yourself to the level of the primitives attacking you?

How does one respond to such confident, smug, and in your face hate?
Not to be cowed however, it was the spirited Matisyahu who had the last laugh.
But then he began to sing about Jerusalem.
Here's the vid.

The lyrics:
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
fire not gonna come from me tongue.
Jerusalem, if I forget you,
let my right hand forget what it's supposed to do.

In the ancient days, we will return with no delay
Picking up the bounty and the spoils on our way
We've been traveling from state to state
And them don't understand what they say
3, 000 years with no place to be
And they want me to give up my milk and honey
Don't you see, it's not about the land or the sea
Not the country but the dwelling of his majesty

Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn't choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they're trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don't you know that's not the way to be

Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn't choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they're trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don't you know that's not the way to be

Caught up in these ways, and the worlds gone craze
Don't you know it's just a phase
Case of the Simon says
If I forget the truth then my words won't penetrate
Babylon burning in the place, can't see through the haze
Chop down all of them dirty ways,
That's the price that you pay for selling lies to the youth
No way, not ok, oh no way, not ok, hey
Aint no one gonna break my stride
Aint no one gonna pull me down
Oh no, I got to keep on moving
Stay alive

Rebuild the temple and the crown of glory
Years gone by, about sixty
Burn in the oven in this century
And the gas tried to choke, but it couldn't choke me
I will not lie down, I will not fall asleep
They come overseas, yes they're trying to be free
Erase the demons out of our memory
Change your name and your identity
Afraid of the truth and our dark history
Why is everybody always chasing we
Cut off the roots of your family tree
Don't you know that's not the way to be
Well played sir.

Very menschish.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fullbore Friday

One man can make a difference; a calm professional with perspective and a firm grasp of the larger story around him.

Regardless of which side of the Cold War you were on - everyone on this planet should know the name Vasili Arkhipov, Vice Admiral, Soviet Navy.
Above them, the U.S. navy were 'hunting by exhaustion' - trying to force the Soviet sub to come to the surface to recharge its batteries.
They had no idea that on board the submarines were weapons capable of destroying the entire American fleet.

Gary Slaughter, a signalman on board the USS Cony battleship, said: 'We knew they were probably having trouble breathing. It was hot as hell in there, they were miserable.

'Frankly I don't think we felt any sympathy for them at all. They were the enemy.'
The Americans decided to ratchet up the pressure, and dropped warning grenades into the sea. Inside the sub, the Soviet submariners thought they were under attack. 
Valentin Savitsky, the captain of B59, was convinced the nuclear war had already started.

Savitsky hadn't counted on Arkhipov. As commander of the fleet, Arkhipov had the last veto. And although his men were against him, he insisted that they must not fire - and instead surrender. 

It was a humiliating move - but one that saved the world. The Soviet submariners were forced to return to their native Russia, where they were given the opposite of a hero's welcome. 
Historian Thomas Blanton told the Sun: 'What heroism, what duty, they fulfilled to go halfway across the world and come back, and survive.

Four decades passed before the story of what really happened on the B59 sub was discovered. It was after Arkipov had died in 1998 from radiation poisoning. 

But to his widow Olga, he was always a hero
She said: 'He knew that it was madness to fire the nuclear torpedo. In Cuba, in honour of the 40th anniversary of the crisis, people gathered. 
‘They said that the person who prevented a nuclear war was the Russian submariner Vasili Arkhipov. I was proud and I am proud of my husband always.’
Why did he die of radiation poisoining?

Most of you know about the Soviet's first SSBN, the Hotel K-19? Well;
In July 1961, Arkhipov was appointed deputy commander or executive officer of the new Hotel-class ballistic missile submarine K-19. During its nuclear accident, he backed Captain Nikolai Vladimirovich Zateyev during the potential mutiny. While assisting with engineering work to deal with the overheating reactor, he was exposed to a harmful level of radiation. This incident is depicted in the American film K-19: The Widowmaker.

