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    Sunday, April 27, 2008

    Carly, we knew ya, and we really didn't like you...

    I realize the Idol posts have been few and far between lately. Hey, I've been busy, trying to join the likes of Warren Buffett and all that.

    Anyway, yes, I watched Tuesday night's episode and both the Little Princess and I were certain that our pal Brooke was in trouble. But, since Kristy exited, and likely gave most of her votes to Brooke, that really meant it was probably curtains for Carly or Syesha.

    So, it is no surprise that these two found their way to the bottom two. And, I know I predicted that Carly would only make the final eight, but, 6 is pretty close. Here's what has to really bother Syesha - that she had one of her best performances and was still next to last. Next week, she's gone, and we'll be down to the final four:

    1. David Cook
    2. David Archuleta
    3. Brooke White
    4. Jason Castro

    I don't know if I ever posted this, but if you had asked me two months ago for a final four, I would have the first three here were a lock, with really perhaps back in those days, I would have expected better from Michael Johns. But, Jason Castro , like Brooke, has a unique sound that I think appeals commercially. Neither will win, but they could have nice little careers (I think Castro's will be short, but Brooke could make hers go 2-3 albums).

    We shall see this week.

    Barack On Fox

    I watched Barack Obama on Fox Sunday today (transcript), and, this is probably a good thing for those Fox viewers who don't see a lot of him in depth, and for him to show these viewers that he's not a bogeyman.

    However, I was both impressed an unimpressed by Obama's performance on Fox Sunday. Impressed that he is a tremendously good interviewee. If I were hiring for a position, this guy would come across as well-educated, smart, and thoughtful, and it would be difficult to deny him a job. But, at his core, did he really say anything? He seemed to know the right answers, and he's deft enough that when he knows his answer isn't right (or not what this particular audience wants to hear, he either dances around it, or does what used to call "changing the casualty to one you DO know the immediate responses to - the Ayers/Coburn comment), he spins it to his advantage.

    That's pretty good for a job interview, but, this is the Presidency of the United States. He was very poor on the bipartisanship question, in fact, his answer was tortured, and I wonder how long it will be before people dig up instances where partial-birth abortion came up for votes with exceptions for the life of the mother, and he still voted against it. And, on taxes, he thinks anyone making more than $102,000 (the current Social Security cut-off) is rich. I always knew at some point my family had crossed over into the territory where we don't worry too much about creditors, so we had a modicum of safety, but, then he decided to lop us in with his "good friend" Warren Buffett. This is a neat trick. Equate families who make say $100k-$200k with mega-billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, as though we're all out there buying the same houses, cars, yachts, and islands.

    Besides those things, I find, likely as do many, that you leave Barack Obama thinking, "Nice guy, good speaker, but, what did he really say?"

    As the general election progresses, we are going to get the opportunity to hear him really say things, and the American people will find out what he really believes, and when they do, I don't think they are going to really like it.

    Friday, April 25, 2008

    North Carolina Commissioning coming up...

    In yet another close to home story (I still consider North Carolina my home), the USS North Carolina (SSN-777) is scheduled to arrive in Wilmington Monday for her commissioning ceremony across the Cape Fear river from the Battleship North Carolina, the last ship to bear the state's name.

    Read all about the festivities here, and if you're in the Wilmington area, do go.

    Visit the St, Mary's Submarine Museum

    There's a nice article in today's Fernandina Beach News Leader about the St. Mary's Submarine Museum. Having spent quite a bit of time in King's Bay, I hope this little museum can thrive and continue to provide some enjoyment for those interested and even those disinterested in submarine history. More...

    America's Energy Crisis

    You all should read this post from this article in the Idaho Statesman (edited somewhat by myself)

    Submitted by gneubeck on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 6:58am.

