H/T to Legalinsurrection.com
On 27 May 1968, for the second time in just over five years, the United States Navy announced the disappearance of a modern nuclear attack submarine. The Skipjack-class SSN, USS Scorpion, disappeared on 22 May as she transited near the Azores.
The cause of the loss of Scorpion continues to be a subject of fierce debate. The recorded acoustic signature of the event has been analyzed extensively, and expert opinion is divided regarding what the SOSUS data points to. Several recent books have addressed the subject, positing that the Soviets had targeted Scorpion and sank her with assistance from ASW helicopters, and intelligence gained from the capture of USS Pueblo (AGER-2) and the John Walker spy ring. Other theories included a battery fire which caused a Mk 37 torpedo to detonate in the tube in the torpedo room, or an inadvertent launch of a Mk 37 which came back and struck Scorpion. Other analysis points to a possible explosion of hydrogen gas, built up to unsafe levels during a charge of batteries, that doomed Scorpion.
Much has been made of the abbreviation of her overhaul and the postponement of the SUBSAFE work (initiated in the wake of the loss of Thresher, SSN-593, in April of 1963) by the CNO, and the tagging out of the Emergency Main Ballast Tank system. However, there seems little that points to any neglected maintenance or repair being responsible for the loss of the boat.
Regardless of the cause of the loss of Scorpion, the submarine carried 99 US Navy sailors to their deaths. Her loss should stand as a reminder that plying the sea is a dangerous occupation, and that there is a a cost in lives for vigilance and readiness for war, even a Cold War. It should also serve as a warning, that a Navy without sufficient ships and sailors to meet mission requirements in peace must compromise that readiness and vigilance, which has a far higher price in the unforgiving occupation of war at sea.
I am a Patriots fan, I admit. Otherwise, I wouldn’t care much about it. I wouldn’t really now, except for the arbitrary and capricious nature of how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Ted Wells handled the investigation of whether or not the Patriots deflated footballs to below the league standard before the AFC Championship Game with the Colts.
The New England Patriots today issued a rebuttal which positively destroys the amateurish and biased “report” which seems even more like an NFL sting operation incompetently sprung. The rebuttal includes what the report conveniently ignores, like the context for the much-publicized text messages between Patriots employees, the fact that the Colts, not the Patriots, admitted to violating league rules by tampering with a game ball during play, the failure of the league and its officials to document evidence they knew well might be used in an investigation, and much more. But the most damning piece of the rebuttal is the clubbing the Patriots deliver to the skulls of the NFL League Office with the league’s own data:
The average of the Prioleau (Logo gauge) measurements — and using an average makes sense given the non-repeatability of even a single gauge — is 11.49 psi, precisely what would have been predicted by the Ideal Gas Law. According to the League’s consultants, the Ideal Gas Law predicted the Patriots footballs which started at 12.5 would have measured between 11.32 and 11.52 psi at the end of the first half (pg. 113). The average of these 11 footballs is within or above that range, as are the actual psi of 8 of the 11 footballs. If air had been intentionally released from each football before the game, these numbers would be significantly lower.
Further, note that the differences between the two gauges vary from .3 to .45 — if the gauges were in fact repeatable, the difference between the two gauges would remain the same on every football gauged.
Mr. Blakeman and Mr. Prioleau apparently switched which gauges they were using when they switched which team’s footballs they were gauging. The investigators never consider that Mr. Anderson did the same thing in his pre-game measurements. If Mr. Anderson, pre-game, used the Logo gauge on the Patriots footballs and the non-Logo gauge on the Colts footballs, this helps explain the difference in psi drop between the Patriots footballs and the Colts footballs.
And here is the real and irrefutable dagger:
If scientific evidence explains the drop in psi of the Patriots footballs, it is definitive there was no tampering. Rather than engage in that analysis, this investigation made certain assumptions about gauge usage and then speculated about the meaning of texts taken out of context. The report rejects the simple and fully supported scientific explanation for the psi drop and instead builds adverse inference upon adverse inference from speculative and circumstantial evidence in order to develop even the soft conclusions it reaches.
