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Archive for March, 2006

March 31st 2006

Dad’s Sub

My brother-in-law surprised me tonight with a bunch of info on SS-421, the Trutta. That’s her above, in a photo taken in the 1950′s.

A decade earlier in August 1944, a freshly minted Annapolis Ensign who would later become my father was assigned to the Trutta at the New London CN shipyard, where she’d just been built. In no time, they were on their way through the Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor, and then to the East Asian Sea.

She might have been one of the most famous ships in history. On April 7, 1945, she was running at full speed to intercept a Japanese task force headed by the Yamato, the world’s largest battleship. Yamato was heading for Okinawa, and Trutta was chasing her down. Unfortunately, Yamato changed course away, and steamed away. Fortunately, very fortunately, she was sunk a few days later by Vice Admiral Mitscher’s Task Force 58.

The thought of my dad being in this situation was pretty chilling; there was a very good chance I might not be here:

Off the China coast on 22 April, Trutta narrowly escaped damage when an enemy float plane dropped two bombs which exploded over the diving submarine. Shortly after midnight three days later, as Trutta patrolled west of Quelpart Island, lookouts on the submarine’s bridge were startled to see a torpedo pass astern. As Trutta put on speed and turned parallel to the torpedo’s wake, another torpedo passed by her port side moving from stern to bow, a sinister reminder that she was not alone in the Yellow Sea. (source)

In May, she steamed toward lifeguard duty to support air strikes on Kobe, passing through a typhoon on the way. On May 7, she made a very big difference in one Army airman’s life, plucking him out of the ocean. The airman had weathered the typhoon too — in a rubber raft! What a story he must have told the Trutta’s crewmen!

After the war, she sailed back to Pearl Harbor, and Dad was restationed. In the early 50s, when I was in Kindergarten, we were stationed in Key West, as was the Trutta. Dad was on another sub then, cruising regularly to pre-Castro Cuba.

His previous posting was Turkey; that was Trutta’s last. She left service to the Navy in 1972, and became the TCG Cerbe in the Turkish navy. The Turks used her until the late 1990s.

Her fate is unknown.

Dad probably remembers some of this, but Alzheimer’s is torpedoing his brain and he’s slowly (thank God very slowly) sinking. Thank you for your service, Dad.


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March 31st 2006

Photo That Flipped MSM, Leftyblogs

So here at last is documentation of the famous gesture — Scalia’s the flip of the open hand from under the chin.

Anyone who’s spent anytime around pasta-grazers knows this gesture, and knows it’s not “the finger.”

UPI apparently doesn’t know the gesture. It blared Scalia “startled reporters in Boston just minutes after attending a mass, by flipping a middle finger to his critics.”

Raw Story reported: “U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia startled reporters in Boston just minutes after attending a mass, by flipping a middle finger to his critics.”

Do a Google Blog search of “scalia finger” and you’ll find hundreds of leftyblog references to the incident, mostly linked to one of the two stories above. Here’s a particularly pompous one, from an official Dem site, Hamdems, blog of the Hamilton County, TN, Democratic Party:

SCOTUS & Opus Dei Fanatic Antonin Scalia gives the “Middle Finger” to Reporters – Wow! That’s some honor for our Court

Time was when a Supreme Court Justice, or any Justice for that matter, was a person of a high ethics, morals, and intelligience. SCOTUS judges were the elite in wisdom and temperance. Evidently, those days are gone. Once again, Scalia goes public with his contempt and prejudiced opinions for all to witness. On the positive side, at least he is not a Christian Hypocrite, he did his f*ck off gesture in Church.

The difference between Scalia’s gesture and the bird is all the difference in the world. They might both have the same meaning, but the language is Italian, and as such is culturally humorous, not obscene.

Betsy, as usual, was a voice of reason: “I guess that the UPI doesn’t speak Italian.” That was on March 27, the day of the UPI story and one day before Hamdems went off on Scalia. Leftyblogs should either watch more Soprano episodes, or read more Betsy.