    The average American is appalled at the ever escalating price of gasoline/transportation costs and the impact that these costs are having on the family budget. Further, as we're well aware, transportation costs ripple through the entire American economy on every essential commodity that we're required to purchase such as food. The latter being accentuated by an erroneous emphasis on an inefficient petroleum substitute, ethanol, which actually inhibits our attempts to achieve higher mileage standards. In an America with vast energy resources, why have we allowed ourselves to become willing victims of cartel energy piracy from highly unstable, unfriendly fanatical regimes, from whom we now import a substantial segment of our petroleum needs? Imports which continuously drain wealth from America in the form of an unfavorable balance of trade; and, conversely flow petro-dollars into the coffers of Islamofacists and others who would destroy America given the opportunity. Where it not for America's dependence on these Middle-East petroleum imports, we could conveniently extricate ourselves from this cauldron of fanaticism; and, allow the fanatics to wallow in their self imposed misery and virulent hatred for Western culture.

    The fundamental question is WHO do we blame for this self-imposed dilemma? America originated nuclear power; and yet, we produce only 20% of our domestic electrical energy from the nuclear option while countries such as France produce 78%, and have programmed significantly more, dramatically reducing their dependence on fossil fuels. The safety issue on nuclear power is a non-sequitur given the hundreds of thousands of operating hours on U.S. Naval nuclear propulsion systems without incident. But yet, LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS in our society THAT COMPRISE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE BASE OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY have for 30yrs. managed to bring America's nuclear industry to a standstill.

    Our Nation possesses an abundance of untapped petroleum reserves off our coastlines; in the Alaskan wilderness; and, in the form of hi-quality shale oil in the Rocky Mountain region where we have the equivalent of ten(10) Saudi Arabia's in recoverable reserves. And yet, we have permitted LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS to inhibit our access to such deposits. The incredible irony is that the CHICOM are exploring for oil 45miles South of Key West, while we have prohibited ourselves from exploiting the same resources. Had Bill Clinton not vetoed the Republican controlled Senate approval of drilling in ANWR, exploration which has been previously proven to be beneficial to the Alaskan Caribou herds, we would have had an additional one million barrels of domestic oil production on-line TODAY; and, a concurrent reduction in the at-pump price of gasoline of $1/gallon. Further, there is an inherent synergy to be exploited between Nuclear Power and Shale Oil Extraction. Concurrently, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, ensconced in their own vision of scuttling fossil fuels, have both pledged to confiscate the profits of America's Energy Companies. A move that would cripple our capacity to explore/develop additional petroleum reserves; greatly exacerbate our dependence on foreign sources; and, dramatically further increase the price of fuel at the pump.

    America has the largest reserves of coal in the world; and, a full 50% of our domestic electrical energy generation is dependent on this resource; and yet, LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS continuously attempt to restrict the use of these coal reserves; and, to impede attempts to develop technologies/facilities for the gasification of coal. Bill Clinton struck a major blow to America's accessible coal reserves when he unilaterally, over the objection of State officials, placed the Red Hills of Utah with an estimated Four(4) Trillion $s worth of high quality coal assets off-limits. Fearful of mass protests, Clinton wouldn't even go to Utah to announce his heinous restriction; but, rather chose to make his proclamation from the relative security of Arizona. Clinton's actions represented a major financial windfall for his Riady Bros. bankrollers who were in competition with Utah to sell their Indonesian coal holdings to the CHICOM.

    Even our Hydro-Electric potential has been brought to a standstill by LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS over such nonsense as the Snail-Darter. Water resources which could as well now be playing a major role in mitigating the effects of the drought that has recently gripped the SouthEast.

    Much of the hype over fossil fuels has again been exploited by LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS over the mythical impact of MAN MADE CO2 emissions on Global Warming. Such proclamations totally disregard the complete lack of correlation between recorded atmospheric CO2 levels and recorded Global temperatures. On Earth as on Mars, where no controversy of Man Made Global Warming factors exist, surface temperature variations precisely track the recorded fluctuations in Solar irradiance. Ask our self-inflicted dyslexic friend, Al Gore, to explain these two recorded contradictions to his Man Made Global Warming hype. The silence is deafening Albert!