Yup. Roger Goodell should be ashamed of himself. Someone’s half-baked scheme to finger the Patriots went south, and this imbecilic “Wells Report” that I would not accept from a Second Lieutenant to send someone to NJP turns up (after more than 100 days!!!), and the league suspends the best quarterback ever to play the game, fines the team a million bucks, and takes two draft picks away based on that pile of nonsense.
The penalties should be immediately revoked, and the owners should send Goodell his walking papers. Less competent stewardship of a multi-billion dollar sports league would be hard to imagine.
Oh, AFTER the footballs were re-inflated at halftime? The Patriots outscored the Colts 28-0.
The top defense secretary in North Korea was allegedly executed in a hail of anti-aircraft fire, South Korean news outlets say, for falling asleep at a meeting where Kim Jong-un was speaking.
Though there remains some skepticism regarding the event, certainly there seems to be some credence to the possibility that General Hyon Yong-chol was done away with, because we know that the DPRK has the facility for such an ostentatious (and messy) display of brutality.
But there is a marketing opportunity here. The annoying 5-Hour Energy commercials could become quite a bit more compelling. “Feeling tired? Falling asleep in a meeting with the boss? Don’t be blasted into smoking lumps of bone and flesh! Drink 5-Hour Energy! Now in pomegranate, berry, grape, and citrus orange!”
Wouldn’t it be irony that staunch Communist KJU was the entrepreneurial inspiration for a Capitalist marketing campaign? Sure, the FDA has some warnings about 5-Hour Energy Drinks, such as prolonged use causing heart attacks. But it still has to be less harmful than half a dozen 14.5 slugs to the cranium.
Maybe 5-Hour Energy can pick up the NKPA as a sponsor, to go along with NASCAR and Jim Furyk. Or maybe not, as acquiring personal wealth is a leading cause of being shot to pieces in North Korea.
Doesn’t seem like Barack Obama has much of a stomach for fighting America’s enemies. He panders to Iran, and backs the Muslim Brotherhood. He shows his spinelessness (flexibility) with Russia, while China continues to get the upper hand in the Pacific. The Unites States continues the drastic military cutbacks in order to fund the welfare machine that fills campaign coffers and ballot boxes.
There is, however, one place where Barack Obama’s Administration has shown a penchant for war. That is the one waged against his political and social enemies, to include the war on Whitey. His race-baiting Attorneys General (Loretta Lynch is of the same ilk as Holder) and his bigoted loud-mouthed rabble-rousing friends, like Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, and Jeremiah Wright, continue to agitate their special brand of racial hatred, virtually without challenge by the media or any on the Progressive Self-Loathing Left. The result? Predicable.
In the last week of April, a 61-year old white man named Richard Fletcher was savagely beaten by a large group of black thugs. The perps were reportedly all from the local “second chance” high school, Baltimore Community High School, located nearby. Fletcher suffered skull and eye socket fractures, a broken nose, and a brain bleed, along with broken ribs. He was in critical condition, and spent time in an induced coma. Not a peep in the national media, not until a few days ago. Then, when the sickening incident was reported, the race of the gang of thugs was conveniently omitted. I doubt severely if Loretta Lynch, she of the same racist bent as Eric “my people” Holder, will have anything to say about the incident. Certainly First Lady Michelle Obama mumbled not a word about it when she was decrying the hardscrabble path she’s had to take because of her race (private schooling, Ivy League education, and $300k make-work job notwithstanding). You can be certain that, had it been a 61-year old black man beaten by white thugs, such would have been at the very lead of Michelle’s remarks after having been headlines for weeks in every major news outlet. Along with the concomitant burning and looting.
Anyone who tells you that such behavior by this group of black hoodlums is not encouraged and inflamed by the race-baiting of Barack Obama, Holder, Sharpton, and the enabling of a thoroughly subservient MSM, is either a liar, hopelessly naïve, or abysmally stupid.
By the by, Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch are actively working with others on the Progressive Left to disarm the country’s law-abiding populace. For our own protection. The kind of protection so helpful to Richard Fletcher.
Yesterday’s headlines screamed that David Cameron’s Tory government was “on the brink”, and Britain was in the midst of a “significant move to the Left”. Of course, in most US media outlets, such tidings were reported with barely-concealed glee. Except, it didn’t happen. Cameron’s Tories won 331 seats, more than enough to form a majority government. The Labour Party won a mere 232 seats. Is anyone surprised that the Labour Left hired none other than David Axelrod, the leftist American political strategist, to help them? In any event, it was not a “close” race. The UK did not “move to the left”. On the contrary. It was a trouncing for the Left at the hands of David Cameron and the Tories.