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March 31st 2006

Pinnacle’s Superior Body Armor

That’s my brother-in-law Brian with his “Dragon Skin” body armor — the Pinnacle Armor product currently banned by the Army — which he’ll be taking with him to Iraq soon on an Operation Soldier mission.

Brian, a Special Forces medic in Vietnam (9th Infantry) and still an active Reservist, has seen the Pinnacle product tested and says it’s far superior to the Army’s current Interceptor vests. Dragon Skin can protect against any munition up to (excluding) 50 mm.

But a ban is a ban, so Pinnacle provided Operation Soldier with six vests for their next mission, and just asked for Brian and the others to show the vests to the troops so they can see the product for themselves.

Thank God the US Army’s troops are superior to its Pentagon bureau-colonels, who muse and pose and issue reports and engineer delays. Of course body army must be tested — so test it and stop delaying!

AP quotes the CEO of Pinnacle:

Murray Neal, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, said he hadn’t seen the directive and wants to review it.

“We know of no reason the Army may have to justify this action,” Neal said. “On the surface this looks to be another of many attempts by the Army to cover up the billions of dollars spent on ineffective body armor systems which they continue to try quick fixes on, to no avail.”

Neal’s being nice. The real situation is probably even worse — generals wined and dined by Interceptor execs who are West Point buddies of the generals they’re lobbying.

Test the vests, now. Our troops don’t need lobbying; they need the best armor available.

p.s.: On its next mission, Operation Soldier will be taking 24,000 pounds of gear to outfit 1,600 Iraqi policie officers. Please support their efforts.


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March 30th 2006

Fidel Dead?

Latin American news media started a rumor frenzy this afternoon on a subject we’ve been waiting a long time to hear: the death of Fidel Castro.

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced auto-translated text before. It’s no fun, but here’s the auto-translated report, from La Nueva Cuba:

A strong rumor circulated in afternoon of this Wednesday in means of press of Latin America with respect to which it would have died in the last hours in his residence of the Laguito, in Havana, longevo Cuban dictator Fidel I castrate. (Love that mis-translation!)

According to a bulletin of the Bío-Bío radio, based on the news emanated of the network, sources officials did not indicate that the governor was some days ago in delicate state of health after to have undergone a sudden infarct.

If Castrate … er, Castro … were dead, we wouldn’t be hearing it broadcast immediately by Cuba’s Communist News (CNN) — so there could be something to this.

I’ve read speculative material about power transition upon Castro’s death, but who really knows what will happen there, other than that the change that’s needed won’t be happening any time soon.

One thing is for sure: With Castro gone, Hugo Chavez’ stature will grow, as he assumes the crown of chief commie crazy in the Western hemisphere.

hat-tip: Stingray, via Blogs4God
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March 30th 2006

Kartoonistan And Kangaroo Court

It’s not enough to riot, burn down embassies and threaten the advancement of civilization just because some cartoons of Mohammed (freaky paranoia be upon him). Now the Islamists are going to court.

The Western Standard, an Alberta, Canada publication, has been sued by Imam Syed Soharwardy, a local Muslim who scrawled out his complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission in a barely legible hand. He was previously a university professor in Saudi Arabia — a place, no doubt, where more time was spent on teaching anti-Semitism and jihad than the principles of freedom of speech.

Western Standard’s editor, Ezra Levant, says of the complaint:

The hand-written scrawl and the spelling errors were what first disgusted me with the suit; but the arguments were what really got me. The complainant, Imam Syed Soharwardy, a former professor at an anti-Semitic university in Saudi Arabia, doesn’t just argue that we shouldn’t have published the cartoons. He argues that we shouldn’t be able to defend our right to publish the cartoons. The bulk of his complaint was that we dared to try to justify it.

He argues that advocating a free press should be a thought crime.

I don’t know if Ezra Levant is Jewish, but his name’s a pretty good hint that he is. Interesting, isn’t it, that of all the publications in the world that ran the cartoons, the first one that gets sued is the one with an editor named Ezra Levant.

In solidarity with Mr. Levant (who could use some help with his defense), and in support of our constitutional right of freedom of speech:
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March 30th 2006

A Clueless Jill Carroll Released

Jill Carroll’s captors let her go after almost three months of captivity and announced to the world that despite her efforts to immerse herself in the Muslim world to better understand the conflict, she has learned nothing. Nothing.