Take some time to give a nod to a professional.

PBS gave him justice in an hour long documentary. Here is the preview:

Watch the full video here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Diversity Thursday

A few quick items this Thursday that have been making the rounds this week that I wanted to pull together to give you something to ponder the next time you have to deal with one of the commissars from a branch of the socio-political, sectarian, hate filled, and bigoted world of the diversity industry.

Good news, really. Subjects and examples we've discussed here for years are breaking above the background noise in the larger culture - if not taking our position, at least opening the discussion space.

First; racial self-identification fraud.  It is simple economics and human behavior that if you create a perverse incentive, the perverse will be incentivized. 

Through the years, we have chronicled here those in our Navy who have clearly taken advantage of the racial spoils system in place for their own gain; from the German "Hispanics" from Puerto Rico, to the "my grandmother grew up in SW Texas, and I grew up in the DC suburbs, so that makes me pretty much a leading "Hispanic" Flag Officer.

Yes, we can go on for hours, and we all have our own examples of those that are gaming the system.

This, however, is simply sublime;
Shaun King, a prominent leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, has been claiming to be biracial when he is actually a white man ... King, who won a full scholarship from Oprah Winfrey to the historically black Morehouse College, has been a leading activist against police brutality. He has said he is the son of a white woman and a black man in various accounts online, including in a philanthropic feature Rebel magazine published in 2012. ...
There is so much more there, but one thing is clear - he has made a living playing off racial strife he helped create. Strife invented in his own life, and strife he has created for others. You know, just like the diversity cadre we have in the Navy. Got to earn that paycheck, dontchaknow.

There is advantage in lying and fudging as Ben Shapiro outlines;
With Milo Yiannopoulos’ shocking report that Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King is in fact white – according to Yiannopoulos, quoting blogger Vicki Page, “King is white and has been lying about his ethnicity for years” – taboo questions now arise about the nature of race in America.

King, of course, isn’t the first leading black activist with no black biological background: Rachel Dolezal, former head of the Spokane, Washington NAACP and adjunct professor of African-American studies at Eastern Washington, turned out to be a white woman.
All of this demonstrates one undeniable fact: being black in America in 2015 is perceived as a status symbol and an advantage. This does not deny the horrific and evil history of racism against black people in America. It also does not deny the fact that a disproportionate number of black people live in poverty and suffer as victims of crime (primarily from other black people, just as white people suffer crime primarily from other white people).

But Dolezal and King make it clear that America’s attempts to repair the effects of that horrific history have now made black skin advantageous for a certain subset of activists, which is why people like Dolezal and now allegedly King have masqueraded as black for personal advantage.In areas across American culture, blackness is beneficial. That’s why people like King and Dolezal seek its imprimatur, even under allegedly false pretenses.
For example, King allegedly received a scholarship to Morehouse College from Oprah Winfrey on the basis of his allegedly fake race. He apparently took a scholarship from a black person in order to attend Morehouse. But the fact that scholarships based on race are available from many foundations – and only to racial minorities – means that it is definitionally advantageous to be a member of a minority for purposes of obtaining one.

That’s true in terms of admission to universities as well: standards are lower for blacks generally at top universities. A Princeton University study showed that blacks receive a “bonus” of 230 points on SAT scores versus their competitors; by contrast, Asians are penalized 50 points. The same holds true for finding a position in academia. Rachel Dolezal began as a white artist at Howard University but quickly found herself marginalized. Then she became black, and her art found a place at the United Nations, and she received an adjunct professorship at Eastern Washington University.
Next, the false canard of evil, institutionally racist USA. The Economist brings up a topic that, how did former Attorney General Holder put it, makes cowards of us all. Well, not here - not for DivThu. Call us all the nasty name you want, stick your fingers in year ears, and hold your breath until you turn blue. I don't care - I prefer a fact based discussion.

