90 Days to nowhere… Submarine Documentary 1977 « theleansubmariner

One of my oldest blogfriends published a post near to his heart this week. Actually, it’s close to mine as well, for my (unfulfilled military dreams all included SAC. Here’s Mac:

Another great video from a bygone era. The 41 for Freedom Boats were still in their glory and the USS Ohio was going through its growing pains at the shipyard at Electric Boat. While the patrol cycle is sometimes given short shrift by non-boomer sailors, it had a unique purpose and involved a large number of men in both operations and support.  The operations tempo and the transition to the newer subs is very nicely described here: http://fas.org/blogs/security/2009/03/usssbn/

Source: 90 Days to nowhere… Submarine Documentary 1977 « theleansubmariner

As Mac notes. and I have as well, the strategic forces have been on a war footing since about 1948, both Navy and Air Force. This Veteran’s Day, we should remember as well those who have kept the peace, as well as those who have fought the wars. For truly for the boomer guys, as well “Peace is our Profession”

BZ, Guys

Friday Round-up: Freedom and Leaders

All you need to know about why this week’s debate was utterly useless.

Anybody surprised at NBC’s conduct? That what I thought.

Speaking of elections-

The Free World Has Lost Its Leader

From Dan Hannan.

The free world has lost its leader. In the absence of a vigorous American foreign policy, Canada’s Stephen Harper supplied his own. For the better part of a decade, he energetically championed Western interests. He was serious about fighting terrorism, keen on free trade and prepared to deploy proportionate force in defense of freedom.

His defeat in last week’s Canadian general election will be felt far beyond that sparse, chilly country. When other Western leaders fretted about Israel’s 2006 Lebanon war, he gave his full backing to the Jewish state. When others dithered over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, he led international condemnation. Obliged to meet Vladimir Putin at a summit meeting, he was admirably curt: “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you: Get out of Ukraine.”

Source: The Free World Has Lost Its Leader

This is superb. It is also the most important article here, if you would understand how America got to the ugly place that we are now.

“Anatomy of a Juggernaut,” By Bradley C. S. Watson

The subtitle of Paul D. Moreno’s new book, “The Twilight of Constitutionalism and the Triumph of Progressivism,” is the thrust of a growing body of revisionist scholarship on the Progressive movement. Moreno adds a valuable historian’s perspective to this scholarship, which is associated largely with the “Claremont school” of political science. He notes the central conceit of twentieth-century American history: the triumphalist portrayal of an ever-expanding national state, one that would finally offer authentic liberty—freeing individuals not only from inequality but from the reactionary idea that human nature itself imposes permanent constraints.

Moreno suggests that the Obama presidency has brought this Progressive narrative squarely before the bar of public opinion. Enduring doubts about the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” conjoined with concerns about unprecedented levels of government spending, have shown that older notions of constitutional limits still animate at least some citizens. They demand a full hearing for constitutional arguments long after the political classes gave up on such arguments—nowhere better captured than in former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s dismissive response to a question about Obamacare’s constitutionality: “Are you serious?” she asked, with an incredulous laugh.

Our current situation, says Moreno, is that we occupy a “twilight zone between constitutional and unlimited government.” The political philosophy of the Founders is alive, if on life support. They were neither laissez faire libertarians nor statists, but constitutionalists. Their arguments are echoed today by Americans who believe that the US Constitution has a fixed meaning that binds political actors, a meaning that is informed by a moral and political philosophy anterior to the writing of that document. This view allows that a genuine common good exists, even in the face of considerable individual freedom—and that the government is bound to respect and pursue it. Under this older view, “class legislation” cannot be tolerated.

Moreno begins by considering the “old regime” left by the Civil War Republicans, who embraced the Founders’ constitutionalism even as they adopted Hamiltonian mercantilist economic policies in the midst of the American industrial revolution. He points to the postwar demobilization of the Union Army as evidence of Republicans’ commitment to the Founders’ idea of minimalist federal power. He further argues that the Republican revival of the “American System” of Hamilton and Henry Clay, “based on protective tariffs, banks, and internal improvements,” was largely within antebellum constitutional understandings.

Source: “Anatomy of a Juggernaut,” By Bradley C. S. Watson

A Heroine for our Time

Even as she held tightly to Islam, something was happening to Ali, thanks to her new English-language and reading skills:  She was exposed to a world of ideas that contradicted what she was learning through the Qu’ran about man’s subjugation to the Qu’ran’s rules and about women’s subjugation to man. Dickens (especially Oliver Twist), Alcott, and even Nancy Drew exposed her to the idea of an individual with free will, one who freely makes choices for good or ill – but that are his choices.  Even Nancy Drew was an inspiration, with her lauded brave and intrepid (albeit still feminine) spirit.