    Imposition of overly burdensome regulatory criteria and an application morass principally sponsored by LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS, have made the expense and reduced profitability of investing in additional refinery installations prohibitive. The inevitable result being that corporations for many years have shunned such capital projects creating a restrictive "choke point" in the availability of gasoline products. This "choke point" where refineries are continuously required to operate at peak capacities makes the availability/distribution of refined products within our Nation readily vulnerable to supply disruptions. Further, the dictated multiple blends of gasoline, frequently multiple blends within the same metropolis, have seriously complicated and inflated the time factor in the refinery task.

    To be certain, we CAN and we MUST achieve total energy independence; but, our Nation can only extricate ourselves from this self imposed dilemma by a broad-based, comprehensive NATIONAL ENERGY STRATEGY that BLENDS all of the elements of: conservation; major increases in transportation efficiencies, such as increased mileage standards; exploitation of our indigenous petroleum resources; a significant expansion of our refinery facilities; major investments in nuclear energy; supplementation of our electrical grid with solar, wind, and hydro technologies; and, a major investment in Research and Development to bring a Hydrogen based economy to fruition. Unfortunately, to dig ourselves out of this self-created coffin-corner will require TIME. Time which simply means that, in the interim, we must protect our access to unstable Middle East suppliers until we bring our own assets on line. The latter exigency which could readily be scuttled by the Cut-And-Run crowd on Iraq. The regional chaos which would be precipitated by Iran subsequent to a precipitous American withdrawal from Iraq would make the current cost-escalation in energy supplies from the Middle East seem like the Golden Age of Yesteryear by comparison; and, most certainly would induce a much wider conflict/conflagration. The myopia of the Left on these circumstances is astounding. As history has repeatedly taught with grim consequences, PEACE and STABILITY are won only THRU STRENGTH; and, NOT THRU the nebulous psychosis of HOPE.

    The ability of a LEFT-WING minority, that has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to whiplash the Democrat Party, to dictate such onerous/debilitating restrictions in the energy sector of the American economy has been made possible ONLY by the passive acceptance of these militant's demands by the more rational majority of the American electorate. The RATIONAL MAJORITY: that believes in the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution; that is proud of our Country; that daily expresses such pride by the furling of an American flag on their property, or the wearing of an American Flag lapel pin on their chest; that proudly places their hand over their heart at the singing of our National Anthem while even shedding a tear or two; that is unashamed to actively recognize the Judeo/Christian heritage of America; that believe that Judges should NOT legislate from the bench; and, that proudly proclaims the unparallel contribution of America to the protection and sustenance of democratic values throughout the pages of world history, as opposed to LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS that believe America to be the greatest EVIL in the world. As the Pope so eloquently proclaimed on his recent visit to our homeland, "God Bless America".

    The task then for the RATIONAL MAJORITY in our Nation is SIMPLY to recognize the SOURCE that sustains and provides the base of support for the LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS in our society; and, to undertake a decisive role at the ballot box to isolate and relegate these FRINGE ELEMENTS THAT COMPRISE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE BASE OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY to a decibel level that is barely audible. ANY TIME you vote for a Democrat, ANY DEMOCRAT, you're unmistakably multiplying the capacity of these LEFT-WING FRINGE ELEMENTS to continue to promote their radical agenda, and to bring our Nation to its knees. A circumstance that no external power ever could have accomplished.
    The ability to restore our Nation's status; and, to sustain this Sacred Land that the RATIONAL MAJORITY so proudly calls AMERICA, resides in your hands at the ballot box.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Russian Kilo in state of disrepair

    From the blog, 'Manoeuvre' in Maritime Asia, comes a story about the sorry state of the Russian Navy, as seen in these pictures of a Kilo class submarine apparently left for dead. Probably no money in the till to complete the work on her. Larger pictures here....