As we have documented here before, if you use objective criteria and give equal opportunity to all, you will not have a military, an officer corps especially, that "looks like America." Specifically and dramatically for native-born African-Americans, the educational and cultural metrics from birth to age 18 are at such variance with the population in general that you simply cannot make the numbers work unless you put your thumb on the scale.

The common refrain from the Diversity Bullies is to point to the institutional discrimination and general nasty and unworthiness of the United States in order to guilt trip everyone in to forcing compliance. Classic power play and really rather ballsy. Different topic for a different day - let's refocus.

To make the numbers work, first of all one needs to fix the subculture that is creating sub-par performance. It isn't race, it is culture. That is hard work of generations. Ahem.

If it were as simple as skin color, hair, and bone structure ...
African migrants stand out from American-born blacks. Indeed, on most measures, they have little in common but their colour. With the exception of some refugees, who are often resettled in areas with cheap housing, they live mostly in the suburbs, rather than in inner cities. In Washington Ethiopians and Eritreans cluster in Silver Spring, a part of Maryland at the edge of the District of Columbia. They are older—the average African-born black in America is 37, against 29 for American-born blacks. And they are far more likely to be married: 52% are, against a figure of just 28% for American-born blacks.

They also tend to be well educated, according to Pew’s data. In 2013 35% had a bachelor’s degree or better, against a figure of 30% for all Americans and just 19% of American-born blacks (see chart). But despite these qualifications, they earn slightly less than most Americans. In 2013 the average household income for black Africans was $43,000. That is sharply higher than the $33,500 American-born blacks earn, but lower than the amounts earned by other immigrants and by white Americans. In Washington, Ethiopian and Eritrean men disproportionately work as taxi drivers, or in the city’s many East African restaurants.
What does this mean for America as a whole? Africans are just one group of black immigrants in America—Caribbeans and people from Latin America bring the total of people who identify as black and were born overseas to around 3.8m. One possibility is that their growth in numbers may help soften the historical racialised division of America’s population between those whose descendants moved willingly and those whose descendants were enslaved.
Many who profess to be leaders of the "African-American Community" - which seem to include quite a few white people with significant emotional and psychological problems, who continue to scrape away at scabs like it is still 1971, are only interested in promoting their own race-hate, their own power, paycheck, and for some - their own sad emotional need for attention.

America - still a work in progress - is not as an institutional level the problem. People and culture are. Now, if only our Navy would start looking to the future instead of joining the forces of strife and division stuck in the Nixon Administration, we could all get along better.

But still, there are metrics, and an inability to accept that we are a diverse nation. Wait, what? Yes, I said that. We are a gloriously diverse nation, and that is fine. As such, you have certain subcultures with a population as large as ours. Each sub-culture has its predilections and habits. The subcultures are slowly coming together as never before, but there are still distinctions. 

There are reasons most of the NBA is African-American; there are reasons that most of the USA Women's soccer team is mostly of European extraction. There are reasons that my N1 shop was once 80% black. There is a reason that towards the end of the last decade, the Commander of US and NATO forces in AFG were back-to-back McNeil, McKiernan, and McChrystal. If no one is being prevented institutionally from doing one thing or another on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin - who cares?

If all our nuclear engineers were of east-Asian extraction and got there by merit, who cares? If 8 of your 10 MAs have last names that end in a vowel or a "z," who cares? If all the SEALs jumping out the back of a C-130 look like a bunch of Vikings coming off a skeid, who cares? Additionally, in an all volunteer force where the first step to joining Special Forces is to ... volunteer, what are you to do? Go around and voluntold people based on self-identified race and ethnicity? Make them not DOR?

Is there something related to race that makes the Russian, Chinese, or even Iranian SOF less useful? Well, it seems the scab pickers think there is.
Black officers and enlisted troops are scarce in some special operations units in highest demand, according to data provided by the Pentagon to USA TODAY. For instance, eight of 753 SEAL officers are black, or 1%.

An expert at the Pentagon on the diversity of commando forces said the lack of minorities robs the military of skills it needs to win.