“I was treated well,” she said shortly after her release, “but I don’t know why I was kidnapped.”

Here’s a little tutorial for Jill, free of charge; my gift to celebrate her release:

You were kidnapped because the people who are fighting against peace and democracy in Iraq are a bunch of ruthless scum that aren’t worth the air they breathe. That’s the bottom line.

Layer onto that the fact that the Islamic culture you’ve been studying promotes Jihad and hatred against non-believers. And it doesn’t think much of women, either.

You were also kidnapped because you chose a ridiculously dangerous thing to do. You’re a woman, you’re an American, you’re a reporter, you’re in Iraq. Put it together and the question you should be asking yourself, Jill, isn’t “Why was I kidnapped?” but “What was I thinking?”

Still, good to have you free.

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March 29th 2006


If anyone can explain what DiFi is saying to this person who wrote her opposing a blanket amnesty for illegals, PLEASE let me know!

March 29, 2006

Dear [name]:

Thank you for writing me about a possible blanket amnesty. I appreciate hearing from you.

I do not support blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants. As the daughter of a Russian immigrant, I understand the hope and the optimism with which countless others view our country. I believe America is rooted in a tradition of newcomers working hard and building a better life for themselves and their families. We must
balance this tradition, however, with our ability to integrate new immigrants into the American society that follow the proper channels to legal immigration. Our ability to accept immigrants and our immigration policy must support and strengthen families, create economic opportunities, increase scientific and cultural resources, and fulfill humanitarian commitments.

Again, thank you for writing to me. If you have any further questions or comments on this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to call my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

hat-tip: Jim


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March 29th 2006

Montebello Flag Incident II

The upside-down flag incident at Montebello H.S. now has an official apologist … er, make that “official liar.” From the Whittier Daily News:

In Montebello, officials sought to clarify Tuesday that no Montebello High School students were involved in an incident Monday in which an American flag was hung upside down, below a Mexican flag.

“We’d like to make it clear that at the time that incident happened, Montebello High was in lockdown and our students were inside the school,” said Robert Henke, assistant superintendent of student and community services and spokesman for the Montebello Unified School District.

Really? All of them? Every last one? I wonder who all those high school aged students in the photo below are? (photo from Michelle Malkin’s site) Just a bunch of nicely dressed day laborers from down the street?

We can find out, you know, simply by checking how much money the school lost yesterday on per diems not received because students were absent. It’ll be a bunch, I bet.

How much better if Henke had apologized on behalf of the school district for the behavior of the district’s students at Montebello High and announced that the participating students would … hold your breath, this is a radical concept … be punished.

hat-tip: Jim
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March 29th 2006

Old Glory Defiled

Yes, that’s the American flag flying upside-down under the Mexican flag. The location: Montebello High in LA. Last time I checked, that was in the United States of America.

OK, they’re kids and kids tend to go overboard. Let’s see if images like this make it into the LATimes and the local network stations.

hat-tip: Michelle Malkin
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March 29th 2006

Media Bias, Unfenced

How can they write this stuff with a straight face? Reporting (if you can call it that) on the efforts to build a fence at the border, Reuters reporter Tim Gaynor actually typed out these words:

Critics compare it to the Berlin Wall and say it goes against the American spirit of openness, sending the wrong message to the rest of the world about the United States.

The Berlin Wall was built to keep a population in. We need the fence to keep a population out. But don’t blame Gaynor — he’s probably never studied history.

The message a fence will send to the rest of the world is this: We are as serious about supporting legal immigration and stopping illegal immigration as any other nation on earth.

The most important audience for this message is guys like Hugo Uriel, who Gaynor quotes. Uriel was about to become an illegal, and said, “Whatever they put there they’ll just keep on going over, around or under it. Finding a better life for your family is a powerful incentive.”

Agreed … but is it powerful enough to make a guy actually file paperwork and follow laws? Hmmm.

hat-tip: Breitbart
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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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