    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    New Technology for submarine periscopes - will it make them safer?

    RemoteReality has developed a new set of cameras for the Type 18 periscope that will provide a 360 degree view much quicker than you can perform traditional periscope sweeps. CEO Dennis McGinn reports, "It captures, in an instant, a full 360-degree view of activity on the surface, through the use of a very high-resolution (six times high definition/12 megapixels) visible-light omni camera and an uncooled (640 x 480 pixels) thermal infrared omni camera for nighttime use."


    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Submarines of the Super Rich

    Now that we've seen what a Georgia welder can do with $30k, what do you do when you're super rich and are tired of your $150M yacht?

    Why, build a submarine, of course! Venture capitalist Tom Perkins decided it was time to put his megayacht, The Maltese Falcon, up for sale. What did he decide to replace it with? Portfolio.com tells us he is commissioning a miniature submarine now under construction; once the Falcon is sold, Perkins plans to commission another yacht to haul the sub around with. H/T to Guest of a guest.

    Submarine Stolen, Total Take: $900

    Here in North Georgia, a man's life work, building a submarine prototype for use by law enforcement, was stolen by a couple of ne'er do wells (his former neighbor and another redneck) for the grand total of $800 in scrap metal. The sub cost Ernie Godfrey over $30k to build, but he demonstrated it working before his untimely death.

    Instead of negotiating a settlement with the thieves, I say we shoot them as water slugs.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Carly Smithson lives to sing another day...

    Carly Smithson has replaced Kristy Lee Cook as the new cat with nine lives. Tonight, she joined Syesha Mercado (also a perennial cellar dweller) in the basement of American Idol, but, Michael Johns also joined them there, and, behold, Michael is out of here.

    Dialidol's busy signal index didn't have Michael in the bottom 3 (he was in the bottom 4), but, you can check dialidol's raw numbers and see a different story. In that index, he was next to last (barely outpacing Syesha). Interestingly, Carly was number one in raw votes, but has a very low busy percentage. There are multiple ways to interpret that - the most obvious is that dialidol's voters really prefer Carly, and perhaps, because of the way the software works, since she has less busy signals, dialidol Carly voters have an easier time getting through. Or, perhaps it indicates that the competition is rigged? Don't know, but if dialidol's busy calculations are off, she shouldn't be appearing in the bottom 3 so much. And, I don't think AI producers want her in the bottom 3, so I don't think they're staging that, as much as they have pimped her this season.

    The raw numbers for Syesha and Michael, coupled with the busy percentages, tend to support them being in the bottom 3, so, it really should come as no surprise that Michael was in the bottom 3, or that he was voted off. The person looking at these who really needs to worry is Syesha. My prediction is that, barring a Kristy Lee Cook collapse next week, we will see the end of the line for Syesha.

    So, goodbye Michael, one more foreigner to go...

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008

    Quick Final 8 Idol Recap

    I realize it's a day late, but, with Idol Gives Back tonight, thought I'd give my recap of Tuesday night's final 8 idolists. None of them blew me away, but some disappointed:

    The best:
    1. David Archuleta - solid performance. Probably the best of the night.
    2. Kristy Lee Cook - getting better every week. If Kristy can keep it up, she could make the final 4. What a shock that would be! I won't mind seeing her some more til then...
    The Average:
    1. Brooke White - just an ok performance, not bad, not great, like Simon said, "Pleasant."
    2. Jason Castro - I thought he was ok, too, not the awesomeness that Randy saw. He bores me.
    3. Michael Johns - I liked it, but, dude, don't come out doing a rock song with that gay scarf on. Yechhhhh.

    The Worst:
    1. David Cook - hard to put him in this list, but, I didn't know the song, and I couldn't understand the words. Was he sick? Is he getting too big for his head?
    2. Carly Smithson - I can finally say what I have been wanting to say about her the whole show - AWFUL! Truly awful.
    3. Syesha Mercado - Ok, if she doesn't stop with the Whitney, Celine, and now Fantasia songs, Simon is going to singlehandedly kick her off.
    Could we be surprised, pleasantly, and see Carly head home tomorrow? I hope so. Dialidol tells me so, too.