"We don't know where we will find ourselves in the future," said Army Col. Michael Copenhaver, who has published a paper on diversity in special operating forces. "One thing is for sure: We will find ourselves around the globe. And around the globe you have different cultural backgrounds everywhere. Having that kind of a diverse force can only increase your operational capability."
Read the full article to read the whole series of tired old cliches that Copenhave trots out. What a tool of division.
Copenhaver's paper, written for the U.S. Army's War College, makes a practical argument for greater diversity among special operations forces: "U.S. special operators have long acknowledged they face challenges mixing in with foreign populations because they look so American."
Define "look American." Anyone who lives in Europe long enough knows that "look American" has more to do with how you dress, walk, and carry yourself - and you can tell from across the square when everyone is dressed for deepest winter. If you are white in Africa, everyone does not assume you are an American unless you dress, walk, and act like one - ditto the Middle East and Asia. I've pulled off a fairly good South African national more than once.
For the SEALs, the problem extends beyond the officer corps into the enlisted ranks. Of its enlisted men, 45 SEALs are black, or about 2% of the 2,242 members of its elite force. There are more SEALs — 99, or 4% of the enlisted force — who are Native Americans or Alaska natives.

Among Army Green Berets, 85% of its 1,494 officers are white and 4.5% are black. Its 5,947 enlisted Green Berets are 86% white and 5.4% black.

For the Air Force's para-rescue jumpers, highly trained airmen who search for missing troops, only one of 166 is black, or .6% of that force.
Oh, and like I said;
Some of the same forces that steer young African Americans from Army's combat specialties such as infantry and artillery — the breeding ground for the service's top leadership — appear to be in play among special operators, the senior Defense official said.

To address the problem, the Army urges young black officers to consider combat specialties, the official said. Promotion boards for officers give greater weight to diversity, and mentoring of minority officers is emphasized.
Well, lookee there. Look at what slipped out from under the skirt. Let's put that out there again.
Promotion boards for officers give greater weight to diversity ...
I'll just leave that there for you.

Stir conflict to keep the issue. Keeping the issue keeps the paid billets, appointments to boards, and contracts. Millions of dollars. Do it all the time while pushing patronizing and openly racist smears like, "People need leaders who look like they do. If they don't, the force suffers."

Ummmm, yea. Tell that to the Gurkhas and the French Foreign Legion.

Sad part is the great body of our fellow Americans who are of one degree or another a glorious mixed-up gaggle of DNA. We don't like to recognize that and worse, we force them to pick what part of the DNA they want to claim as their own - and to do it based on what is most beneficial. That is how you shame them in to being part of your sham.

What can you do? Passive civil disobedience. Have those billets in your command? Gap them when you can. Do not have your Sailors waste their time filling out awards packets that define anything by race, creed, color, national origin ... or sex for that matter. Just don't do it. Sectarian conferences hosted by affinity groups? Not a penny of TDY money. Not a cent. Not a lost work day. Base visit by one of the traveling trainers. Don't promote. Don't encourage attendance. Do the minimum to keep yourself out of trouble. Like this;
The diversity of special operating forces is closely held information. U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees all the services' commandos, declined to provide data on the racial makeup of its forces. USA TODAY had to obtain that data from each service individually, a process that took months. The Marines did not produce the actual numbers of their special operations forces, only percentages.

SOCOM, based in Tampa, does not track that information on its nearly 70,000 civilian and military personnel, said Kenneth McGraw, a spokesman. Gen. Joseph Votel, SOCOM's commander, declined to speak to USA TODAY for this story, said Col. Thomas Davis, another SOCOM spokesman.
Bravo zulu. The underground is still active ... and growing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oman and her discontents

What is the latest in that besotted bit of water?

I'm discussing over at USNIBlog. Stop by and ponder with me.

The Waves Have Already Started

Throughout the undeveloped and the fail-to-launch world, there are teaming masses driven by war and economics to look for some part of the world where they can escape the dysfunction and violence from where they came.