Armed with this growing intellectual arsenal, Ali began to ask the “why” questions that a repressive society cannot tolerate: Why must I be treated this way? Why don’t we celebrate individuality? Why do we force people to behave in a certain way when free nations achieve greater things?  Why are women subordinate to men?

Bookworm on the greatness of Ayaan Hirsi Ali via Ace

American Recessional

First a powerful Bill Whittle Afterburner

This is the problem that has reduced us from “The Shining City on a Hill”, to just another Zimbabwe. We’ve always had corruption, it’s inherent in an organization of human beings, but we have never so completely and brazenly ignored it.

Then there is this article. Do I necessarily believe it? No? But the very fact that I think it possible, and I do, tells you that the swamp is very high, and the alligators are quite hungry.

America and the coming break point

A revolutionary political earthquake lies up ahead. The popularity of Trump foretells this. We’re feeling the tremors right now. But the feeling of revulsion for the Washington establishment is not yet clear enough and widespread enough in the minds of the people to manifest in a revolutionary “break point.” But I believe such a lack of widespread clarity is the lull before the storm. And the storm is coming in the form of a pervasive economic crash that will shake up Americans in a way they have never before experienced.

It is then that the needed clarity will be achieved. It is in times of great crisis that people are susceptible to a more truthful view of things, and will be more willing to take revolutionary action. If freedom is to be restored in America, it will be at this time when the establishment way of doing things for the past century – political centralization and Keynesian monetary theory – comes under suspicion as highly flawed ideology and political tyranny. It is here when all is chaos and despair that the coming break point will be reached and a chance to restore freedom will be available to us.

When the crisis really hits, when the dollar is dropping like a rock in a dry well, when tanks are in the streets to restore order in scores of new Fergusons and Baltimores pockmarking the country, when unemployment hits 25% and no one believes the BLS lies of 5% anymore, when the Feds are snooping in the skies above with thousands of drones over our own country, when a smarmy President spews out still another unctuous speech from the White House about how “government is here to help you,” then the breaking point will be reached in the minds of the American people.

Source: America and the coming break point « Sago

What happens next? I don’t know, but I would suggest that electing still another clown as president is likely not to be the answer. And the day is coming that the questions will have to be answered. And the penalty points are piling up.


God of our fathers, known of old,
   Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
   Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
   The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
   An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
   On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
   Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
   Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
   Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
   In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
   And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word—
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!


Rudyard Kipling 1897


Sowing the Wind: Reaping the Whirlwind

Great Satan’s Girlfriend makes a very valid point. Japan and Germany are friends and allies now. Why? They used to be enemies. Maybe because they found out that America and Britain will ”bring a gun to a knife-fight” to quote the president back when he believed in defense, or was that only against America? In any case, an excellent point

Anydobby watching the Knife Infatada on telly may be struck with the term dispproportionate” – essentially – i.e., knife wielding attackers shot down down by bullets via guns.

It speaks to deterrence, disproportionate force and moral equivalence.

Under the canons of the last 2,500 years of Western warfare, disproportionality was the method by which aggressors were either deterred or stopped. Deterrence — which alone prevented wars — was predicated on the shared assumption that starting a conflict would bring more violence down upon the aggressor than he could ever inflict on his victim. Once lost, deterrence was restored usually by disproportionate responses that led to victory over and humiliation of the aggressive party.

Source: GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Moral Equivalence Myth

And here’s one person’s idea of what’s going to happen in Europe, perhaps next spring.

The unsettled Arab refugees are not committing terrorism, they are simply demonstrating. That is how they demonstrate, that’s all, nothing more. What Europe is experiencing now is simple unrest which will die down over time and as the weather cools. Demonstrators, almost without exception, tend to demonstrate only when the weather permits and once the mercury drops below 10oC the demonstrators will thin out and soon be so few that three police is all that will be needed to monitor their antics. If they were to get media coverage there would often be more reporters than demonstrators. But once spring comes and the weather tops 20oC then the numbers start to return and the demonstrations next summer will very likely qualify to be called riots. But even that is not the worst of what Europe will soon be facing. Europe needs to understand that the influx of refugees has only just begun and will slow until next spring when they will follow the frost line as they head north into Germany, France, Britain and the Scandinavian nations where the life is the easiest and the benefits the most generous. But even with the best of benefits, the most gracious hospitality, the nicest neighborhoods, accommodations for Islam as good as any Middle Eastern nation, and department after government department going head over heels to provide and meet even the most contrary set of demands will only strengthen the image of weakness as polite and caring social services is the most definitive sign of weakness to the Islamist.