    More torpedoes needed

    I found the premise of this article, that torpedoes are still in demand despite the fact that they never get used, interesting. Unfortunately, other than giving a nice, concise history lesson, the article doesn't seem to make its point. Did I miss something?

    Crazy Scots all atwitter over a little hole

    The Brits, not knowing how to properly dispose of their nuclear hulks, have decided to take a page from the Russians, and just let them deteriorate dockside. Apparently, one of them, the HMS Revenge (an aptly named Polaris SSBN) developed a little bitty hole in a ballast tank and had to be patched up. This led one of the geniuses of the British environmental movement, Stuart Hay (Friends of the Earth Scotland), to say, "This just goes to show the madness of going ahead with a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK."

    I suppose these brainiacs can find a connection between a rusting ballast tank and a civilian nuclear power plant, but it's almost like saying "My MG has a rust hole, so let's not waste money building any more Rolls-Royce's."


    Bringing home the bacon in CT

    Proving that our beloved submarines are often considered nothing more than re-election pork, is CT Representative Joe Courtney. Of course, when you are elected on the premise that your opponent didn't do enough to save Electric Boat, you better deliver the goods. Courtney is opposed by former Jefferson City C.O. and Groton Sub base commander, Sean Sullivan. If you live in CT, remember, you can safely vote for Sullivan, unlike Jimmy Carter, he's a Republican.

    Jay Rockefeller, Take Your Billion Dollars and Shove them all up your @ss

    Despite the fact that he has apologized for his remarks about John McCain in particular, and, by extension, the military, Jay Rockefeller is still a rich, good-for-nothing jackass liberal, who woudn't know the truth if it walked up and slapped his pretty-boy botox face.

    Let's look at all the things that are wrong in his statement:

    "McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet."

    First, McCain flew attack aircraft, not fighters. He was shot down flying an A-4 Skyhawk on his 25th combat mission. Finally, although I gave it only a small effort, I can find nothing online to confirm that the Navy used Laser Guided bombs (LGB's) in Vietnam, and not likely in 1967 when John McCain was shot down. The Air Force first started experimenting with the Paveway LGB in 1966, so I doubt any were in Navy inventories in October 1967 when McCain was shot down.

    "He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they (the missiles) get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."

    I think McCain is right to take offense at this. And, had Rockefeller given this any thought or research, he would have seen that McCain told New York Times writer R.W. Apple, after the famous Forrestal fire of 1967, "
    "It's a difficult thing to say. But now that I've seen what the bombs and the napalm did to the people on our ship, I'm not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam."

    BTW - Just One Minute has beaten me to the punch on much of this.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008

    Bill Gray bashes Global Warming Jihadists Again

    USA Todays Weather blog quotes famed meteorologist Bill Gray saying, "We are also brainwashing our children on the warming topic” and "a mild form of McCarthyism has developed toward those scientists who do not agree” with global warming.

    In the same blog, the authors point to a study by Thomas Knutson, research meteorologist with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. which suggests that Atlantic hurricanes should be less severe if global warming were occurring.

    Now, that may be good news, but I have to wonder, have the last two hurricane seasons convinced the GW nuts that they need to come up with an explanation that relates the lack of hurricanes to global warming, or is this another of the many benefits of global warming?  Who knows what to believe with these idiots.

    Monday, April 7, 2008

    More subs, si!

    Wired seems to agree that we should be building more submarines. What battleships they are going to replace I don't know? But, the Liddy Dole (remember her?) editorial that got Wired thinking is here. As usual, Information Dissemination has the real analysis on this whole submarine thing.... More...