They are taking advantage of modern transportation and porous borders to move at a scale and speed no one is prepared to deal with. Lacking the desire, ability, or ethos to stand where they are and change their home nations, they are instead hitting the trail, the rail, the open ocean, and even the aircraft to come to the only places on this planet that function and will take them in - the West and its global outposts, most notably, Western Europe and the primary Anglosphere (CANUKUS+AUS/NZD).

There are problems with this in the 21st Century, there are no more open spaces. There are no longer small diverse groups coming in manageable numbers to a nation where in a generation they can be absorbed in the vast underpopulated frontier, earn their own living by the fruits of their own labor, and assimilate in to the culture.

No, this is new. The migrants are coming in waves 100,000 strong, month by month to already crowded nations under economic stress and beset with welfare state largess.

These nations do not demand new arrivals assimilate, and in a large measure, the new arrivals don't want to. With modern communication and entertainment a satellite dish away, they don't have to break from the home language and culture they are bringing and keeping is the same culture of violence, sectarianism, corruption and dependence that caused the source country's dysfunction in the first place.

Their foreign and often hostile culture, if not checked to manageable numbers and smart policies, will overwhelm their target nations and inside half a century. Those nations as well will fail as their civil society fractures and loses its ability to function as designed for a nation and culture that no longer exists.

A few decades ago there was a SCIFI futurist novel, the title escapes me, where one of the pivotal points was a memorial on a beach in Australia where thousands of refugees died - more to the point, killed.

Forgot the reason, but it was an opening for to author to describe a new age of migration. Especially in Europe, and to a lesser effect and different context here, we are reaching that point outlined in the book. A point where a densely populated economically failed and violent world rushes, like drowning people all trying to get in the last remaining lifeboat, to the few places that work, and will force those working parts of the world to do what was in living memory unthinkable - kill to save their nations from being destroyed by charity.
Greece appealed to its European Union partners on Tuesday to come up with a comprehensive strategy to deal with a growing migrant crisis as new data showed 21,000 refugees landed on Greek shores last week alone.

That number is almost half Greece's overall refugee intake in 2014 and brings total arrivals this year to 160,000, even as it struggles with a debt crisis that has forced it to accept a third international bailout.
A spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR in Geneva said Greece needed to show "much more leadership" in dealing with the crisis.

But Greek officials said they needed better coordination within the European Union. "This problem cannot be solved by imposing stringent legal processes in Greece, and, certainly, not by overturning the boats," said government spokeswoman Olga Gerovassili.

Nor could it be addressed by building fences, she said.
This is madness. What does the UN propose that the already bankrupt Greece do? Why Greece? Why not Turkey? Why not Iran. Of course we know why - those are not Western nations.

The West, you see, it must be ... well ...
"The situation is already volatile and we have started seeing increased tensions with the local authorities and between different refugee groups," said Kirk Day, the aid agency's emergency field director on the island.
The Greek state eventually charted a passenger ship to house and process migrants in an attempt to ease conditions onshore, where many are living in tents, some in shelters made from cardboard boxes.

Gerovassili said more reception centers were required.

"We must have new reception facilities ... We cannot continue to see these tragic images of children, people living under such circumstances."
This will not end well. The migration wave will not slow down any time soon. Growing anarchy, extremism, economic stagnation, and demographics will keep the pressure building.

Western nations are at the point where they must enforce firm policies now, or they will be forced to implement the harshest remedies later - that is, of course, if there is a desire to keep those nations together as founded.

The time for easy solutions is past. The last generation or two threw that opportunity away. Doing nothing is not an option because, eventually, this migration will shift to invasion in the mind of a plurality of each nation's citizens. When that happens, if good political leaders do not act, the people will turn to whatever leader promises actions. That rarely is the better outcome.

No nation is required to commit suicide, and leaders who desire to fundamentally transform their nations should not expect for their population to allow that change to be done against the will of the people - if indeed the people ever decide their national culture is worth defending anymore.