A vote on further participation in the European Union is in the offing. The British Pound has shot up against the Euro already. This could get interesting. One has to wonder whether Cameron will be as shabbily treated by Obama as Israel’s Netanyahu, winner of his own recent election.
Such an occurrence would seem absolutely implausible today, the stuff of trite Hollywood hyperbole. Yet, it unquestionably happened. And it is a tribute to the magnificent courage and spirit of men who comprised the Army of the Potomac.
In May of 1864, the war was entering its fourth, and bloodiest, year. For the previous three, the long-suffering blue-clad soldiers of the Army of the Potomac had suffered from poor leadership and lack of training as they punched and parried with their skilled and elusive foe, Robert E. Lee’s legendary Army of Northern Virginia. Whatever the shortcomings of the generalship of this Union Army, its soldiers and junior officers had proven time and again to be a match for Lee’s men in the two areas that mattered most: willingness to endure, and raw courage. Failures to exploit advantages gained in the Seven Days, at Antietam, and and Gettysburg, rested with the leadership of the Army of the Potomac, not with its soldiers.
But now General Ulysses Grant called the shots. The aggressive and determined hero of Shiloh and Vicksburg encamped alongside Meade, who still commanded the Army of the Potomac. In the first week of May, 1864, that army marched into the densely tangled undergrowth of the Wilderness in pursuit of their foes. Grant, it is said, passed a personal message to Lincoln even as the confused savagery of the Battle of the Wilderness began. That message said; “Whatever happens, we will not turn back”.
From 5-7 May, the two armies fought a brutal and unrelenting brawl in the dense woods and small clearings of the Wilderness. Lee, significantly outnumbered, fought the Federal forces, which included Burnside’s IX Corps, to a frustrating standstill. Union casualties were enormous, nearly 18,000, as the terrain and foliage worked against Grant’s desire to mass overwhelming force anywhere on the field. Confounded by an enemy that seemed to thwart each maneuver, exhausted from the furious and bloody combat, with dead and wounded strewn everywhere, fires burning, choked with smoke, dust, and the stench of rotting corpses, the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac seemed to be at the end of their tether.
On the afternoon of the 7th, Grant gave the order for the Army of the Potomac and Burnside’s Corps to move after dark. In the pitch black, along dusty roads jammed with troops, ambulances full of wounded, cannon, supply wagons, and staff officers, the Army moved agonizingly slowly. Filthy and exhausted, they shuffled onto Orange Plank Road and away from the burning furnace of the Wilderness. Then, as the lead columns continued east along the road, an absolutely extraordinary thing occurred. Officers at the scene reported that a palpable murmur arose in the ranks of marching men. The soldiers knew instinctively that what occurred at the next road intersection would determine the future course of the war. If the army was ordered to continue east (toward Chancellorsville) or turn left (north), it would be clear that the Army of the Potomac would again disengage from Lee, and the Army of Northern Virginia would be allowed to recover its strength. If the column instead turned right, to the south along Brock Road, they would be marching toward Richmond. It would mean Grant, now that he had his claws in Lee, would not let go.
As the columns drew toward the intersection, the orders came for the column to turn right onto Brock Road. They were heading south, moving toward their enemy. Grant was going to hold onto Lee and continue the hammer blows that he and his troops knew to be necessary to bring the South to its knees. In the darkness, the somnambulent men who’d been stumbling along a few minutes earlier exploded with wild and deafening cheers, loud enough to draw fire from Rebel cannon. Despite all of the suffering and sacrifice of the previous days, and indeed the three years of war, these filthy and exhausted Veterans were cheering, even knowing the grim tasks that lay ahead. Yet to come would be Spotsylvania Courthouse, and the Bloody Angle, Cold Harbor, the Bermuda Hundred, and Petersburg. And Appomattox, which the weary men in blue knew all too well would never happen without more bitter hammering at their enemy, and without a man like Grant. Their bravery and fearful sacrifice in the tangled hell of the Wilderness was not to be squandered.