Let us explain. By going the extra distances to meet or exceed their grandest expectations, this will simply produce further demands. If the government and the people continue to try and meet even the most absurd and grand of demands, the Islamists will interpret such action as being fed by an innate fear which drives this high level of accommodation and striving to please. The Middle East Islamist mindset expects minimal efforts to meet the mere minimalist needs of the people as their governments were designed more to enrich the klepto-politicians rather than meet the peoples’ needs.

He may or may not be right, time will tell. But I would give him at least a 70% chance of being right. Why? See above, and think about it for yourself.

Russia and Iran Moving to Corner the Mideast Oil Supply?

In the Middle East, it is time to follow the money. To me,  Steve Chambers makes all the sense in the world here. Russia is at best, a regional power, as we’ve discussed many times here. Jessica, with her usual common sense, reminded us in  The Rules of the Great Game, that those rules have not been suspended.

In addition, as Jess mentioned, Europe is critically dependent on Russian oil. They literally can’t afford to offend Putin overmuch. In large measure, North America can fix that, but we’re not working on that either. Sadly, Europe will in large measure pay the price for our shortsightedness, unless we suddenly decide to export oil again. (that bill has passed the House, likely will pass the Senate, and as usual for something in the interest of Western Civilization, Obama says he’ll veto it). Here’s some of the article:

It looks like Vladimir Putin and the ayatollahs are preparing to corner the world’s oil supply – literally.

Last May I wrote on this site that Iran was in the process of surrounding the Saudi/Wahhabi oil reserves, along with those of the other Sunni Gulf petro-states.  I added that, “Iran’s strategy to strangle Saudi/Wahhabi oil production also dovetails with Putin’s interests.  As the ruler of the second largest exporter of oil, he would be delighted to see the Kingdom’s production eliminated or severely curtailed and global prices soar to unseen levels.  No wonder he is so overtly supporting Iran.”

We’ve now seen Putin take a major, menacing step in support of the Iranians by introducing combat forces into Syria.  Many analysts argue that he’s doing this both to protect his own naval base at Tartus and as some sort of favor to the Iranians.  Are those really sufficient inducement for him to spend scarce resources and risk Russian lives, or does he have bigger ambitions in mind?  Given the parlous state of Russia’s economy, thanks in very large part to the recent halving of oil prices, he must relish the opportunity now presented to him, in an axis with Iran, to drive those prices back to prior levels.

The Iranians, for their part, must welcome this opportunity as well, for two huge reasons: first, when sanctions are finally lifted, thanks to their friend in the White House, Iran’s oil production will only aggravate the current global excess oil supply, reducing their cash flow (although they will still repatriate the $150 billion released by the nuclear deal).  They and the Russians must both be desperate to find a way to prevent further oil price declines.  And second, Iran’s mortal sectarian enemies and rivals for leadership of all of Islam are the Saudi/Wahhabi clan, so the prospect of simultaneously hurting them while strengthening themselves must seem tremendously tantalizing.

Source: Articles: Russia and Iran Moving to Corner the Mideast Oil Supply

OK, obviously disrupting the Arab oil supplies will trow a large spanner in the works of the world’s economy, as it drives oil prices to record highs, China, the US, and Europe all have fragile, and perhaps brittle economies, and yes the ‘refugees’ (even if they are legitimate) already are threatening Europe.

But as so often, North America has the solution, here’s a bit more from the article:

So, Putin and the ayatollahs have powerful motives to corner the world’s oil market and therefore the US and the rest of the world are facing an enormous risk.  The horrible pity of this is that the US could easily demonstrate the futility of the Russian-Iranian axis trying to take the world hostage with Mideast oil, simply by opening up our surface deposits of oil shales in the Rockies.  As I showed in this analysis last March, these resources could make Mideast oil irrelevant.

The US’ surface oil shales are completely different from the deep shales that are accessed through directional drilling and fracking and that grab all the headlines; the deep shales are a mere side show in terms of reserves.  The surface shales hold up to 3 trillion barrels of oil versus about 50 billion barrels of tight oil accessed by fracking.  The total global proven reserves of oil are 1.6 trillion barrels, and the Canadian tar sands have 1.6 to 2.5 trillion barrels (although they’re officially listed at 175 billion barrels, which are incorporated in the global total).  So, the US and Canada together essentially can triple the global supply of oil, and at prices in the $60-75/barrel range.  Meanwhile, Mideast reserves are about 800 billion barrels – half of Canada’s oil sands, perhaps less than a third of the US surface shales.  The world no longer needs the Muslim oil.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Rockies surface shales sit on Federal land, and while George W. Bush opened up those lands for development, Obama rescinded that policy.  These reserves now sit almost entirely idle.

As with any petroleum deposit, these surface shale reserves can’t be turned on with the wave of a wand.  But they can be opened for development with just a pen, and not even a phone.  For the protection of this country, and the good of the world, our current president should immediately open these reserves for development, with great fanfare.  If he will not use our military to protect our interests, he should at least use our economic weapons.