Some nations are already going Honeybadger and are taking the steps they need to.
Earlier this month construction began on a 175 km (110 mile) razor wire border fence in Hungary to deter migrants, ...
History if far from over - and is far from teaching the copybook headings with a ruler to the knuckles.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

So ... you like your officers with STEM, eh?

The growing pushback against STEm-uber-alles should give more reasons to pause for our navy and its STEM-heavy biases.

Can we ask for innovation, nuance, and creativity amongst leaders while at the same time demanding 85% come from a STEM background?

Fareed Zakaria over at WaPo joins the discussion;
If Americans are united in any conviction these days, it is that we urgently need to shift the country’s education toward the teaching of specific, technical skills. Every month, it seems, we hear about our children’s bad test scores in math and science — and about new initiatives from companies, universities or foundations to expand STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) and deemphasize the humanities. From President Obama on down, public officials have cautioned against pursuing degrees like art history, which are seen as expensive luxuries in today’s world. Republicans want to go several steps further and defund these kinds of majors. “Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists?” asked Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott. “I don’t think so.” America’s last bipartisan cause is this: A liberal education is irrelevant, and technical training is the new path forward. It is the only way, we are told, to ensure that Americans survive in an age defined by technology and shaped by global competition. The stakes could not be higher.

This dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future. The United States has led the world in economic dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship thanks to exactly the kind of teaching we are now told to defenestrate. A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity. Exposure to a variety of fields produces synergy and cross fertilization. Yes, science and technology are crucial components of this education, but so are English and philosophy. When unveiling a new edition of the iPad, Steve Jobs explained that “it’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — that it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.”
Americans should be careful before they try to mimic Asian educational systems, which are oriented around memorization and test-taking. I went through that kind of system. It has its strengths, but it’s not conducive to thinking, problem solving or creativity. That’s why most Asian countries, from Singapore to South Korea to India, are trying to add features of a liberal education to their systems.
No matter how strong your math and science skills are, you still need to know how to learn, think and even write.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hey SWO-Daddy ... HELO DET has 'yo Video

Remember this little pic from FEB 12 of USS PORT ROYAL (CG-73) right after UNREP we had fun with?

We not only have the rest of the story (USNS has a stearing casualty during CORPEN NOVEMBER) ... but we have the video.


January 2012
CG73 UNREP from the Flight Deck - Jan 2012
Posted by Nikia Elmore on Friday, December 5, 2014

If the above video does not work - you can see it on YouTube here.

Hat tip Lucien.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Russia and the Nuclear Shadow: 2015’s Revivals with Tom Nichols - on Midrats

They never really went away, but for almost 20 years the world had a holiday from an old challenge and a new one; Russia and the prospect of nuclear war.

Some thought, and more hoped that with the end of the Cold War, a newer world order would emerge that would enable an era of stability and peace. In a way, it did – but only in spots and for short periods of time.

While for the last 15 years most of the attention was focused on the expansion of radical Islam, two not unrelated events began to wax. From the ashes of the Soviet Union, fed by a charismatic leader and a resource extraction economy, Russian began to reassert itself in a manner consistent with the last 500 years of its history, and in parallel – the boogyman of the second half of the 20th Century began to grow as well; the proliferation and possible use nuclear weapons.

To discuss this and more for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be Dr. Tom Nichols.

Tom is a professor at the Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School, as well as a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City and a Fellow of the International History Institute at Boston University. Previously he was a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Before coming to the War College, he taught international relations and Russian affairs for many years at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University. In Washington, he was personal staff for defense and security affairs in the United States Senate to the late Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania.

He received his PhD from Georgetown, an MA from Columbia University, and the Certificate of the Harriman Institute at Columbia.

He's also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion. He played in the 1994 Tournament of Champions, is listed in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame. He played his final match in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions.

Join us live if you can with the usual suspects in the chat room and offer up your questions for our guest, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here.

Listen to internet radio with Midrats on Blog Talk Radio