    Sunday, April 6, 2008

    Moses Passes On

    Charlton Heston, who portrayed Moses, Ben-Hur, George Taylor, Hero of the Planet of the Apes, Captain Matthew Gart in Midway, and leader of the NRA, and who can ever forget, the guy who did an in-air transfer to pilot a 747 in Airport '75, died Saturday. It's been a sad year for Conservatives, now adding the loss of one of our few friends in Hollywood to the earlier death of William F. Buckley.

    He took on larger-than-life roles, because he was larger-than-life.

    We'll miss you, Charlton Heston, say hello to the Gipper for me.


    Australians Advised to Consider Nuclear Subs

    Dr Dennis Jensen, defense analyst and backbencher of former PM John Howard, makes a case for the Australians to consider (US-powered) nuclear submarines to replace their aged Collins class boats. Consider his reasoning for yourself...

    I, for one, would like to welcome the Aussies to the nuclear submarine club.

    Nothing more.

    Finally, Submarines hit the Theater...

    The Irish are so proud of John Holland, they are finally going to memorialize him in a play,

    "The life story of an Irish inventor who became the father of the modern submarine is about to be staged.

    Submarine Man captures the tale of John P Holland, one of Ireland's lesser-known heroes. The success of his invention, which could travel 800km on the surface of the sea and 40km submerged, led Holland to form a company which secured a contract to build a submarine for the US Navy."

    According to the producers, "Submarine Man is a hilarious and yet at times incredibly moving account of one of Ireland’s greatest unsung heroes."

    Nothing here.

    Air Force Pilots Receive Wings

    I have just returned from my nephew's graduation from flight school in Columbus, Mississippi. An Air Force Academy graduate, he is now headed to fly KC-135's out of RAF Mildenhall, which is a pretty nice assignment for a young kid. Although most of these aircraft are older than the pilots (and, in many cases, their fathers), they have been upgraded several times in their over 40 year careers. I suppose for pilots, receiving their wings is akin to a submariner getting his dolphins, and, because it is a big group occasion, the Air Force does a nice job making a very big deal out of it (I suppose the Navy does, too, but there are no Naval Aviators in my family, just three Air Force pilots).

    I know the Navy requires a pretty long commitment from its aviators, but the USAF has these guys for basically another 8 years, which equates to 5 for their education, and 5 for getting the privilege to fly (he's been in training for 2 years, much like our submarine pipeline). I suppose that's a small price to pay for the kids, but, I don't know, after getting through Submarine School, if I could have stayed sane facing 8 years, rather than 3. I do suspect, though, that had the requirement been 8 years, that after 10 years, I might have had a much different outlook on staying in the submarine force. Of course, without some compelling reason to sign up for that long (like MONEY), I think that would serve as a huge deterrent to getting guys to join the sub force. Just my thought on that particular matter.

    Anyway, if you ever have the opportunity to be a part of something like this, I highly encourage you to take advantage of it. It will help remind you of how special these kids are to sign up to serve, what they're serving for, and how committed they are to their country, especially in a time of war. This nephew's older brother is also a USAFA graduate, and a C-17 pilot, who completed in January a 4 month deployment flying in and out of Afghanistan and Iraq from our base in Qatar. Thanks to all of you for your service.

    Nothing after the jump.

    Indians trying to get Manhattan back, testing new sub-launched missile

    The Indians are testing a cruise missile that supposedly will carry a nuclear payload, and be launched from their planned class of nuclear-powered submarines. From this article, you can link to a pretty nice artist conception of the Indian's new submarine.

    I say it's nice that the Indians are going to be on our side. Here's to some collaborative efforts with them.

    You will find nothing after the jump.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008

    I've been busy....

    Ok, so I have been slack the last couple of weeks, so, since we have some friends that work over at our hometown airline (one, who shall remain nameless, appears in this video, which some of you may have seen already), I have decided to bring you the now famous Deltalina in-flight safety film

    And, our favorite network has an interview with the new star:

    There is no rest of it.