And so, once more, if the author is correct, as I think he may be, Russia is badly overextended, North America, the United States and Canada, hold the fate of the West, in our hands. But will we do what is necessary, as we always have, or will we play a violin concerto while Western Civilization burns.

We’ll see, but given the timing, I’m not very optimistic.

Edith Cavell: Nurse, Patriot, and Martyr

Memorial to Cavell outside Norwich Cathedral

Memorial to Cavell outside Norwich Cathedral

A hundred years ago, today, Nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans. She was convicted of helping British and French soldiers escape back to their forces. There was in truth no doubt of her guilt. She forthrightly admitted it. She had been nursing both Allied and German soldiers equally.

Her execution rather shocked the world, the United States, still in 1915, the Great Neutral, had tried to save her from execution, but the Germans were adamant. Looking back, it’s rather hard not to feel some sympathy with them; it doesn’t make much sense, at least to us today, to let a woman go for something one would execute a man for. But the world of 2015 is not the world of 1915, and it shocked the world. It was helped to be shocked by the efforts of Wellington House, the British propaganda unit, but it had a basis in what our people believed. Here is a bit more from Wikipedia:

In November 1914, after the German occupation of Brussels, Cavell began sheltering British soldiers and funnelling them out of occupied Belgium to the neutral Netherlands. Wounded British and French soldiers and Belgian and French civilians of military age were hidden from the Germans and provided with false papers by Prince Reginald de Croy at his château of Bellignies near Mons. From there, they were conducted by various guides to the houses of Cavell, Louis Séverin and others in Brussels, and furnished by them with money to reach the Dutch frontier and with guides obtained through Philippe Baucq.This placed Cavell in violation of German military law. German authorities became increasingly suspicious of the nurse’s actions, which were backed up by her outspokenness.

She was arrested on 3 August 1915 and charged with harbouring Allied soldiers. She had been betrayed by Gaston Quien, who was later convicted by a French court as a collaborator. She was held in Saint-Gilles prison for 10 weeks, the last two in solitary confinement. She made three depositions to the German police (on 8, 18 and 22 August), admitting that she had been instrumental in conveying about 60 British and 15 French soldiers and about 100 French and Belgians of military age to the frontier and had sheltered most of them in her house.

In her court-martial she was prosecuted for aiding British and French soldiers, in addition to young Belgian men, to cross the border and eventually enter Britain. She admitted her guilt when she signed a statement the day before the trial. Cavell declared that the soldiers she had helped escape thanked her in writing when arriving safely in Britain. This admission confirmed that Cavell had helped the soldiers navigate the Dutch frontier, but it also established that she helped them escape to a country at war with Germany.

The penalty according to German military law was death.

All that said, she became a great heroine for the British, and yes, the Americans as well, not to mention the French and Belgians. Again from Wikipedia:

Cavell’s remains were returned to Britain after the war. As the ship bearing the coffin arrived in Dover, a full peal of Grandsire Triples (5040 Changes, Parker’s Twelve-Part) was rung on the bells of the parish church. The peal was notable: “Rung with the bells deeply muffled with the exception of the Tenor which was open at back stroke, in token of respect to Nurse Cavell, whose body arrived at Dover during the ringing and rested in the town till the following morning. The ringers of 1-2-3-4-5-6 are ex-soldiers, F. Elliot having been eight months Prisoner of War in Germany.” Deep (or full) muffling is normally only used for the deaths of sovereigns. After an overnight pause in the parish church the body was conveyed to London and a state funeral was held at Westminster Abbey. On 19 May 1919, her body was reburied at the east side of Norwich Cathedral; a graveside service is still held each October. The railway van known as the Cavell Van that conveyed her remains from Dover to London is kept as a memorial on the Kent and East Sussex Railway and is usually open to view at Bodiam railway station.

In the Calendar of saints (Church of England) the day appointed for the commemoration of Edith Cavell is 12 October. This is a memorial in her honour rather than formal canonisation.

Following Cavell’s death, many memorials were created around the world to remember her. One of the first was unveiled on 12 October 1918 by Queen Alexandra on the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, during the opening of a home for nurses which also bore her name.

Source for both is Wikipedia

Yesterday’s evensong at Norwich cathedral commemorated the centenary of her death. You can listen here.


Last week Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, was performed in Norwich along with David Mitchell’ Cavell Mass.

This seems proper to me since it commemorates a woman who did her duty to her God, and her country, took responsibility for it and willingly (and bravely) paid the price of that duty. We should all attempt to do as well.

{UPDATE} I didn’t think to look there earlier but East Anglian Film Archive has film of the funeral in Norwich. It is excellent and can be found here.Funeral of Nurse Edith Cavell

%d bloggers like this: